Thanks to a combination of TikTok and a daughter's love, Lloyd Richards' book, "Stone Maidens," has found an audience, at last. Now, he's using his platform to recommend books to others. During a visit to TODAY, the thriller author shared a few follow-up book recommendations for his thriller.
“There’s so many good authors out there who just don’t get the recognition,” Lloyd told TODAY. “It is one of those things where you have to be persistent because it’s hard.”
When Richards, 74, first published his debut novel "Stone Maidens" in 2012, his hope was that thriller readers would find his book. It took over a decade, but many readers now have.
Thanks to one viral TikTok video, the book Richards wrote in his attic is now a bestseller. Richards' daughter, Marguerite Richards, touted her father's enthusiasm and determination to complete his novel over 14 years in a 16-second video, which has nearly 50 million views. It catapulted "Stone Maidens" to the Top Five list of Amazon’s best selling thrillers and overall most sold and read books of the week.
“My original goal was hoping a few people would read my dad’s book and just appreciate his writing and what a beautiful writer he is,” Marguerite Richards tells TODAY.com.
“All these people are reading the book and saying such nice things, it made me feel really good,” Lloyd said. “That energized me, to see that. It is still overwhelming.”
"Stone Maidens" follows FBI agent Christine Prusik in her journey to unmask a southern Indiana serial killer who leaves stone figurines resembling spirits found among Papua New Guinea native tribes, a tribe Prusik is much too familiar with. As details continue to surface with each victim the killer strangles, Prusik must face an eerie past full of nightmares and the person bringing them to life.
After you finish "Stone Maidens," here are Lloyd’s top three books to read next.
Citro’s book is a series of stories surrounding preternatural revenge, with each New England state providing its favorites. From curses, strange disappearances and other eerie happenings, this collection strays away from your traditional hauntings and brings light to the curses roaming New England.
“It is based on curses he researched,” Lloyd says. “He puts life in them that can even be read in an audience environment, it can be at a school or even a church.”
This chilling thriller set in rural Vermont follows Jonah Baum, a recluse who believes the young girl he's found in the woods is the reincarnation of his missing daughter. Baum is convinced she has returned to help him solve her and his wife's disappearance.
However, with lies caught in the mix, a sheriff’s growing suspicion and something dark living in the woods, the truth will not be easy to find.
‘State of Redemption’ follows District Attorney Tommy Branscum, who is running for governor of Vermont, and Matt Matheny, who has returned to his childhood home seeking to start a new life away from recent family tragedies. Two lives headed in opposite directions, but forever tied together after witnessing the murder of an innocent child thirty years ago.
What happened on that summer night has long been forgotten by most in the small community, except by a killer, grieving parents and the eyes that lurked in dark alleyways. McKeown tells a story that sheds light on the innocent and the guilty, the good and the evil and where justice falls in all this.
“Eric Rickstad and Richard McKeown are both fine fellows and authors with thrilling stories,” Lloyd says.