In today’s episode, Deborah Goodrich Royce joins me to talk about her latest book, Reef Road. We discuss the personal story behind her book and the role of generational trauma in her writing niche, which she calls “Identity Thrillers.” We also covered the explosion of true crime content and got a sneak peek at some details of her upcoming book. Also, Deborah shares her book recommendations — breaking the format by pairing the old and new books together.
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- A spoiler-free rundown of Reef Road.
- Deborah’s “Identity Thrillers” micro-genre and how it fits her writing style.
- The real-life crime that inspired Reef Road.
- Why Deborah chose to write a fictional story instead of a non-fiction account.
- How she explores generational and conferred trauma.
- The connection between generational trauma and the obsessive researching that motivates amateur sleuths.
- The role of residual trauma in the lives of authors Dominick Dunne and Michelle McNamara.
- The explosion of True Crime content and the public’s fascination with it.
- Deborah shares a story about a recent break-in she experienced and discusses how her thriller author mindset influenced her analysis of the event.
- Some sneak peek details about an upcoming book she’s working on.
- The meta elements about crime fiction in Reef Road.
- The real-life details that helped develop the true crime writer character’s voice in the story.
- How the setting and the COVID lockdown played a pivotal role in the development of the story.
Deborah’s Book Recommendations [33:26]
Two Book PAIRINGS She Loves
- Old Book: The Pursuit of Love; Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford | Amazon | Bookshop.org [33:55]
- New Book: The Mitford Affair by Marie Benedict | Amazon | Bookshop.org [35:53]
- Old Book: Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout | Amazon | Bookshop.org [39:55]
- New Book: Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout | Amazon | Bookshop.org [39:29]
One Book She Didn’t Love
- The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot | Amazon | Bookshop.org [43:27]
One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About
- The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane (May 2, 2023) | Amazon | Bookshop.org [45:44]
Last 5-Star Book Deborah Read
Charming Billy by Alice McDermott | Amazon | Bookshop.org [47:32]
Other Books Mentioned
- Ruby Falls by Deborah Goodrich Royce [1:22]
- Finding Mrs. Ford by Deborah Goodrich Royce [1:28]
- I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara [13:35]
- Unmasked by Paul Holes [13:51]
- Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson [22:42]
- Seven Days in June by Tia Williams [22:59]
- The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles [23:43]
- The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb [26:21]
- 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard [32:42]
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr [33:04]
- The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford [38:13]
- Kind and Usual Punishment by Jessica Mitford [38:16]
- The Sun King by Nancy Mitford [38:35]
- Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford [38:39]
- Middlemarch by George Eliot [43:53]
- Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane [45:59]
- Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry [49:18]
About Deborah Goodrich Royce
Deborah Goodrich Royce’s thrillers examine puzzles of identity. Reef Road hit Publishers Weekly’s Bestseller list, Good Morning America’s Top 15 list, and was an Indie Next pick by the American Booksellers Association for January 2023. Ruby Falls won the Zibby Award for Best Plot Twist in 2021 and Finding Mrs. Ford was hailed by Forbes, Book Riot, and Good Morning America’s “best of” lists in 2019. She began as an actress on All My Children and in multiple films, before transitioning to the role of story editor at Miramax Films, developing Emma and early versions of Chicago and A Wrinkle in Time. With her husband, Chuck, Deborah restored the Avon Theatre, Ocean House Hotel, Deer Mountain Inn, United Theatre, Savoy Bookstore, and numerous Main Street revitalization projects in Rhode Island and the Catskills. She serves on the governing and advisory boards of the American Film Institute, Greenwich International Film Festival, New York Botanical Garden, Greenwich Historical Society, and the PRASAD Project. Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in modern foreign languages and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Lake Erie College.
In two weeks on March 22, author William Landay will be joining me to discuss his new book, All That Is Mine I Carry With Me.
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