London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself-working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumours about her father′s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true. Juliet is accompanied by the doctor′s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father′s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island′s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father′s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father′s genius-and madness-in her own blood.
Q&A with Megan Shepherd
1.) The Madman's Daughter is a re-imagining of The Island Of Dr Moreau. Why did you want to re-tell this story?
I had first read THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU when I was a teenager. After watching the TV show LOST, I decided to write a book set on a mysterious island, and it made me remember HG Wells' novella. I re-read it for pleasure and realized the themes were still very relevant today, and that there would be potential to do a spin on that story from a new character's perspective.
2.) In what ways is The Madman's Daughter different from H.G. Wells’ novel?
The main character of MADMAN, Juliet Moreau, wasn't present in Wells' novella. MADMAN is Juliet's story, following her from her early life in London to when she travels to her father's island, so her internal struggles, her past, the romance, the father-daughter relationship, is new. Though some of the characters, such as Montgomery and Edward, are present in Wells' novella, I think you'll find their characters and backstory quite different in MADMAN.
3.) Could you introduce us to your main character Juliet? What is she like?
Juliet has never been like other proper young girls--even as a child, she was fascinated by science, was able to stomach things other girls couldn't, and was frustrated that her father ignored her talents. As she learns the true, disturbing nature of her father, she's afraid she's cursed to go mad like him. She struggles between dark curiosities she can't deny and a warm heart that truly cares about people.
4.) The Madman's Daughter is the first in a trilogy – will the other books be re-imaginings too? And which stories will you be re-telling?
The sequels to MADMAN are also inspired by classics, THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE, and FRANKENSTEIN, although they are less a retelling of those specific plots, but rather deal more with re-examining the science and themes in those books.
5.) What three words would best describe The Madman's Daughter?
Haunting, Gothic, romantic.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today Megan! I love LOST so I'm happy to hear it inspired some of this story, I love mysterious islands. I'll be getting around to reading The Madman's Daughter very soon and I can't wait!