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Author's novel was a flop, until daughter's TikTok made it a bestseller 10 years later

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Feb 17, 2023 4:54 pm

It's tough being a writer. Not only do you have to overcome multiple cases of writer's block in completing your novel, but there's also the looming question of whether people will want to take a bite of out of your work once you manage to bring your story to the bookshelves.

That was the dilemma of 74-year-old Lloyd Devereux Richards. It took him 14 long years to finish writing his first novel Stone Maidens, which centers on a story of an FBI agent tasked of unmasking a serial killer who has a terrifying connection to her past. 

Since most of his time was consumed by his job as a corporate attorney at an insurance company, he could only really work on his novel on evenings and weekends. When he finally managed to publish it in 2012, his novel ended up being a flop, with very little copies sold.

However, his dream of becoming a best-selling author was salvaged by his 40-year-old daughter, Marguerite, after she had made TikTok video about it that quickly became viral.

According to a report by The Washington Post, Marguerite decided to make an account on the social media platform with goal of promoting her father's novel.

"It was such a great book, and I knew how important it was to him. I thought maybe it's just because nobody knows about the book," she told the news outlet.

Speaking with As It Happens host Nil Köksal, she added, "I feel really lucky because I had friends who didn't have dads. And not only did I have a dad; I had a really supportive, kind, sensitive dad who made me feel loved. That's what drove me to do this. He took care of me and I want to take care of him."

The first promotional video that Marguerite posted on TikTok has since garnered over 44 million views and nearly ten million likes.

@stonemaidens It’s a beautifully written thriller on Amazon 🥹❤️ #stonemaidens #booktok #authorsoftiktok #thrillerbooks #books ♬ original sound - e

"My dad spent 14 years writing a book. He worked full-time and his kids came first, but made time for his book. He's so happy even though sales aren't great. I'd love for him to get some sales," Marguerite wrote on the video as she filmed her father working on the manuscript of Stone Maidens.

Thanks to that clip that only lasted 17 seconds, Lloyd's novel was catapulted into the number one spot on Amazon's best-selling list and has even managed to be sold out at one point.

Marguerite surmised that what made the video become a hit was because of her father's "natural charm and authenticity."

"Just by his appearance, you can see what a kind person he is. And so I think that those combinations of things is what drove people to connect with it," she told Köksal.

In a video capturing Lloyd's reaction in finding out that his novel has become viral, he could be seen turning red with emotion and tears welling up his eyes as he read comments praising him for his work. 

@stonemaidens you all are amazing! Life can be hard and then it can be wonderful suddenly (still crying) #stonemaidens ♬ original sound - lloyd

Lloyd told the Post that Stone Maidens is not yet over as he as been busy working on a sequel for nearly five years.