- Author Bio
From acclaimed New Face of Fiction alumna Grace O’Connell, a suspenseful, poignant and provocative tale about violence, sibling love, friendship, heroism—all told through the lens of a young woman trapped in a hijacked bus.
On the surface, Veda’s life in Vancouver seems to be going just fine—at nearly thirty, she has a good job, lifelong friends, and a close bond with her brother, Conrad. But Conrad’s violent behavior, a problem since he was a teen, is getting more and more serious, and Veda’s ongoing commitment to watch out for him is pushing her to a breaking point.
When Veda is injured as a bystander during one of Conrad’s many fights, she knows it’s time to leave Vancouver for a fresh start. She heads to New York, staying in the Manhattan apartment of old friends Al and Marie. Exploring the city, she swings between feeling hopeful and lost—until one day the bus she’s on is hijacked by a sweet-faced gun-toting man named Peter. He instructs Veda and the other passengers to spray paint the bus windows black, and what ensues is a gripping and unpredictable hostage situation, the outcome of which will make Veda question everything she knows about herself and the nature of fear.
Told with powerful immediacy and warmth, at once unsettling and engrossing, Be Ready for the Lightning is a story of violence, its attractions and repulsions; of love, loyalty and friendship; and of a young woman finding an unexpected kind of bravery.
Story Locale: Vancouver, New York, Mexico
THRILLER/COMING-OF-AGE STORY: Be Ready for the Lightning brings the charm and inventiveness of Grace’s writing together with a gripping, pacy plot.
TALKING POINTS: The novel mines the territory of millennials struggling to feel connected in a world where explosive acts seem to be on the verge of occurring anytime and anywhere, and where the definition of a “hero” has been transformed by social media.
AUTHOR: Grace is well-connected, highly promotable, driven, articulate and charming, with many fans among booksellers and writers, and we can expect strong industry support for her sophomore novel.
Marketing: Influencer Mailing
Publicity: National Review Mailing
National Media & Events
Author Social Media: @yesgrace
Advance praise for Be Ready for the Lightning:
“A gripping page-turner and a heartfelt examination of what it means to be compassionate, even in the most extreme situations. Cinematic and timely, it’s a book you will not be able to put down.” -Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People