I’ve always tried to attend author signings in the area but timing is a struggle. I decided to make more of an effort because I always enjoy them and I like to support the local book scene (yes, Cleveland has a book scene ;)). The Cuyahoga Public Library system is so good at bringing authors in to the libraries and last week I visited a branch 15 minutes away because I needed the time to myself (I could make up a better reason but honesty is okay here, right?) AND the local mystery-thriller looked just up my alley.
I haven’t read The Dead Key BUT D.M. Pulley (pen name) was so delightful at her first author talk that I am really looking forward to starting the book. I’m not sure how many people were there. When I sat down there were maybe 35 but who knows how many filtered in after that. She was so outgoing, well-spoken, and prepared that the audience was charmed. I heard more that one attendee say that it way the best author talk they had attended. Hm, a few highlights?
*She beat out 10,000 other writers for the top Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The book took 8 months to write and almost 4 years to edit. She was at her uncle’s funeral when she found out she had won, surrounded by family.
*She graduated from Case Western Reserve University and went to work as an engineer, but she didn’t fit in with the culture at work. Her slides were fun 🙂
*She then went into forensic engineering, historical preservation. She showed some photos of her hanging from the highest buildings in Cleveland and I was impressed and frightened. My fear of high open spaces made me antsy just seeing them on-screen. She’s a gutsy woman with a very cool job.
*The book is based on her experience at an abandoned bank in downtown Cleveland. When she got to see the basement vault in 2001 there were safety deposit boxes, both hanging open and locked shut, and this was the spark that led her to write the book after having her second child.
*After she won the Amazon contest she was contacted by a local photographer who had taked pictures of the vault before renovation. One of those pictures was used for the cover and another is the one that Pulley said looked like what had been living in her mind all those years. A story waiting to be told.
*You can see pictures and more about the idea for the book here and see a short interview with her on the local news here.
I am really looking forward to reading the book and would highly recommend seeing her in person if you can. She’s smart woman who appreciates the opportunity she’s been given. Her local appearances are here but here’s the NPR link if you can’t make it to one.
So, has anyone read it yet?