In celebration of Deep Roots, I’ve composed a list on Shepherd — The best mysterious classic novels that take place in a grand manor house. I list five novels — check out which ones I chose.
Today is the official publication day for Deep Roots, my fourth novel. Friends and family have told me they have already received their pre-ordered copies over the weekend, so I guess the publication day is actually kind of useless. But hey, it’s still the official day, and it got me in a thinking mood, or more accurately, a calculating mood:
That’s my career so far as a novelist, in strictly numerical terms. The word count is suspect, of course, since I used Microsoft Word’s Word Count feature from the final drafts and added them up. But what’s a few hundred words here and there?
A few positive bits worth mentioning:
- got nice pre-publication reviews from Shelf Awareness and Booklist
- audiobooks will be made of both Deep Roots and Skin Deep
I’m quite excited about #2. The actress Jennifer Sun Bell will be narrating; she read Min Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires, so I’m fortunate to have such a professional lending her voice. The audiobooks will be widely available (via OrangeSky Audio, a subsidiary of Spotify) next month.
My second mystery novel is due out in less than a week! To celebrate its publication, I’ll be putting out some content, such as this one.
Thanks to CrimeReads for featuring an essay on my journey to writing Skin Deep.
One of my greatest thrills as a college student was when I was let into the intermediate-level creative writing workshop. You couldn’t just sign up and walk in—you had to submit a short story good enough for the professor to deem you worthy. That first day, I sat around the rectangular table with my future colleagues and was handed a set of rules for the class. It’s been almost thirty years since I laid eyes on this single xeroxed sheet, but I can still remember one of them: You will not write stories about serial murderers, or even regular murderers.CrimeReads
At My Book, the Movie, I dream up the perfect cast for the film adaptation of Skin Deep. Please, if you have Awkwafina’s and Cate Blanchett’s phone numbers, give them a ring for me.
At largehearted boy, check out the the music for Skin Deep.
There’s even a Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.
There’s a file on my computer with the title MYSTIDEA.TXT. It’s dated 4/27/1993. If someone were to ask me the exact date when I started this book, that’s the date.
There’s another file on my computer titled CH1 — no extension. Not sure how that happened, but the file loads just fine. At the top of that file is another date: 7/16/93. If someone were to ask me the exact date when I wrote the first words of Skin Deep, that’s the date.
Granted, the end product bears little resemblance to my initial notions, but that’s how long it took.
Happy birthday, Skin Deep. That was a very long labor.
To celebrate your entry into the literary world, here’s one of your godparents:
Look for more godparents to drop by as the week progresses, until we celebrate you properly with your book launch.
Skin Deep Virtual Book Launch
with Odyssey Bookstore
Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 7PM–8 PM ET
Thanks to D.M. Barr for taking time to interview me for Skin Deep!
The ad appears about 2 minutes in (around -52:25 if you are using the player above), but I suggest you listen to the whole episode, as it’s excellent. I wasn’t aware of Jasper Fforde before this interview, but I surely do now and am better for it.
COVID may be with us for the foreseeable future, but book readings must go on! Big thanks to Odyssey Bookstore in Ithaca, NY for hosting me.
Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 7 PM – 8 PM ET