An afternoon with D.M. Pulley, winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

IMG_2606[1]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.

dm pulley*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 3

*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.

IMG_2614[1]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?

17 thoughts on “An afternoon with D.M. Pulley, winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    Time alone is so important! This sounds like a fun event. I haven’t read the book – this is actually the first time I’ve heard of it. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more about the author in the future.

  2. Kay says:

    I think the book looks good (just went and looked it up) and I bet her talk was really interesting. The whole idea of safety deposit boxes that are discovered locked – what might be in them? Secrets?

    And I think taking time for yourself is always a good idea. It lets you come back to your routine refreshed and relaxed. Good for you!

  3. Sarah says:

    I’ve read the book. I had a hard time putting it down. It’s suspenseful. It’s also very genuine, I felt as though each scene could have really happened. The characters are realistic, when I was done with the book I almost felt like I was leaving a friend behind. I hope she will write more books.

  4. Rita H DuffyGal says:

    Thanks so much for showcasing the author– kudos to her for her win– and for giving us some background here. I love to read about how authors get their plot ideas. She has had an interesting life so far and I look forward to picking up her book soon!

  5. Literary Feline says:

    I think I may have her book in my TBR collection. 🙂 How exciting that you got to go! Most of the good ones are not close enough for me to go to without making major plans, unfortunately. You just reminded me though that the L.A. Times Festival of Books should be coming up next month. I hope we can go again!

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