The Victim’s Ball

The Victim's BallWhen Lucienne Reneault receives an invitation to a Bal des Victimes, a masquerade dance in honor of those aristocrats who have been guillotined, she believes it must have been a mistake.  Of two things she is certain, however: she will attend the ball.  And she will have her revenge.

Writing Process

(Nanowrimo 2017)


A Tumblr post was the main inspiration for this novel.  I had never heard of the victim’s balls, and the idea fascinated me.  I did a little research and discovered that it’s very unlikely these balls took place.  I couldn’t shake the image of a girl dressed in a white gown with a red ribbon around her neck walking into ball looking to murder someone, and so this novel was born.


In order to get into the mindset for this time period, I had to listen to a lot of classical, baroque music.

This playlist, A Gilded Age, was originally for a different story, set in 17th century Italy.  You can listen over on 8tracks.

  • Sarah Brightman – Gothica/Fleurs du Mal
  • Interview with the Vampire soundtrack – Lestat’s Recitative
  • Olivier Beaumont – Lee Rigg, A Scots Tune with 3 variations and a Gigg in A major
  • Alexandre Desplot (from the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack) – The Meadow
  • Daniel Lecht (from the Dexter soundtrack) – Blood Theme for Piano
  • Proxenos Papias – The Endless Library
  • Marie Antoinette soundtrack – Les Barricades Mysterious
  • Dustin O’Halloran – Opus 28
  • Johann Johannsson – Here They Used to Build Ships
  • Daniel Versano – Gnossiennes No. 1
  • Johnny Hollow – Alchemy
  • Marie Antoinette soundtrack – K. 213
  • Secret Garden – Song from a Secret Garden

I made this playlist, Bal des Victimes, specifically for The Victim’s Ball.  You can listen over on Spotify.

  • Hans Zimmer (from the DaVinci Code soundtrack) – Malleus Maleficarum
  • The Gladiator soundtrack – Secrets
  • Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor
  • Mozart – Requiem: Lacrimosa
  • Erutan – Transylvanian Lullaby
  • Camille Saint-Saens – Danse Macabre, Op. 40
  • Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
  • Tom Waits – Russian Dance
  • Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
  • Vanessa Mae – Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

These Spotify playlists were also “instrumental” in writing The Victim’s Ball:


Robiquet, Jean.  Daily life in the French Revolution. Translated from the French by James Kirkup. New York : The Macmillan Company, 1965.

Schechter, Ronald. “Gothic Thermidor: The Bals des victimes, the Fantastic, and the Production of Historical Knowledge in Post-Terror France.” Representations, No. 61, Special Issue: Practices of Enlightenment (University of California Press, Winter 1998), pp. 78- 94.

Cover Story & Working Titles


The first draft was titled “The Red Ribbon” in reference to the red ribbon worn by guests at Victim’s Balls, which symbolized the guillotine.  I changed the title because in the end, the red ribbon was not a major theme.