Larry Pye has taken his first career as a probation officer and turned it into a new career that has led him to become an Amazon Number One Bestselling Author.
Pye’s debut book, “The Twinkle Box,” takes readers through the mind of a sociopath who seems like a normal professional man on the outside, but on the inside, he wants to hurt everyone he meets. The man is charming and most of the characters don’t realize that they are caught up in his web until it is too late. Amidst the madness, there are stories of friendship, love, and hope. Each character is complex and has a tragic backstory that gives readers a chance to understand where they are coming from.
“With The ‘Twinkle Box’ and my new book that I’m working on, I love telling the backstory,” said Pye. “I tell people, ‘You may not understand my characters or like them, but once you see their backstory you won’t be so judgmental.’”
The story is loosely based on one of Pye’s clients from over ten years ago. He was a suicidal kid in juvenile hall, and he had a bunch of stories about his abusive dad. At the time, Pye was listening to the kid but wasn’t sure if these stories were embellished. That is until he met the client’s psychiatric social worker years later at a conference. The woman recognized his name and told him that their former client loved him and that the stories about the dad were true. From there, Pye and the social worker spent two hours talking and never even made it inside the conference.
“The true story is crazier than the book,” said Pye. “Meeting the psychiatric social worker, I got so caught up in hearing about this businessman and how he abused his wife and kids. It was so bizarre and intriguing.”
Pye worked as a probation officer for 38 years and had heard loads of stories. He always had a love for writing, mostly writing poems, but once he retired, he made it a point to become a published author. The main character in “The Twinkle Box” is based on his former client’s father, but the rest of the characters are based on things that he has heard and seen throughout his career. Pye goes to different book club meetings and notices how much women who have been abused relate to his book.
“A lot of this is based on true experiences. When I go to book clubs and book signings women tell me, ‘Oh my God you saw my life,’” said Pye. “And these women are not bored housewives. They are professionals so it’s been interesting hearing their stories.”
While it took Pye about seven years to write and publish his book, his success on Amazon happened in a matter of hours. One of his friends put him in contact with a guy who does self-publishing on Amazon and even though Pye didn’t know much about selling on the internet, it was the best thing that he could’ve done.
“I have friends who have published books and they’re selling them out of the trunk of their car,” said Pye. “They’re warehousing them and that just won’t work for me. The beauty about Amazon is that they only put up what you need.”
Along with having help with self-publishing, Pye’s son got him some promotion on Facebook. He created a Facebook page that showed snippets and trailers of the book before it came out. Originally, Pye wasn’t even sure if he could sell 300 copies to become a bestseller. However, once the book dropped, his numbers just kept getting higher and higher. Not only did he make the bestseller list, within an hour he was number 89 on the list, then in the next hour 41 and in the next hour 23. In a couple of days, Pye had the number one spot on Amazon’s bestseller list.
“My son kept calling me that day every time I got higher on the list. I remember being told that I needed to sell 300 copies and thinking, ‘Man, I’m a retired probation officer. I probably only know about 50 people,’” said Pye. “But the book just took off.”
“The Twinkle Box” is currently available on Amazon, Kindle, and Audible. The book also has a Facebook page @TheTwinkleBoxNovel where you can get updates on the author and fans of the book.