Here is some news about the possibility of a Bubble Gum Thief movie. You can read the article in The Cincinnati Enquirer here.
-Alice Gregory, from Anorexia, the Impossible Subject, in The New Yorker.
One of the reasons I was interested in depicting Dagny’s anorexia in The Bubble Gum Thief is that genre fiction gave me a chance to attempt exactly what Alice Gregory is talking about here. If I were using Dagny in contemporary literary fiction, the focus of the story would probably be about Dagny’s struggles with anorexia, which meant that anorexia would have to entertain the reader and keep him or her engaged. That would require either embellishment or romanticization. In a mystery/thriller, murders do that heavy lifting, which means that Dagny’s anorexia can exist as it actually would—as a facet of her personality that doesn’t define who she is, even though it affects how she lives.
When I wrote my first outline for The Bubble Gum Thief, Dagny wasn’t anorexic, and her character felt empty and flat. I thought about the protagonists of other thrillers that I loved, and the flaws that made them feel real. Some were alcoholics; some liked to gamble. Some just couldn’t get along with authority. None of that seemed like Dagny to me. (Maybe, maybe some of the last one, but that wasn’t enough).
If your thriller is set in the real world, it should feel like the real world, and the people in it should feel like real people. People tend to think anorexia is something that happens to young women in high school or college, but it’s increasingly common with women in their thirties (like Dagny) and beyond. As I delved more into Dagny’s character, I began to wonder whether Dagny might be anorexic.
Since I’m not a woman suffering from an eating disorder, it seemed terribly presumptuous to think that I could write about a woman suffering from an eating disorder. I watched videos about anorexia; I read medical studies about it. I went to the library and checked out every memoir about eating disorders I could find. Many of the women who wrote these memoirs were extremely intelligent and ambitious—just like Dagny.
I got to a point where I felt that I could relate enough to the impulses underlying anorexia and the emotions surrounding it to do it justice. Readers can judge for themselves how successful I was at capturing Dagny’s eating disorder, or balancing it with the plot of the book, but I believe the choice to take on this affliction as part of Dagny’s character was correct. Again, eating disorders exist in real life, and should therefore be present in some depictions of reality. Moreover, extending awareness about these disorders might make people more observant about those in their own lives who might need help.
I currently have the #1 book on the Kindle charts in Australia, and I don’t know why. But whatever the reason, it’s very, very cool.
I thought it might be interesting to readers to see how a book cover is designed. Here is the evolution of the cover of The Bubble Gum Thief. The title of the book sounds like a kids story, so the cover had to make it clear that it was not.
My publisher, Thomas & Mercer, is fantastic about seeking input from their authors, taking suggestions and changes, and making sure the author is pleased with the result. You can click on the images to get my thoughts about each design.
Books by the Banks, the region’s premier book festival, brings literature to life through programs and activities for all ages. Books by the Banks is free and open to the public. Attendees can meet local and nationally known authors and illustrators and purchase autographed copies of their work. The Cincinnati area has a long history as a community that appreciates and values books and reading, annually earning distinction as one of “America’s Most Literate Cities.” Books by the Banks embraces the region’s love for literature, books, and reading. Books by the Banks inaugural event was held November 3, 2007, at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati. In 2014, Books by the Banks will debut outdoors on the Ohio riverbanks with anticipated 10,000 attendees and numerous local partners.
Books by the Banks takes place Saturday, October 12, at the Duke Convention Center. It’s free. And I’ll be there from 10 am to 4 pm, signing books and talking to fans, or if no one wants to talk to me or have me sign anything, sitting alone, pretending to attend to important matters on my phone, quietly sobbing.
Early this morning, The Bubble Gum Thief hit #66 on the Kindle charts, a new US high. (It made it to #2 in the UK, and #7 in France.). Does this mean I am now a rich and successful author? No. But it means that more people will be reading my book, and that’s fantastic.
You can get The Bubble Gum Thief through the Amazon Local app for only $1 during this special promotion.
Bouchercon 2013 is in Albany, New York from September 19-22. I have two events lined up at the conference:
1. On Saturday (the 21st), between 1:50-2:45, I’ll be participating on a panel in Room 4 entitled “Don’t Worry Baby-Trust Me I’m an Author (telling lies for a living).”
2. I have an “Author’s Choice Session” earlier that day, between 11:30 and noon, in Room 5. In these sessions, authors can talk about whatever they want. Now I just need to decide what I want to talk about.
I’ll generally be around throughout the conference, in the unlikely event that anyone wants me to sign a book or anything.
Still hanging with some good company in France.
It’s been a nice day for The Bubble Gum Thief in France. #1 Mystery & Thriller, #1 book in English, Peaked at #7 overall in the Kindle ebook store.
(Click photos above to enlarge)