A BRADFORD-born author drew inspiration from her northern roots for her third novel.

Jess Kitching, who now lives in Sydney, Australia, is celebrating the release of her thriller Lucky Number 11.

The book veers into darker territory than her first two books and Jess spoke of how growing up in Bradford – where the horrific crimes of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe remain etched in the memories of many – informed the plot.

She said: “I realised how much growing in Bradford and around Yorkshire impacted writing the story.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lucky Number 11Lucky Number 11 (Image: Submitted)

“It [the Sutcliffe case] was one of the first things I looked at when I was researching. I felt when I grew up in Bradford, everybody had a story about that time or someone who can tell you about it.

“I wasn’t born at that time, but you still have such an awareness of it and then as a woman, thinking about how some of the victims were treated and how the case was handled.”

Jess added: “It’s about a girl called Hannah who, when she was 14, was abducted by a serial killer called Peter Harris.

“She was supposed to be his 11th victim, but she ended up being his only survivor and 10 years later, she’s gone through therapy, she’s part of a support group for survivors and she’s ready to move on with her life, but then a true crime book about the crimes comes out and it brings everything back up for her.

“When the book comes out, someone basically uses it as an instruction manual for murder and they start copying the crimes. It’s quite dark.

“This is probably the idea I’ve had for the longest time and always had on the back burner.”

Jess, 29, touched on how her own experience of sexual assault as a teenager played a part in the book.

“Putting it in a book was a really good way to talk about it," she said.

She described the experience as being a therapeutic one and added: “I remember when it happened, I didn’t tell anyone for two years, but now it’s almost reclaiming your voice within a story and being able to be like ‘your dreams don’t have to end’.

“That felt quite important to me. It was a really difficult thing to write, but I’ve got some of the early reviews and they have just been more than I could hope for.”

Over the years, there has been a huge push to ensure the victims of Peter Sutcliffe are remembered and, in a similar vein, Jess wants to re-centre thrillers so survivors’ stories are told, and the focus is on their resilience rather than glamourising the perpetrators.

While the book explores dark themes, Jess has added northern warmth into the novel.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jess KitchingJess Kitching (Image: Submitted)

She said: “There are characters in the story that are really good friends to my main character – northern people are the friendliest in the world.”

And what’s next for Jess? Her third book will be coming out on audiobook, along with her first two books. She is also hoping for some more translation deals.

Jess said: “It’s a dream come true. I always think if eight-year-old me could see me now, it’d be amazing.

“It’s incredible."

Lucky Number 11 is released today (August 25).