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Viral TikTok Video Makes Father’s Crime Thriller Book A Bestseller After 11 Years Of Wait

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Lloyd Devereux Richards, an attorney and father of three, invested 14 years in his dream of writing a book ‘Stone Maidens’ and spent the next 11 years hoping for his book to take off.

But things took a turn last week when his daughter posted a 16-second TikTok video with a message: “I’d love for him to get some sales.”

The book is now No. 1 on Amazon’s Serial Killer Thrillers list, to which her dad responded, “I’m ready for a nap.”

The viral video shows Richard’s journey to finish his book, Stone Maiden, which has received over 40 million views.

TikTok, a short-video platform, has supported the sales of many books in recent years, most famously through the hashtag #BookTok, a hashtag which has become a discussion space for readers and for them to share their favorite authors and books. According to a report by the New York Times, BookTok helped authors sell 20 million printed books in 2021.

Richards felt overwhelmed by the news of his overnight fame and cried while reading the comments of the TikTok post after being told that the post had gone viral. His daughter also got emotional and thanked fans for the appreciation. She told her dad, “Because of them, you’re number one.”

She added, “He doesn’t even know what TikTok is.”

Richard’s daughter said her dad, who lives with his wife in Montpelier, Vermont, was focused on finishing the novel, published in 2012, about an FBI forensic anthropologist investigating a serial killer who murders women and throws their bodies in the streams of southern Indiana.

The book may have taken inspiration from Rischard’s previous works. He became a true crime expert during his service as a senior law clerk for an Indiana judge by researching and writing drafts for published opinions, which included an appeal for a serial killer sentenced to death, as per his Amazon biography.

Fans on TikTok applauded the book as well as its author. After seeing the video on TikTok, a user said, “I’ve never ordered something so fast in my life.”

In another TikTok video posted later, his daughter said that after ’25 years of little hope’, Mr Richard’s success had reminded him to never give up.

While toasting to the sales with milkshakes, Richard said, “These last couple of days… I can’t understand it.”

According to his Amazon biography, Mr Richards is not taking a break to celebrate his success and is working on a sequel to the book.

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