Book: Head Case by Jennifer Okocategories: Book, Female Sleuth, Ghost, Humor, Prescription Drugs, New York, Celebrities, Pharmaceutical, Ethics, Neuroscience, Emotions, Murder Mystery
Jennifer Okoabout this book: HEAD CASE is the story of how the ghost of a young neuroscientist goes on a postmortem quest to figure out how and why she was murdered.
I am a huge fan of writers like Carl Hiaasen and Lisa Lutz, who tell somewhat outlandish and very funny tales that have a deeper message underneath, and I think HEAD CASE fits that mold to a large degree.
HEAD CASE is a caper involving low-level prescription drug trafficking and an exploration of the ethically questionable practices of America's pharmaceutical industry (as well as third-rate mobsters, celebrities, and of course a ghost), but at it's heart it is the story about what the emotional connections between close friends.
The story of the making of this book is a saga unto itself. The short story is that it was written as the second book of a two book deal, following my novel GLOSS. But just as it was about to go to press, cover and all, the publisher canceled half of its titles, including HEAD CASE, which was very upsetting for me. They reverted my rights, but the book mostly sat in my "desk drawer" for a few years. Then, I started to read about the growth of self-publishing and eBooks (and started reading self-published ebooks), and got very excited about taking matters into my own hands.
The longer story is that this is the book that made me a writer. I started writing a much earlier version of it (it was called THANK YOU, ELI LILLY) back in the mid-90s, and got bitten by the writing bug. I even sent some excerpts to Carl Hiaasen himself, who wrote me a very supportive letter in return. But then my life took a crazy turn, and I wound up writing a memoir about my misadventures instead (LYING TOGETHER: MY RUSSIAN AFFAIR), published under my maiden name, Jennifer Beth Cohen). Publishing that book was a great experience. It even got a good review in the New York Times Book Review, with my name showing in the same sentence as Dostoevsky's. For a fan of Russian literature, that was pretty cool. THANK YOU, ELI LILLY (soon to be HEAD CASE) remained dormant. I wrote and then sold GLOSS, a comic novel about a morning television news producer, as a two book deal, and I knew exactly what that second book would be.
When I decided to self-publish, I wanted to do it well, with a professional proofreader and so forth. So I did a Kickstarter to raise funds (you can see it here: http://kck.st/S2mpJh ). My friend Bronson designed the cover for me. The idea was to get across a comic sensibility but still suggest a murder mystery, and of course prescription medications being involved. I hired a proofreader and someone to format the book. I am still waiting on the web designer to finish the redesign of my website, but HEAD CASE is now up on Amazon, available for Kindle, and I am so excited.
I love this book. It's a very fun and engaging story, and it also means a huge amount to me personally.
I hope my readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
preview: read a sample from this book
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