Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

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?

March 13, 2015 - Posted by | Book signings


  1. 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.

    Comment by BermudaOnion | March 13, 2015 | Reply

    • Hope to get to the book in the next few months so I’ll let you know 🙂

      Comment by stacybuckeye | March 13, 2015 | Reply

  2. 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!

    Comment by Kay | March 13, 2015 | Reply

    • She said she often got to go around these creepy abandoned buildings on her own. Can you imagine the stories?

      Comment by stacybuckeye | March 13, 2015 | Reply

  3. As one of the 10,000 she beat out, I’m glad she represented herself so well.

    Comment by snoozing on the sofa | March 13, 2015 | Reply

    • At least she’s a midwest representative? I apologize for not reading one of your books yet. I rarely use my Nook and the last few times I’ve picked it up it didn’t work and since I rarely use it haven’t bothered to figure out why! I started it and liked it 🙂

      Comment by stacybuckeye | March 13, 2015 | Reply

      • Ah . . . should’ve gotten a Kindle. I guess that old B&N bug hangs on to some longer than others.

        Comment by snoozing on the sofa | March 13, 2015

      • Yep, and I’m not ready to become an Amazon enabler. I have stopped calling them the devil but that’s as far as I’ll go!

        Comment by stacybuckeye | March 13, 2015

      • Baby steps . . .

        Comment by snoozing on the sofa | March 13, 2015

  4. Aren’t author events just the best?

    Comment by Lloyd Russell | March 13, 2015 | Reply

  5. 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.

    Comment by Sarah | March 13, 2015 | Reply

  6. 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!

    Comment by Rita H DuffyGal | March 13, 2015 | Reply

  7. 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!

    Comment by Literary Feline | March 16, 2015 | Reply

  8. um, I can’t figure out what book you are talking about , where did I miss it? help!!!

    Comment by Care | March 21, 2015 | Reply

    • sigh. Why didn’t the first 100 people that stopped by mention this? Thanks Carrie, I fixed it! It’s The Dead Key.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | March 21, 2015 | Reply

  9. […] 2015 I had the opportunity to hear Pulley speak (wrote about it here) and the talk made me excited to read the book (the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Award winner). So […]

    Pingback by The Dead Key by DM Pulley « Stacy's Books | January 12, 2017 | Reply

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