Ross School - Senior Project 2013


Student: Joana Coelho

Mentor: Therese Lichtenstein

Domains: English

Faculty Grader: Alexandra Cromwell


Documentation of Product


Title: Tick Tock

Summary:  A psychological thriller, Tick Tock is the story of Jaclyn Cunningham, a contradictory, sarcastic, insightful, and somewhat ridiculous woman, whose life's ambition is to bring her community together – by being a serial killer of course.  Straight from the shores of the fictional Greek island of Koinonia, this female protagonist strives to show her point of view to her interrogator, Officer John Pedesto.  In over 200 pages and 24 hours of dialogue, these two individuals form a tight bond in the confines of the gray interrogation room.  Drawing from the ideas of Plato, John Locke, and Stephen King, this tale stresses the importance of community, trust, understanding, and finding one’s place in the world.


Front Cover (Designed by Aiyana Jaffe)


Back Cover (Designed by Myself)


Inner Cover (Designed by Clark Hamilton)


Final Draft


Exhibition & Presentation Summary


For my Senior Project, I decided to build off of my studies of Jack the Ripper from my modernity project and create a novella about a female serial killer.  As one of the “Jack the Ripper” suspects was actually a woman, nicknamed Jill the Ripper, I wanted to tell her story. However, I found as time went on that I had about as much power over my characters as a pedestrian has over a drunk driver.  Jaclyn is unprecedented and I had such a great time listening to her and writing down her story.  My biggest fear is that I did not do her tale justice.  The end product became a 90 page novella and a story filled with twists, turns, and characters that gives you a greater insight into who Jaclyn is, who she was, and who she wants to be.


Presentation:  Senior Project Presentation (Notes Included)


Recording of My Presentation: “Tick Tock” by Joana Coelho from Ross School on Vimeo


Works Consulted


(Author’s Note: During the summer, I read two books to better prepare me for the task of becoming a writer.  These books are listed below.)


King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000. Print.


Welty, Eudora. On Writing. New York: Modern Library, 2002. Print.