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Get to Know Your Favorite Authors

Claudia Lux | 20 Questions: SIGN HERE


Sign Here
Claudia Lux

AVAILABLE

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November 2022
On Sale: October 25, 2022
Featuring: Harrisons; Peyote Trip
400 pages
ISBN: 0593545761
EAN: 9780593545768
Kindle: B09R6YM68W
Hardcover / e-Book
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Also by Claudia Lux:
Sign Here, November 2022
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1--What is the title of your latest release?

SIGN HERE

2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

The way I tell it goes like this:

Me: Do you want to hear the elevator pitch?

Whomever I’ve cornered: Sure.

Me: It’s about a guy named Peyote Trip–

Them: I’m sorry, what?

Me: –who lives and works in Hell, but Hell is actually more of an office, where consistent discomfort and unpleasantness rules over torture. He works in the Deals Department, so if someone wants to sell their soul, he’s the guy who shows up and does the paperwork, and he’s tracking this one family, from whom he’s gotten four generations of souls. If he gets one more, he’ll get what’s known as a “complete set” and he’ll be promoted, in addition to other motivations you find out about later. (Wink here.) So, the book follows him as he’s following this family while they go on summer vacation in New Hampshire, where all the skeletons in their closets start to come out as the pressure is on to see who will crack first.

Them: Oh my God, this thing happens at my office that is TOTAL HELL–

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

It all started with an insurance commercial. I was watching some streaming service, and my show kept being interrupted by the exact same ad, repeatedly. As I watched it boot up for the millionth time, I said to myself, “this is HELL.” Of course, it was not. It was a nice hotel room. But it got me thinking, which got me asking strangers and friends alike what their versions of Hell would contain. The conversations were so fun and unifying, soon I had a world to explore, and a character to explore it.

I’ll let you and your readers in on a little something extra: for those who want to know more about Peyote’s Hell, I have put the Hell Orientation Packet on my website. It covers things like what happens on each floor, a breakdown of the Deal Department’s lingo and what “KQ” stands for!

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

Absolutely. But I wouldn’t sign anything!

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

A begrudgingly hopeful cynic

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

A lot of people feel very positive about Jägermeister! Also, even if you think you “should” go in another direction, if there is something in the world that you love to do more than anything else, that thing will always pull you back. Trust yourself. Make the thing you love.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

Historically, I’ve waited until I was done. But with the new project I’m working on now, I’m editing as I go, and it’s to my detriment. It’s like my writing brain is intimidated by my editor brain’s loud sighs with every word choice. It would be so helpful if everyone in my head could just get along!

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

Can an indulgence also be something you eat regularly? Because mine would be Kraft Mac and Cheese.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

Wherever I’m living, my desk always has the following front and center:

  • A framed copy of Berryman by W.S. Merwin
  • A polaroid of me at age 11 with my arm around a life-size foam cut out I made of Will Smith and brought to my 12th birthday party, after telling everyone he would be there. A few years ago, I also attached a fortune to the base that says, “keep your goals away from the trolls.”
  • Whatever candle I associate with the book I am currently working on (for SIGN HERE it was Paddywax’s Oscar Wilde candle, and I went through roughly six.)
  • Two jars, one that says “1st line” and one that says “plot.” Every so often I take all the random notes from my phone that aren’t already attached to a specific project and write them down on slips of paper. Whenever I feel stuck, I pull one out from each and have to write a story about whatever comes up.
  • A photo of my mother reading to me as a kid, in which we’re both laughing hysterically.

10--Who is an author you admire?

Brit Bennett. I am in complete awe of her work. It’s staggering.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

Books change my life all the time. It always changes us when we can experience other people’s perspectives, and I feel fiction does that best. When I find myself thinking like a character I’ve been reading--in their cadence, with their preferred words-- it always reminds me of the power of fiction. But the book that changed my life the most, with the longest lasting effect, would probably be Tiny, Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. I learned a lot from that book, about being a writer, a therapist, and a human.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

I started writing novels in 2014. The first one got me my amazing agent, Lucy Cleland, but it was only the third one, SIGN HERE, that got picked up. Lucy started by sending the manuscript to just one editor, Jen Monroe at Berkley. That was on a Friday afternoon, and Monday morning we got the call. It happened to be my 34th birthday. So, as I was playing lawn games in a party hat, Lucy would work her agent magic, call me back with updates, get my take, call Jen back, and so on. Then we all got on a zoom call. I was fully shaking, but immediately felt a connection with Jen and knew I wanted to work with her. Later that afternoon, Lucy and I got the call with the two-book offer, asking for exclusive rights. It was the most exciting day of my life, hands down. I still have the hat!

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

Any and all fiction, the weirder the better. Also, a lot of contemporary poetry.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

Book Smart and Earth Girls are Easy. Not kidding on that last one.

15--What is your favorite season?

Fall. Even all these years out of school, it still feels like the beginning of something.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

With a book deal! But for all the years that hadn’t been an option: with friends, games, and, ideally, a body of water.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Recent to me, at least:  Letterkenny/Save Yourselves! /Rufi Thorpe’s The Knockout Queen/BBC’s Hunting Warhead or anything by AudioChuck.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Italian or Japanese.

19--What do you do when you have free time?

Hold my dog’s face and tell him how handsome he is.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

Another twisty ride of dark and sincere humor!

SIGN HERE by Claudia Lux

Sign Here

Peyote Trip has a pretty good gig in the deals department on the fifth floor of Hell. Sure, none of the pens work, the coffee machine has been out of order for a century, and the only drink on offer is Jägermeister, but Pey has a plan—and all he needs is one last member of the Harrison family to sell their soul.

When the Harrisons retreat to the family lake house for the summer, with their daughter Mickey’s precocious new friend, Ruth, in tow, the opportunity Pey has waited a millennium for might finally be in his grasp. And with the help of his charismatic coworker Calamity, he sets a plan in motion.

But things aren’t always as they seem, on Earth or in Hell. And as old secrets and new dangers scrape away at the Harrisons’ shiny surface, revealing the darkness beneath, everyone must face the consequences of their choices.

 

Thriller Paranormal - Supernatural | Thriller Psychological [Penguin Books, On Sale: October 25, 2022, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780593545768 / eISBN: 9780593545782]

Buy SIGN HEREAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | Walmart.com | Book Depository | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Claudia Lux

I’m Claudia. If y’all like any of the following things: atypical thought experiments on hell, other people’s family drama, mysteries, lakes in summertime, comparing pet peeves, cult tell-alls or cringe-worthy celebrity baby names, then my debut novel SIGN HERE might be just the book for you! I’m also a social worker with a master’s degree from UT Austin, an auntie to five of the most awesome kids on the planet, and a very (perhaps excessively?) proud owner of the all-time best dog.

WEBSITE |

 

 

 

Comments

1 comment posted.

Re: Claudia Lux | 20 Questions: SIGN HERE

Nice article
(Lhr Melbourne 6:28am October 26)

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