WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Bestselling author and Bolton native Jason Mott explores racism, police violence, family and love in his newest novel Hell of a Book.
The book follows the story of an African-American author who sets out on a cross-country book tour to promote his bestselling novel. It also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a child who appears to the author on his tour.
Mott, who earned a BFA in Fiction and MFA in Poetry from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, also authored The Returned, The Wonder of All Things, and The Crossing. The Returned was adapted by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, along with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC as “Resurrection,” which ran for two seasons.
Mott said the story in Hell of a Book is one he’s been writing in his head for about a decade, since the success of The Returned.
“I went from working at Verizon Wireless to being a bestselling author and I had this massive book tour and it was just full of weird moments and comedic moments and I wanted to write about that so I pitched it to my agent editor they weren’t really thrilled with it,” he said. “It just sat on the back burner for a while and then a few years later, there were a lot of the police shootings and the fever pitch in terms of race in America. I started wanting to just write about my thoughts on that and I remember that script I had about the author on a book tour and I decided to mix the two together and Hell of a Book came out of that.”
Jenna Bush Hager selected the novel for her Today Show “Read with Jenna” book club this month.
“It’s a pretty big feather in the cap,” he said. “You a lot more attention but even beyond that, there are not many books that she chooses and the caliber of books that she chooses for her book club are extremely elite. I don’t feel worthy to be in the book club but at the same time it feels really good to be chosen for that.”
Learn more about Mott here.
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