So it was no surprise that I missed Mrs. Littlefield calling us to circle time when I was so close to the end of my book. In third grade, though, tattle-tales abound, and another student soon pointed me out to Mrs. Littlefield. Sternly she called me over to her chair, where she was surrounded by the entire class. Her grim demeanor changed, however, when she saw my face streaked with tears. "What's the matter?" she asked. Sobbing, I jerkily informed her that I had just finished Old Yeller. She dropped her own book, opened her arms, and pulled me close. "Well, then, that makes perfect sense," she told me. "We all cry at Old Yeller."
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
This feels like a trick question, since Bury The Lead is all about connections, both real and manipulated. Which is fair, because I only have a trick answer. At face value, my work is primarily composed of stand-alone novels and poetry. However, the questions addressed by all of them are the same. How does love alter us and our reality? What is truth? What price will we pay for liberty - and can we even define what liberty is? What makes us human, and at what point do we leave our humanity behind? I write in many genres, but the questions - those tricky connections - remain the same.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Never let it be said I came late to my melodramatic sensibilities. I was in junior high when I first noted that my great - and ever unrequited - love, who was also a writer, was carrying around a big red-and-black hardbound book everywhere he went. Since true love means reading all the same books (yes, I scoured his library card records, and yes, I was a scary little stalker,) I of course set myself to discovering what it was. It turned out to be Roget's International Thesaurus, Fourth Edition. I saved up my birthday money and bought a copy of my own at the mall bookstore. I quickly discovered its many magical properties, and to this day, it sits ever at my side as I work. Most of the time I find that the word I want is the one already in hand, but just the flavor and feel of the words, sliding over my lips and into my mind, are a delight. And sometimes whole stories arise from the invocation of a single word.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BURY THE LEAD
PYSCHOLOGICAL THRILLER TAKES A SATIRICAL VIEW AT THE BALANCE BETWEEN OBJECTIVE TRUTH, THE FREE PRESS, AND THE POWER OF MEDIA
A highly unreliable narrator proceeds from toying with the people in his small town to framing himself for the murder of his missing girlfriend.
Weekly newspaper editor Jeff Paine's mind is filled with the detritus of newspaper clippings, presidential tweets, crossword puzzles, and horoscopes. When his artist girlfriend Ada Grigori announces her intention to leave him, he becomes obsessed with finding—or manufacturing—connections between otherwise unrelated events. Driven by professional curiosity and unrelenting cynicism, Paine uses his newspaper to manipulate the people of his hometown Brisby, Colorado into revealing the ugliness lurking beneath their placid exteriors.
A series of gruesome dog mutilations already have the town on edge when Paine’s carefully worded and technically factual stories stir up vigilante justice against a harmless old homeless man. Spurred on by the unexpected ease of his success, Paine sets his sights on exploiting the town’s hidden prejudices for financial gain and his own amusement. Meanwhile, no one but Paine notices that a young transient man has gone missing.
Exasperated with the plasticity of public sentiment and consumed by his own search for truth, in Cassondra Windwalker’s psychological thriller, Bury the Lead [Black Spot Books, September 4, 2018] narrator Jeff Paine creates a trail of evidence that will ultimately both convict him of murder and set him free on appeal. The public will never know the truth of what became of Ada or of the young transient Brett, but the reader will have all the answers…if she can decipher them.
Bury The Lead draws readers into the mind of a brilliant but highly unreliable narrator, forcing them to call into question their own perceptions of objective truth and the existence of a free press in a world where an unsubstantiated tweet can carry more power than an investigative report.
“Journalism was my first love as a writer. I founded, edited, and wrote for the school newspaper in my Oklahoma junior high,” says Windwalker. “I even worked for a while at a weekly newspaper—just like Jefferson Paine’s The Herald in Bury the Lead.”
Bury the Lead will be available in paperback and e-book formats through all major retailers and distributors on September 4, 2018.
ISBN (print): 978-09997423-6-5
ISBN (ebook): 978-0-9997423-7-2
Pre-order Bury the Lead today from Black Spot Books or on Amazon.
ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES OF BURY THE LEAD AVAILABLE ON NETGALLEY