"DO NOT BITE AT THE BAIT OF PLEASURE, TILL YOU KNOW THERE IS NO HOOK BENEATH IT." - THOMAS JEFFERSON
The beginning of last year was the start to a very humbling experience. One year ago to this date, after spending over four years writing my first novel, my debut crime-thriller novel, The Fisherman's Lily was published by TouchPoint Press. Some of you may have heard about it, or may have also read it (which I very much so kindly thank you from the bottom of my heart!), but what some of you may not know is the origination of the story. Where it comes from. What made me finally want to put my metaphorical pen down to paper. And with today being my one year anniversary, I wanted to fill my readers with more details about the story behind the written story.
So where on Earth did I get this idea from? Well, it all starts back when I was just a teenager. While in high school I took a creative writing class. The teacher read a short story of mine and afterward insisted that I “should be a writer.” I’ve been writing ever since. I initially wrote several more short stories before taking an immediate interest in poetry. Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Butler Yeats were like long-lost friends to me during my teenage angst. When a few of my poems were published while in high school and in college, that sparked a deeper passion to perhaps take my writing a bit more seriously.
I began working on a memoir for several years before putting it on the back burner because I felt like I had a lot more to accomplish before completing an enormous project of that kind of magnitude. That and it's deeply personal to write about. That's when a lightbulb went off in my head. Why not take a stab (ha, ha I'm #punny) at fiction? And more in particular: crime fiction. How come? Not long ago, and initially wanting a career within law enforcement, I took it upon myself to receive a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University. After obtaining my degree, I moved to New York City to continue pursuing my career as a police officer. But two weeks before entering the police academy, I felt I wasn't being true to my heart. For whatever reason, even with good intentions, it didn't feel right. I also wanted to fall in love, get married and have children, but I wasn't going to share my life with someone if I was in that kind of profession. I would've chosen to only be married to the job. Something was still pulling at my heart's strings. That's when I started ferociously writing every night, just to get the ick out of me and what was going on in my life. It didn't take long before I realized I wanted to change careers to pursue my ambitions as a writer, and very quickly was inspired to write about what almost could have been. And the best part? Writing fiction of course!
So, what is my book about? Lily Dietz, is an attractive New York homicide detective who doesn’t take crap from anyone. Her career is hindered by her psychological and physical frailties. Apart from being a borderline alcoholic she is close to being a full-blown manic depressive. With her partner John Fremont, Lily becomes engrossed in the hunt to catch a killer who favors Asian-American women – a category she herself falls into. As the race to unmask the murderer gathers pace, Lily must prevent herself from turning from hunter into prey.
The Fisherman's Lily is like an onion. It has many layers. I would describe the novel to be a mixture of police procedural, detective fiction, thriller/suspense and a family saga. It is dark crime and I would not say it is for everyone (it can get quite gruesome) but other parts of the novel discuss the complexity of our emotions and the human condition, such as feelings of anger, guilt, redemption, sadness … love. And how it all correlates within the relationships we have with others and ourselves.
Here's a fun random fact about my book: I'm a proud German Shepherd owner and in general, a dog lover. I love the breed so much I felt compelled to create a dog character in the book, Cuffs, Lily's beloved K-9 working-line GSD. He is her shadow, her confidant and best friend. It wasn't until after completing The Fisherman's Lily when my real-life dog, MaQ, came into our lives. Now he is my personal cheerleader, muse and hero. ♥
GIVEAWAY ALERT! Are you into crime fiction? Like the thrill of the chase? Perhaps you're a natural-born bookworm who's looking for something a little different from your usual reading? In honor of this special day I'm doing a book giveaway to one lucky reader! To enter your chance of winning a free, signed paperback copy of The Fisherman's Lily go on my Instagram page (@suzannespiegoski) and just follow the rules. :)
Got questions about my book or my writing? Leave comments below! I love interacting with new readers and other like-minded blogs, and of course, I can't leave out the familiar faces! Thank you so much for your continued love and support. I am forever grateful for you!
Thanks for stopping by and reading more about my life and my work. Don't forget to go on Instagram and enter your chance to win a free copy of The Fisherman's Lily!