A Book that Changed My Life - 9 muses photo
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The Black Hour
Lori Rader-Day

Choose one book to wave in front of the camera? No pressure. I considered bringing my original copies of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, both of them with my name written in giant, elementary school cursive inside the front cover. Or a book from Lois Duncan, Agatha Christie, or Mary Higgins Clark, the three women who turned me into a mystery reader. Or a copy of one of the books that helped me find the kinds of stories I wanted to write: Flannery O’Connor, Annie Proulx, Gillian Flynn. I really went through the shelves for this.

But of course the book that changed my life the most is the one I wrote. The Black Hour came out last year, the culmination of a lifetime of dreams and about eight years of real commitment, actual put-up-or-shut-up: writing, revising, connecting, and now, at Printers Row, promoting and selling. Before The Black Hour, I wanted to be an author. Now, I am. Being published doesn’t solve all your problems, but it’s rewarding to talk to readers, and now I get to be the one to encourage other writers.