Q&A: Kerri Maniscalco, Author of ‘Capturing The Devil’

In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. 

The final instalment in the Stalking Jack The Ripper series is almost here! For me, it brings mixed feelings as it has been wonderful to read this series, but now it must sadly come to an end.

In the lead up to release day, Kerri Maniscalco chats about the series, what she is working on next, book recommendations, and more!

Hi Kerri! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi! I’m addicted to books and reading and might be a cat lady in the making. It’s too soon to tell that for sure, though. I’m also the #1 NYT and USA Today best-selling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper quartet.

For those who aren’t aware of your Stalking Jack The Ripper series, can you tell us what readers might expect?

I like describing it as a Victorian Era CSI or a gothic Nancy Drew. There’s mystery, forensics, a little danger and a dash of romance. As a reader, I really enjoy fantasy books, so I tried to make it read more like that than a straight historical mystery. It’s fun to not always be sure if there’s something paranormal afoot, or if it’s just the work of overactive imaginations. I also love when a setting comes alive and almost feels like a character itself, and hope readers feel that way about each place we visit in this series.

Capturing The Devil is the final instalment in the series and it’s set to release on September 10th. If you could only use five words to describe the finale, what would they be?

Determination. Murder. Romance. Sacrifice. Redemption.

Where did the inspiration for the series first come from?

I love mysteries and true crime, so one night I was curled up with a book written by H.H. Holmes detailing his murders and couldn’t put it down. I’ve always been fascinated with Jack the Ripper and the psychology behind serial killers, so Holmes’ jailhouse confession, mixed with the theories of him potentially being Jack the Ripper, made my muse go wild with all the possibilities!

Did you always know how you wanted the series to end?

I did! I always knew I wanted it to come full circle and end where it begins. I’m so grateful my publisher supported my vision and was as excited as I was to tell this story right. The hardest part for me was not spilling any secrets when some people would say they guessed the killer in book one. It’s been years of torture, but hopefully readers will be as excited and happy as I am with this conclusion.

Now, this is like picking a favourite child, but was there a certain book that was your favourite?

This is such a hard question! I love them all for very different reasons, but I think Capturing the Devil is my favorite. It’s the one where the slow burn romance finally ignites, and the setup I’ve been plotting for four books explodes. I’m SO excited for readers to dive in!

Was there anything that you hoped for Audrey and Thomas, either together or individually, that you weren’t able to include in the series?

At this time? I don’t think so, no. But that can always change as ideas strike. I’ve been so lucky to have four books to tell their story, and all of the bonus content and novellas from Thomas’s POV have been a lot of fun to write. One day, maybe, it might be fun to tinker with something fully from Thomas. Maybe with his life leading up to Audrey Rose. Or maybe follow his sister and her adventures. If there’s enough interest from readers, and they tell my publisher they want more from the SJTR universe, you never know what might happen in the future!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

It might sound simple, but never give up. I wrote seven or eight books before I finally drafted Stalking Jack the Ripper and each one was a valuable learning experience. If you keep knocking on those publishing doors, one day one will burst open for you. Also? Read widely and often. Know your market and how your book or idea fits into it, and how you can make it different. What do you enjoy? What are your hobbies? Your unique voice? I loved forensics as a teen and reading about serial killers, which is exactly what my agent asked me when I first started batting the idea for this series around.

What’s next for you?

The first book in my new series is tentatively titled KINGDOM OF THE WICKED, and it was recently announced after having to keep it a secret all year! It’s a YA fantasy set in 19th century Sicily, but it’s still a murder mystery at its heart. Hopefully anyone who’s enjoyed the STALKING JACK THE RIPPER series will love it, too. This is another passion project, and I am so excited for readers to meet these new characters. I will always love Audrey Rose and Thomas, but there’s such a spark with this new cast.

I can’t say much more now, but it features some of my favorite things as a reader; Enemies to lovers, antiheros, mystery and of course murder. It’s scheduled for a Fall 2020 release.

Lastly, do you have any book recommendations for us?

I absolutely love the CARAVAL series by Stephanie Garber, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK by Adrienne Young is high on my to-read list this fall, Traci Chee’s THE READER trilogy, THE GIRL AT THE GRAVE by Teri Bailey Black, anything by Cat Winters is great for fall reading, and the Hidden Legacies trilogy by Ilona Andrews.

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. She is the #1 NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and the forthcoming fantasy Kingdom of the Wicked. You can find Kerri on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and also at her website.

Are you looking forward to Capturing The Devil? What about her next series? Tell us in the comments below!

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