In the mood for the macabre (part II) – Amelia Dyer
Early this year, I came across a newspaper story about one of Britain’s most prolific killers; Amelia Dyer. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/amelia-dyer-the-woman-who-murdered-300-babies-8507570.html) I was surprise that I had never heard of her before reading this column. Seeing that she had killed over 300 babies, you’d think she’d be well known like Jack the Ripper and other infamous killers. It’s a fascinating but very gruesome story. The tale of Amelia Dyer is so gloomy it doesn’t read like a factual description. You’d feel like it should belong in the fictional world of horror. Sadly, it’s all true and it all happened in Bristol during the Victorian times.
I was looking for a new challenging project for next year. I wanted to write a short story in the horror genre and when I read the article about Amelia, I just knew I’d found my subject. I’ve decided that the illustration style of this project will follow the same child-friendly, cartoon-like design that I’ve employed in my other projects (see “Agosto, a frightened little acorn” and “My Monster”). My intention is to mix the two opposite genres of horror and humour. A great example of this is Edward Gorey’s book entitled: “The Gashlycrumb Tinies”. It is cruel, gruesome, horrific but at the same time funny, enjoyable, clever and charming plus it took the macabre humour genre to another level. It begins:-
A is for Amy who fell down the stairs,
B is for Basil assaulted by bears,
C is for Clara who wasted away,
D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh …
My story will not be an alphabet book horror tale but I have written the story about Amelia in rhyming verse. If everything goes according to plan, I will make the finished product into a picture book similar to my previous work.