THE HEARTLESS CITY

Find it on Goodreads and Amazon!




Henry Jekyll was a brilliant doctor, a passionate idealist who aimed to free mankind of selfishness and vice. He’s also the man who carelessly created a race of monsters.

Once shared secretly among the good doctor’s inner circle, the Hyde drug was smuggled into mass-production - but in pill form, it corrupted its users at the genetic level, leaving them liable to transform without warning. A quarter of the population are now clandestine killers - ticking bombs that could detonate at any given moment.

It’s 1903, and London has been quarantined for thirteen years.

Son of the city’s most prominent physician and cure-seeker, seventeen-year-old Elliot Morrissey has had his own devastating brush with science, downing a potion meant to remove his human weaknesses and strengthen him against the Hydes - and finding instead he’s become an empath, leveled by the emotions of a dying city.

He finds an unlikely ally in Iris Faye, a waitress at one of the city’s rowdier music halls, whose emotions nearly blind him; her fearlessness is a beacon in a city rife with terror. Iris, however, is more than what she seems, and reveals a mission to bring down the establishment that has crippled the people of London.

Together, they aim to discover who’s really pulling the strings in Jekyll’s wake, and why citizens are waking up in the street infected, with no memory of ever having taken the Hyde drug…

Heart-eating monsters, it turns out, are not the greatest evil they must face.

THE HEARTLESS CITY PLAYLIST!

Welcome to the Playlist for THE HEARTLESS CITY! First, I'll list the songs, and then I'll go into detail about each one and give a link. :)

"Uninvited," Alanis Morissette
"St. Teresa," Joan Osborne
"Do I Wanna Know?" Arctic Monkeys
"How," Lisa Loeb
"A Field Below," Regina Spektor
"Glory and Gore," Lorde
"Trouble me," 10,000 Maniacs
"The Pineapple Rag" and "The Weeping Willow Rag"
"Penguin," Christina Perri
"I Won't Give Up," Jason Mraz
"Yes, Anastasia," Tori Amos
"Spectrum," Florence and the Machine

"Uninvited," Alanis Morissette
Whenever I imagine a trailer for the movie version of the book, I imagine this song playing. Its haunting opening and eventual build to a rocking climax mirror the tone and feeling of the novel's rising action.




"St. Teresa," Joan Osborne
I hear this song in my head when I think of Elliot sneaking through the alley on his way to the music hall at the start of Chapter 1. The lyrics are about a drug addict looking for a fix, but it fits with Elliot in a way, because although he isn't a drug addict, he is - at that point - using alcohol to ease the pain of his "affliction." I also feel that the dark, smoky, desperate tone of the song exemplifies the state of quarantined London at that point.



"Do I Wanna Know?" Arctic Monkeys
Whenever I hear this song, I think of the scene in Chapter 1 where Cam and Elliot meet at the music hall. It's aching, dirty feel matches the place and lyrically it always makes me think of Cam and his feelings.




"How," Lisa Loeb
This song makes me think of Iris, especially when she's walking home after meeting Elliot. It's beautiful and thoughtful and it captures her surprise and even discomfort with meeting someone who seems to understand her so deeply.




"A Field Below," Regina Spektor
Another poignant and wistful song, one that makes me think of Virginia. I can see this song playing as she looks out from her flat in quarantined London, longing for the open fields and safety she knew back in Kansas.




"Glory and Gore," Lorde
This song always makes me think of Philomena - and of life at Buckingham Palace, where she and most of the characters live. The rough, battle-like feel of the song fits with the cut-through social atmosphere of the palace, and lines like "Let me in the ring" and "you can try and take us/but victory's contagious" make me think of Philomena's attitude about life.




"Trouble Me," 10,000 Maniacs
Since this song is about someone offering to share someone else's emotional burdens, it definitely makes me think of Iris and Elliot.




"The Pineapple Rag" and "The Weeping Willow Rag"
These are two actual songs that appear in the book. To the characters they are new, exotic, and thrilling "contraband" songs.







"Penguin," Christina Perri
Not only is this a beautiful love song, but it also has a double meaning that becomes clear once you've read the book.




"I Won't Give Up," Jason Mraz
This song ALWAYS makes me think of Andrew's character. Jason Mraz's wise words and chill attitude are very much like Andrew's, and in the context of this book, I think that Andrew would sing this song.




"Yes, Anastasia," Tori Amos
Even though this song is actually about the Russian Revolution and the murder of the Romanovs, it makes me think of Virginia as she sneaks inside London's borders, due to its haunting tone and the phrase, "We'll see how brave you are."




"Spectrum," Florence and the Machine
If the book were a movie, I would imagine this song playing during the epilogue and into the final credits. It fits perfectly with the ending, and Florence's striking, powerful voice reminds me of Philomena, who goes on to star in the sequel.




THE HEARTLESS CITY DREAMCAST!

When I picture the characters from THE HEARTLESS CITY, they look like they did in my mind when I wrote it. That is to say, I don't picture any "real life" people when I think of them - just the original, fictional images I created. However, quite a few people have asked me how I would cast a movie version of the book if one were ever to be made (and I personally think the book would make an GREAT movie, Hollywood agents *wink wink*), so I have come up with my own, personal "dream cast" for the film. It is truly a "dream cast," as some of the actors would have to travel back in time/do some reverse aging to fit the parts, but here it is:

Elliot: Young Leonardo DiCaprio
He would definitely have to go back in time, but Leo would be a great Elliot. They have only slightly similar features, but Leo's so great at expressing the kind of raw, unrestrained, empathic emotion Elliot embodies - especially in this particular gif from Romeo and Juliet, which freakishly mirrors an actual moment in THE HEARTLESS CITY:

Cambrian: Younger-ish Sebastian Stan
Sebastian Stan is not only an incredibly talented actor, as well as unbelievably gorgeous, but he exudes the same kind of arrogant and playful but also haunted and wounded aura Cam exudes.

Iris: Adelaide Kane
adore Adelaide on the CW's Reign - she is such a talented actress that I feel for her and keep watching her story even though the rest of the show (mostly the writing, especially since season 1) is often ridiculous at best. Still, she is such a strong, beautiful and powerful presence that I could hardly picture anyone other than her playing Iris Faye.

Philomena: Sasha Pieterse
And I don't know her as well as an actress, but physically Sasha Pieterse would also make a great Philomena. Plus, she - like Phil - is a singer, and she looks a lot like the person in my own life who first inspired the character.
*UPDATE: In the Dream Cast for The Hypnotic City, I changed Philomena to Chloe Grace Moretz.

Andrew: Eddie Redmayne
It's not just because he's a redhead, honestly. Eddie has the quiet, soothing, bright spirit Andrew needs.

Jennie: Mia Wasikowska 
In any film, she really deserves a bigger part than Jennie, but Mia would be great at displaying her beautiful, hopeful nature.
*UPDATE: In the Dream Cast for The Hypnotic City, I changed Jennie to Chloe Grace Lily James.

I haven't really thought about the adults in the novel - The Lord Mayor, Virginia, etc. - but maybe I will at a later date. What do you guys think? Who do you picture for the parts?

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