Khristin Wierman’s book Buck's Pantry published in September 6, 2022. Khristin spent twenty years rising through the marketing ranks of Fortune 500 companies, building a career that was lucrative, ego-boosting, and a little bit soul-crushing. So she quit. And had no idea what to do with her life. Writing novels ensued. She was born and raised in a small East Texas town—which means she came into this world a Dallas Cowboys fan and ardently believes “y’all” is a legitimate pronoun. Some things she enjoys are playing golf with her husband and stepson, poker, yoga, chocolate, the Golden State Warriors, and the daily adventure of life with an adorably imperfect cat named Rocco. She lives in San Francisco, California.
Synopsis of Buck's Pantry from the publisher:
Lianna is convinced she’s entered hell as she passes through rural Texas on the highway and, after stopping at a convenience store for the bathroom, feuds over a parking spot with local socialite Gillian. But the women go from ruffled to horrified as they realize the danger they’re in: the store clerk has pulled out a gun in a manic episode, and now the women are trapped.
Meanwhile, Lianna’s assistant, Aimee, panics as she realizes her boss is hours late to their meeting. But in locating her boss, Aimee also wakes a stream of disturbing family memories. As tensions heighten, Aimee, Lianna, and Gillian will need to trust that even the worst wounds can heal.
Khristin answers some questions that I posed to her about Buck's Pantry:
1. What inspired you to start writing Buck's Pantry?
I'd left the corporate world and had the opportunity to try something new, but I couldn't figure out what that was. Many books I'd read said that a good way to break-out of a place you feel stuck in is to do something creative. I thought writing would be something to play with that helped me figure out what I wanted to do next. It turns out, writing was the thing that was going to make me happy.
2. What do you hope your readers take away from your book?
Books have been many things for me: an escape, a reason to laugh at times when my life was particularly bleak, a source of new ideas. When we're young, so much of our world is defined for us, by our parents and the place where we live. Books, especially novels, have given me exposure to new options in terms of how to view the world and myself in it. At the end of the day, I hope the book is a joy, and if it's not, that readers will feel free to set it aside and find a story that resonates for them.
3. What surprised you the most when writing this book?
When the book began to take on a life of it's own, and the characters and the story started to surprise me. At a high level, I had a sense of the story I wanted to write. But as I got into it, the narrative grew and expanded in ways I wouldn't have been able to imagine.
4. Do you have any say in what your book cover looks like?
I had a lot of say. One of the (many) things I love about SparkPress is how highly collaborative the process is. I had the opportunity to give the design team a creative brief so that they had a sense of things I wanted and things I didn't. They created the magic, but let me weigh in each step of the way.
5. Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with me?
I am! This Time Could Be Different is on the SparkPress roster for Fall 2023: A compulsive overachiever, Madeline lives by the credo that easy is synonymous with mediocre—which is why, at forty-nine, she’s a Senior Vice President at a prominent bank, spends more on face cream than she used to pay for a pair of shoes, and panics anytime she’s a foot away from her phone. There’s only one problem: she's miserable. Reluctantly agreeing to yoga, meditation, and her new-agey therapist’s other whacky suggestions, Madeline seeks purpose in her life while trying to unravel the source of habits she wants to change. Feeling as if she’s risking everything, she just might unlock a world more fulfilling than she ever could have imagined.
6. What are you reading now and what have you read recently that you loved?
Currently reading: Janelle Brown's new book, I'll Be You (so far, it's great). Matt Haig's The Midnight Library is a recent one that I absolutely love.
Buy Buck's Pantry at Bookshop.org.