Back Story Behind Whitechapel Virgin - Guest Post from Author Carla Acheson

Back story behind Whitechapel Virgin

I was sitting in front of my computer one day, coffee in hand, drumming up new ideas for a second novel. My first literary novel was set in Victorian London, focusing on the downtrodden and poor outcasts of society. Even though I wasn't prepared to write an actual sequel to it, I was keen on finding some interesting link to motivate me. After some hours of deep thought and finding nothing worth pursuing, I retired to bed.

As I lay there, supposedly done with the thinking process, an idea unexpectedly grabbed me. It was instant. In my first novel, one of the female characters disappeared from the story, fleeing from the workhouse to live in a seedy whore house in Whitechapel, a crumbling London district filled with low life criminals and the destitute.

Nothing more was mentioned about this particular character in the book, however, towards the end of the story, on her death bed, she said, "I resided in a place where women began to disappear one by one, only to be murdered by a ruthless and bloody man."

She meant, 'Jack the Ripper,' of course.

And so I had found my link. A small one, but a very promising one indeed. After having been completely void of ideas, I spent the entire following day writing up mountains of notes and pursuing interesting angles, whilst researching the subject of Whitechapel and Jack the Ripper himself. I might have found my setting, but I had to plot the story as well as learn everything I could about the infamous serial killer.

I had only ever had some brief knowledge of his crimes before then, but I went on to become truly fascinated by the man who had never been caught, yet left behind a gruesome legacy with hundreds of obsessive followers. There was much for me to learn before even daring to begin the writing process itself.

I put down my notepad and booked a flight to Whitechapel straight away. I had to go, observe, listen, and walk the streets where he walked, if I was to successfully pen a novel set in such a famous place, with such a legendary subject. His journey in Whitechapel may have long ended, but mine was only just beginning.

About the Book

Catherine, a fifteen year old runaway, stumbles into a seedy brothel-house tavern in the back streets of Whitechapel, London. She hesitates at the scene before her, one filled with low class prostitutes and drunkards, but it is late, and the dimly-lit labyrinthine alleyways are filled with deviant fellows and petty criminals.

Weary and hungry, she meets Eddie, the rugged young tavern boy who shows her to a room for the night. She settles down only to be awoken in the early hours by piercing cries from the room next door. Arising to find the cause of the commotion, she becomes witness to a gruesome abortion.

Filled with revulsion, Catherine decides to flee as soon as daylight arrives, but Eddie quickly soothes her fears and convinces her to stay, arranging for her to meet Madame Davenport, the nefarious brothel-mistress who employs Catherine as a serving girl, under the proviso she begins work ‛servicing’ men once she is settled in.

Difficulties arise, however, when Eddie’s growing romantic affections for Catherine clash with her sudden infatuation for the dashing middle-class gent, Mr Cross. Unknown to Catherine, the lothario is keeping a diary of his affairs with Whitechapel’s whores, with the dishonourable intention of turning his writing into a successful ‛gentleman’s, publication.’ Mr Cross quickly seduces the fresh young virgin, allowing his sexual fantasies to escalate into an unfathomable obsession.

As Catherine tries her hardest to fit into the ways of life at the lodging house, she encounters only jealousy from Eddie, and resentment from the other prostitutes who reside there. Annie, in particular, dislikes the new girl who has blossoming beauty and youth on her side.

Unexpectedly one night, a crime occurs within the narrow landing of George Yard Buildings. Local prostitute Martha Tabram is found brutally hacked to death by a cruel assailant. The police can unearth no explainable motive. The Victorian crime stuns the entire Whitechapel district, causing widespread panic amongst the prostitutes who each fear for their own lives.

Catherine’s anxiety increases when Edward Cross begins to show signs of ‘odd’ sexual behaviour and mental decline, as he brutally tries to expunge the girl of her virtues. When two more gruesome murders occur in the area, the prostitutes realise that there is no escape from the vicious killer who calls himself Jack The Ripper. But who is he? And who will be the next Jack victim?

Where to Purchase The Whitehcapel Virgin

About the Author

Carla lives in Gibraltar with her family and is a member of the Freelance Writers Association. She works as a book reviewer and has interviewed and published book reviews and articles for best-selling and award-winning authors. Her articles and reviews have been featured in various press publications, as well as Waterstones Quarterly UK Magazine.

Her debut fiction novel ‘The Last Gift’ released October 2012, is available on both Kindle and paperback.

Carla is also the founder of the Rock Writers Group formed in Gibraltar in 2009.

Music production, singing, reading and writing have always been the main essential ingredients in Carla’s life.

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Back Story Behind Whitechapel Virgin - Guest Post from Author Carla Acheson Back Story Behind Whitechapel Virgin - Guest Post from Author Carla Acheson Reviewed by Joshua Cook on 5:30 AM Rating: 5

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