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.
Favorite non-writing things:
I believe curry, avocados, vinyl records, handwritten letters, and my 1950s Smith-Corona typewriter are the best things on the planet. EVER. (Aside from my food blog, www.sndwchsetc.com, that is.) 😀 My favorite quote of all time is: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club” by Jack London.
Follow Kerri on Twitter and Instagram where she’s always ready to talk fictional crushes and nerd out over books:
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Don’t be a stranger, I love meeting fellow writers/readers and friends.
Kerri Maniscalco is an American young adult author best known for the Stalking Jack the Ripper quartet; a series of gothic thrillers.
Maniscalco grew up New York’s scenic Hudson Valley and later attended college in New York City, studying Fine Art before transferring into Communication Design at F.I.T. She was drawn to art from an early age and enjoys all aspects of design.
Her grandmother was an avid reader who instilled a love of books in her mother who passed it along to both of her daughters. Growing up, Maniscalco’s parents took her and her sister Kelli to libraries and bookstores most weekends where she fell in love with stories. To this day her mom and dad gift her with a new leather-bound book each Christmas to add to her own library, and it’s one of her favorite family traditions.
As a child, her grandmother was chronically ill, and taught the importance of always being able to escape on an adventure between the pages of a book, regardless of any physical limitations.
Maniscalco credits her grandmother with fostering her imagination—a stream wasn’t just a stream, it was a babbling brook. And if she looked closely enough, her grandmother promised she might see fairies dancing around the ring of flowers in the backyard.
Her father, a retired chiropractor, had anatomy books and sculptures in his office, which introduced her to her interest in forensics when she was a teen. She was fascinated with his stories of college, where he studied cadavers as part of his degree. It would later spark the idea for her medical-minded heroine, Audrey Rose.
At one point in college, Maniscalco switched schools and majors, and took Criminal Justice and Science courses, and considered becoming a forensic psychologist. She ultimately decided to turn her love of reading and writing into a career as a novelist instead.
Her mother is another source of inspiration, showing, by example, the many definitions of a strong, capable woman.
Maniscalco’s father is Sicilian American, and her mother is mostly of Irish descent with Eastern European and distant Spanish and Jewish roots. She is third generation American on both sides, and celebrates Italian American traditions.
When she’s not writing, one of her favorite places to be is in her kitchen, cooking recipes passed on from her grandmother and creating new ones. Her second favorite thing is her sister’s store, Dogwood Lane Boutique, where she purchases clothes for book events and accessories for her home. In May 2019 she released a few Stalking Jack the Ripper series inspired items she designed to sell exclusively through her sister’s store and online. Shop the official Stalking Jack the Ripper merchandise here.
Maniscalco’s debut novel, Stalking Jack the Ripper, was published in 2016 by Hachette Book Group. It was the first non-Patterson YA title released under James Patterson’s children’s imprint, Jimmy Patterson Books. It debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list and #3 on the ebook list. In 2017 it was nominated for an Audie Award in the Young Adult category. It received a starred review from School Library Journal, and positive reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Connection.
Hunting Prince Dracula, the second installment in the series, also debuted on the New York Times list and spent several weeks on it. It received a number of glowing reviews from several outlets such as School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, and more.
Escaping from Houdini, the third installment, debuted on the New York Times series list and the USA Today Bestseller’s list. It received praise from Hypable, Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal and more.
Capturing the Devil, the fourth and final book in the series, will be released on September 10, 2019.
Meeting Thomas Cresswell, a novella told from Thomas Cresswell’s point of view, was included in mass market paperback editions of Stalking Jack the Ripper, which published on April 24, 2018.
Becoming the Dark Prince, another novella told from Thomas’s point of view will be released in the summer of 2019. Maniscalco has stated on social media that it will take place during Escaping from Houdini and transition into the beginning of Capturing the Devil. It will be available for purchase as an ebook.
Hunting Prince Dracula paperbacks, released in 2018, also feature bonus content from both Thomas’s POV and his sister, Daciana, in a series of letters written between the Cresswell siblings detailing his growing feelings for Audrey Rose.
Escaping from Houdini exclusive Barnes and Noble hardcover editions feature an entire bonus chapter between Audrey Rose and Thomas.
Escaping from Houdini trade paperbacks (August 2019) will feature annotated tarot cards–that were a popular preorder prize–as its bonus content.
In the acknowledgments of Hunting Prince Dracula, Maniscalco revealed that she has chronic Lyme Disease. A condition classified as an invisible disability and chronic illness. She first began getting ill during the Stalking Jack the Ripper tour, before collapsing that winter and getting diagnosed in January 2017. It was at its worst while she edited Hunting Prince Dracula, and drafted Escaping from Houdini.
She talks openly and freely about it online and at events, and is currently in remission, though symptoms and flare ups occur if she’s not careful about putting her health first.
One of the main reasons she gave Audrey Rose a chronic condition is so readers who also have a disability–or chronic illness–could see themselves in a book.