From a Q & A with Grant Jerkins, author of the debut novel, A Very Simple Crime:
Where did the idea for A Very Simple Crime come from?--Marshal Zeringue
The seed of the story is an incident from my childhood. My bedroom was in the basement of our house, and one night I got up to go to the bathroom. I didn’t bother to turn on the light because I knew the way upstairs. I’d made the trip a thousand times. That night, though, I grew conscious of the pitch darkness and became disoriented. I got lost. I had a little panic attack, a mini freak out. I just stood there and screamed my head off until someone heard me and turned on a light. It was just one of those weird experiences we all have as kids. Somehow, in thinking about that incident, my mind latched onto the idea of a man who was never able to escape the darkness, that it infected every aspect of his life. And Adam Lee was born.
It took more than a decade for this book to be published – tell us about its history?
That’s a long story. Here’s the CliffsNotes: I submitted it to The Writer’s Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition and ended up winning the fiction category. They in turn submitted it on my behalf to agents and publishers, but there were no takers. After that, I was on my own. I burned through three literary agents and pretty much every publisher out there. They all said essentially the same thing: it’s too dark. There’s no one to root for. We need a rootable character. I grew to hate the word “rootable.” It sounded to me like something a pig would aspire to. So, I put the book aside and felt sorry for myself. Then...[read on]