Author Q&A

Author Q&A Part 2: When Serial Killers Meet Their Match—Stephanie Grey Discusses Her New Historical Suspense Novel THE IMMORTAL PRUDENCE BLACKWOOD

The Immortal Prudence Blackwood by Stephanie Grey explores what really happened to the world’s most notorious unknown serial killers such as Jack the Ripper, The Atlanta Ripper, and the Cleveland Torso Murderer.

We talked with her about the inspirations, characters, and her writing process. To read part one of the interview, click here.

In one sentence, tell me about your novel, The Immortal Prudence Blackwood.
In 1947 D.C., a young detective struggles with a brutal killer, a budding romance, and a mysterious immortal who is responsible for ending history’s most notorious unnamed serial killers.

Prudence_Blackwood_SGrey_FC_WEB

What was your hardest scene to write?
There’s a scene in The Immortal Prudence Blackwood that is especially grisly. It involves a lot of blood and body parts and I had to go to a really dark place to write that. Paired with a character who is this badass who isn’t necessarily fazed by what she sees—only disgusted—was difficult for me.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
I do. There are times when you just have nothing to write and it can stretch into days. It’s best to just get away from your computer and recharge, then come back fresh. That can be any task from taking a walk to getting away for the weekend. By all means, do it.

Which is your favorite season to write in, and why?
Fall. Hands down. I love the cooler temperatures and when the leaves show their beautiful colors. I also enjoy some of the gray, dreary days because it makes me feel warm and cozy as I write inside my home.

What has influenced you the most as a writer?
Other authors that I absolutely adore have been great influencers. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Larry Correia, Bentley Little, Tana French…if people enjoy my books even half as much as I’ve enjoyed the work of those authors, I’d be so thrilled! They’re all so brilliant and have their unique, wonderful writing styles. Their talent is limitless.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do read my book reviews and I get really touched by the good ones. I can’t please everyone and that’s important to remember when reading a review.

Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists or C) Epic settings?
Strong characters. You can have the best setting and the most intricate plot, but they’re not the stars of the show. You need incredible characters because they’re the story and everything else is the background.

What inspired The Immortal Prudence Blackwood?
I read an article about the hidden caves of the Knights Templar and started thinking about this cave in the woods that held magical components. Prudence was born from that.

Is Prudence Blackwood based on someone you know?
She’s definitely not. She is 100% her own person, but if you ever meet someone like her, introduce me! She’s incredible.

Tell me about your favorite characters from The Immortal Prudence Blackwood.
Of course I love Prudence herself. She’s this strong woman with a confliction about doing the right thing and her violent capability.

Sharon Elliot is a young woman who shares a home, as well as a strong bond, with her mother, Joan. She’s smart but still kind of growing into herself after the war and the death of her fiancé. She’s fiercely loyal to Prudence.

Ah, then there’s Clive O’Reilly. He’s clever and headstrong. He has a difficult time adjusting to a world where real immortals exist. I wrote him that way because I see people so many times easily accepting the supernatural and I wanted someone not do that for a change.

Was there anything that you found difficult to write for The Immortal Prudence Blackwood?
It wasn’t easy to write some of the death scenes. My husband helped me brainstorm ways to kill a person, and that became the main topic over a few evening meals. We’d even act out some to see if they’d work and while that sounds odd, it was perfectly normal for us.
The ending was the toughest. I wasn’t ready to let go of Prudence, but it was a natural stopping point for the story and to add anything else would’ve been fluff.

How did writing this book affect your writing for new projects?
I’ve really enjoyed all of the characters I’ve written for each book, but this one in particular pushed me to write characters with a bit more depth and history, for future characters to be richer in their personalities.

How did you feel when you began The Immortal Prudence Blackwood?
Intimidated. I know how ridiculous that sounds, but it’s true. Its tone is entirely different from what I typically write and its characters have more depth. There was a lot of research involved for the unsolved serial killers, time periods, little details such as art work and singers, etc. The overall premise made me ask myself if I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but I’d challenged myself and accepted it. When I began, there was no stopping me.

How did you feel when you completed The Immortal Prudence Blackwood?
I felt incredible. It was two weeks before Christmas and I was alone while my husband was away on a work trip. The lights from the tree were glowing softly and my cats were lazily sprawled on the couch and loveseat. I’d been working so hard to finish that project before my parents showed up for the holidays and, suddenly, it was over. I typed “The End” and set my laptop aside before jumping up and doing some ridiculously silly happy dance. Zoe, my eldest cat, looked at me like a nut and rightfully so based on how I was carrying on. There was a tinge of sadness when I finally sat back down because Prudence had been with me for nine months and then she was gone. I’d told her story.

About The Immortal Prudence Blackwood

Justice watches from the shadows in this unique and suspenseful twist on a serial killer manhunt…

Throughout history, the world has witnessed cruel, gruesome, and twisted murders at the hands of the most notorious serial killers. For those who were never caught—Jack the Ripper, the Atlanta Ripper, and the Cleveland Torso Murderer—their crimes will live on in infamy as their identities are forever chased, but never revealed.

It’s 1947 in Washington, D.C. and a dangerous murderer has boldly discarded two headless bodies nearby the White House and the Jefferson Memorial. With no leads, Detective Clive O’Reilly is feeling desperate. When a stranger convinces O’Reilly to join him at a local pub, he is treated to a wild tale about Prudence Blackwood, an immortal who seeks vengeance for those murdered by history’s most notorious serial killers.

Initially in disbelief over her existence, O’Reilly is surprised to discover that she’s very real and she’ll be assisting in the investigation. But Prudence has unorthodox methods. With the body count rising, O’Reilly will have to find a way to work with her to stop the most brutal killer in D.C.’s history before more victims are added to the list.

Read an excerpt of The Immortal Prudence Blackwood

Praise for The Immortal Prudence Blackwood

“Grey did…a fantastic job of creating the character of Prudence Blackwood. It was refreshing to have a strong and powerful female lead that appeared normal to the outside world, rather than looking like a superhero. I absolutely loved this book, and would highly recommend it.” —For Books Sake book blog

“…sucks you in and keeps you hungry for more until you reach the mind-blowing ending.” —Gwendalyn’s Books Blog

“…a very entertaining book. The story was different and, really, quite clever.” —Sheryle Gouker, Librarian

“I had a very hard time putting this one down.” —Randee J. Bybee, Librarian

“…this book did not disappoint. It did, in fact, live up to everything that I thought it would be.” —Books, Tea, Healthy Me Book Blog

“Prudence is a badass woman…and proves that not all heroes wear capes…a captivating read…” —Lukten av Trykksverte Book Blog

About the author: 

Stephanie Grey is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a degree in journalism. Writing has always been present in Stephanie’s life. From a young age, she has been writing short stories for her family to enjoy. When she entered high school, she decided that she would one day write a full-length novel. She finally achieved her goal and is the proud author of three novels, including The Immortal Prudence Blackwood. She continues to write and hopes to be able to share her stories with the world for many years to come.

Available Formats & Purchasing Information

Hardcover: 978-1-64397-032-5, $26.95, 208 pages
Softcover: 978-1-947727-83-0, $15.95, 208 pages
Ebook: 978-1-948540-33-9, $7.99
LCCN: 2018948482

Available at Barnes & NobleWaterstones, Target, Chapters/IndigoAmazon, and other fine retailers. Visit our website for more purchasing options, including ordering direct from our online store (hardcover and softcover available, currently 15% off!)

Booksellers, Librarians, and Retailers can purchase copies though Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bertrams, and Overdrive. BHC Press also offers attractive pricing and discounts to booksellers, libraries, and retailers. Visit our website to learn more about available retail/library partnership programs.

To learn more about The Immortal Prudence Blackwood and other titles available from BHC Press, visit our website.

 

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