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Erin E. Adams Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Jackal (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Erin E. Adams
Erin E. Adams is a first generation Haitian American theater artist and writer. She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on October 14 and grew up in a small mountain town in Pennsylvania, called Johnstown.

As an actress, she is a classically trained professional, who loves difficult texts, New Plays, and challenging the “American Canon”. She got her BA with honors in literary arts from Brown University, her MFA in acting from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theater Program.

She is also an award winning playwright. She won New Light New Voices Award, New Light Theatre Project in 2020. “A Creation Myth” won the Weston Award in Fine Arts, Brown University in 2009.

Her written work traffics in stories of fantasy, science fiction, and horror (yes, she’s a genre lady), the worlds of myth.

There are a lot of people that are made to feel invisible, solely because they don’t fit the stories that are told about them. Her work as an artist strives to widen such a narrow foot path.

She chose to set her novel in Johnstown, because she grew up in Westmont, which is located right next door. When she started writing “Jackal”, she kept including details about the Johnstown flood and some other historic events. It got to the point to where things go so specific that it just made sense to set it there.

To keep readers in suspense, she reveals just a single key piece of the mystery at a time to track all of it until the end. That way you’re just sharing only enough information to keep your readers hooked. Two, plot the mystery backward. If you know where you need to get to, start your main character as far away from this goal as humanly possible. Then take every logical step backward until you get back to the start. The distance between the beginning and the ending is where your tension lies.

It’s key to just accept that some readers are going to guess the ending no matter what. The fun part for the reader is seeing how well you pull that all off. A red herring or two helps throw people onto the wrong track, however the red herring has to be just as plausible as the true culprit.

One thing she did when she was just starting out was look at the thrillers that she loved for their structure: what reveals happened and when did they happen? Were they plot reveals or character focused? How was her protagonist changed? How exactly did they change the story? How did all of the clues add up to the whole of the novel? Finally, pulling apart how somebody does something can inspire you and guide you in your own work.

Erin deals with writer’s block by going for a walk with her characters and all of their conflicts.

Erin believes the best part of being a writer is getting to look under the hood of a story and learn how all of it works. She is a sucker for theory and structure. She loves learning just why we love the stories that we do and challenging each of them.

“Jackal” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2022. A young Black girl vanishes in the woods right outside of her white Rust Belt town. However she is not the first, and she might not even be the last.

It is watching.

Reluctantly, Liz Rocher is coming back home. As a Black woman, she doesn’t exactly have the fondest of memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, which is a predominantly white town. However her best friend is about to get married, so she is bracing for a weekend of passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown up however, so she can handle whatever is waiting for her. However on the date of the wedding day, somewhere between the dancing and the dessert, Caroline (the bride’s daughter) vanishes, and the only thing that’s left behind is a piece of some white fabric all covered in blood.

It is taking.

While a frantic search kicks off, and the cops combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one that notices any sort of a pattern: a summer night. One missing girl. And a party in the woods. She has seen this exact thing before. Keisha Woodson, who was the only other Black girl in the whole school, walked into the woods with this mysterious man and later was discovered with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart missing.

Liz shudders at the very thought that it could’ve been her, and now, with Caroline having gone missing, it cannot be some sort of coincidence. While Liz begins digging through the history of the town, she finds this terrifying secret about the place she formerly called home. Kids have been vanishing in these woods for years now. All of them Black. And all of them girls.

It is your turn now.

Liz, with the evil in the forest creeping closer, knows exactly what she has to do: find Caroline, or get entirely consumed by this darkness.

“Jackal” is ultimately a hopeful yet disturbing story about confronting your past in order to save the people that you love. Liz Rocher, with tenacity and bravery, rewrites the script for what it truly means to be a Black girl in Johnstown. This is an extraordinary read, and is a horrifying story of fears and hatreds generated by class inequality and racism.

Erin grabs you right by the throat and never lets you go in this sharp, inventive, and vicious read. She lures you into the woods with her electric prose and then cuts through the dark with this haunting and monstrous story. It’s sure to raise your blood pressure, while being an achingly raw and searing exploration of what it really means to be Black in white spaces, the monsters among us, and the contortionist act we’re all required to perform, all of which is wrapped up in a suspenseful thriller that’ll fill you with rage and leave you not trusting anybody.

It’s a Phenomenal Book Club Pick and Publishers’ Weekly called it one of the Best Books of the Year.

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