I've been a bit quiet because after my trip to the United States I was home for a couple weeks and then off to London. This, too, was a business trip, but like the one in the US, much fun as well. Because I was hanging around with . . . Ripperologists.
For those of you not familiar with that term, the Oxford Dictionary defines it to mean: (the) Study of or investigation into the crimes of Jack the Ripper, especially in order to uncover the identity of the murderer.
The folks I hang with don't confine themselves solely to the Whitechapel murderer, but also study (in depth) the history of London's East End, as well as other crimes that occurred during the late Victorian Era. They're a fascinatingly intelligent bunch from all over the world who, during the first weekend of November, gathered in Whitechapel for a two-day conference. As with all these types of conferences, my IQ went up a couple points by the end of it.
Why would I go to such a gathering? For those of you who don't know my work before the Demon Trappers, I wrote the Time Rovers Series in 2006-2008. This series was originally published by Dragon Moon Press (they still sell the paperback editions) and the books just kept winning awards. Frankly, that stunned me, but apparently the combo of historical mystery, time travel and paranormal (with a bit of romance) made the stories something unique back in 2006. For more info on that series, click here.
The reason I became part of the Ripper community is because the series is set in 1888, right over the top of the murders. To ensure that I didn't screw up the facts--because they are extremely well documented and just about the first thing most authors blow right past--I began researching the killings in depth, as well as the social, political, and religious conditions of the time. I had at least 9 months of research before I even began writing the first book and finally accumulated almost 100 reference books, maps, etc. by the time the trilogy was done. I went nuts on this, mostly because Victorian London was just SO fascinating. The results were well worth all the time, money, tears and headaches. Sadly, when I moved my vast Victorian library had to go, but it found homes with a number of authors who write in that time period.
So let's fast forward to 2018 and the East End Conference:
I attended to reconnect with good friends and to get my head back into 1888 as I want to write a few short stories based around some of the Victorian Era characters. If you've read the series, I'm specifically talking about Jonathon Keats and Dr. Alastair Montrose, because those gents deserve their own stories. I have no doubt our favorite time traveler (Jacynda Lassiter) will drop in from time to time because Cynda is just inclined to meddle.
The trip was great, reconnecting with friends was priceless, and seeing London after five years was pretty much jaw-dropping (so much new construction!) I've already pencilled in another trip for 2019. Meanwhile the Ripperologists keep sifting through census and asylum records, tracking down leads in search of the killer.
Me? I just sit back with a cup of tea and cheer them on.
We were due for new credit cards and when the credit card company notified us they’d mailed them to Portugal, I made a note of the date. When we hit the three week time frame I figured they’d wandered off to who knows where so I contacted the company with the news. As I anticipated, they promptly cancelled the account and they sent new cards to a secure address in the US so I can pick them up in October.
Wanna guess what showed up the day after I contacted them?
The ‘missing’ cards.
Shoulda made it 3 weeks and one day, it appears.
Jana is an international & multi-award winning author in several genres including young adult, paranormal romance and urban fantasy.