ISN'T SHE SO PRETTY!?
Coming 10/25 - LUCY (Maidens & Monsters, #3) -
Cover design by Aleisha Knight Evans!
Lucy Carew has had enough of being perfect. In the aftermath of MINA, Lucy stood up to her Papa and has taken over as the schoolteacher after Miss Thorpe's commitment to Whitby Asylum. Now engaged to Henry Jekyll, Lucy is finally experiencing life as an independent woman. As the Governor's railroad representative arrives in Mapleton to make his decision, more strange things begin to happen. Innocent people are attacked and hurt, and it seems Henry might be the main suspect. In this take on THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE, it's up to Lucy and the Maidens to solve yet another mystery of Mapleton before more innocent blood is spilled!
I mean, in MAIDENS & MONSTERS she absolutely exists.
My Lucy Carew has a huge role to play in MINA and the subsequent books to come. I've actually found myself surprised by how much I'm enjoying writing her character. Team Lucy. For real.
But she almost wasn't a Maiden - because she's not a character in Robert Louis Stevenson's original 1886 THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE. In fact, there aren't actually any women of note in the novella. There's a little girl Hyde tramples, and a maid. (This maid, FYI, would later serve as the inspiration for MARY REILLY - the movie of which starred Julia Roberts and John Malkovich and is crazy.)
The book was an immediate hit, but once you've read it you know the spoiler - that Jekyll IS Hyde. (I hope I didn't spoil that for you.) Also, it's a short book. So, the following year when it was being adapted for the stage, the drama needed to be amplified - and the female characters of Jekyll's upright society fiancee and another woman who tempts him came into play. In the original stage play, these characters became Sir Danvers Carew's daughter Millicent and a famous Italian dancer, Miss Gina.
This stage version was the basis for the 1920 silent film version starring John Barrymore, which I watched to kick off the LUCY writing.
We meet Millicent (played by the lovely Martha Mansfield) for the first time in a parlor full of people, awaiting her beloved Jekyll who is to arrive for dinner. On the way to dinner, Jekyll stops by the clinic for the poor he runs and gets swept up working with the sick and needy because he's such a good person. He winds up missing dinner altogether. Later, he blows her off a few more times, and then - as Mr. Hyde - threatens her life. In the end, she's told Hyde killed Jekyll but not that they're the same guy.
Adaptations of J&H usually end on the same note, the fiancee character weeping over the body of her dead beloved. Its a downer.
Over the years, she's had many names, this woman who doesn't exist - Alice Leigh, Agnes Carew, Muriel Carew, Bea Emery, and in the Broadway musical production she was first Lisa Carew and finally Emma Carew. It's the musical that I know best, that made me think of her as a character when I was brainstorming this series, and in truth she might have been called Emma had I not just put out a book with "Emma" in the title. She's usually always the daughter of Sir Danvers Carew, a convenient vehicle since Danvers is important and when he dies, killed by Hyde, it's tidy for her to be a prime reason for Jekyll's despair. When I was outlining the series, I needed a Maiden to play the Lucy role in Mina's tale, which fell before the Jekyll story, and thus - she became Lucy.
Originally, there were only going to be four Maidens - Christine, Mina, and Esme were obvious choices, and Elizabeth was a happy realization - but Jekyll & Hyde wouldn't leave my head, and so Lucy who doesn't exist demanded to be part of it and to be heard.
You'll get her volume of MAIDENS & MONSTERS this fall.