BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - I spoke with Baton Rouge attorney Michael Rubin before he caught a plane to New York so that he could be introduced as a debut novelist at ThrillerFest, a large thriller fan convention.
Rubin won the only award that an industry magazine gives to a thriller/suspense novel by independent and university book publishers. Foreward Reviews Magazine said "The INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards are more than just a shiny sticker on the front of a book; they help connect the best indie books to readers eager to discover new stories written by previously unknown authors."
Rubin is very busy connecting to a voracious readers market for mystery/thriller/suspense novels. His book, "Cottoncrest Curse," was published by LSU Press in September 2014. I saw Mike give his talk on the historical context of his book at the Louisiana Book Festival last fall. I might add "hysterical" to the description because Rubin has a delightful dry wit and added humor to his talk.
"The question is, is the plantation for all these people? The aristocrat, the former slaves, the merchants, the sharecroppers, the local townsfolk all cursed because the owners over the generations have committed suicide?" And that is the plot. Rubin laughed and said, "There are no witches, no vampires, no zombies."
"I wanted to write a book that was a page-turning thriller for families and their history," Rubin said. "Although the murders are fictional, the history is accurate, and was vetted by a historian by the LSU Press."
"We were really flattered to be published by the same house that gave us the Confederacy of Dunces, and The Annotated Edition of 12 Years a Slave," Rubin said. "It took three years from the time LSU press first looked at Cottoncrest Curse to when it came out."
In our time together, I made sure to tell Rubin that the part of the story that describes the Battle at Port Hudson is so vivid, I could almost feel the bullets whizzing through my hair. It is that well-told!
I asked about Rubin's second book, which is currently being written, and he told me the characters are related, but they are different people. Just like Cottoncrest Curse, the stories-in-the-making will also follow the line he's now pitching all over the country.
"I've given my pitch," he said, "my lecture all over the country! Barrington, VT, Stamford, CT, at Deadly Ink, the other thriller convention in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and I've given Skype and Facetime interviews.
"The story addresses three universal questions, not unique to the South: Can we ever know all about our great-great grandparents? Number Two: Would knowing that change our perceptions of who we are and how we view others? Third, Do we have an obligation to tell that truth, if that would help someone we care about, but would also hurt somebody else?"
While you contemplate those questions, plan to catch Michael Rubin August 11 at the Goodwood Main Library at 7 p.m. He will present his multimedia presentation about the historical context of the story, a book he hopes you will read.