Never underestimate the power of the internet…or a daughter’s love.
Just ask Lloyd Devereux Richards, who’s now a bestselling author thanks to his daughter Marguerite Richards’ TikTok going viral. Previously, he didn’t even know what TikTok was.
Lloyd began writing his serial killer thriller “Stone Maidens” back in 1998, based on real crimes that happened during his college years in the mid-70s. He would spend a little over a decade writing the book in the few precious hours he could carve out between his law career and being a dad to three children.
The book was finally published in 2012 after years of rejections from literary agents and editors. Unfortunately, this milestone was not met with many sales.
After seeing all her father’s hard work not pay off, Marguerite didn’t want his story to end on such an anticlimactic note.
“It was such a great book, and I knew how important it was to him,” she told The Washington Post. “He never was like, ‘Ah, nobody cares.’ He just always stayed positive. I thought maybe it’s just because nobody knows about the book.”
So Marguerite made a TikTok account dedicated to promoting his book. The first video showed footage of Lloyd at his desk, unaware that he’s being filmed. In the clip, Marguerite wrote how her dad dedicated so much time to writing it even though “being a dad came first,” and how much she’d “love for him to get some sales.”
@stonemaidens It’s a beautifully written thriller on Amazon ❤️ #stonemaidens #booktok #authorsoftiktok #thrillerbooks #books ♬ original sound – e
The Post reported that the video reached a million views overnight. Even better, ”Stone Maidens” had suddenly become one of the top-selling books in its category on Amazon. As of now, hard copies are sold out.
Marguerite posted a follow-up video showing Lloyd finding out the good news, and it’s 100% heartwarming. Tears instantly stream down his face. He is left speechless over the wave of praise.
@stonemaidens you all are amazing! Life can be hard and then it can be wonderful suddenly (still crying) #stonemaidens ♬ original sound – lloyd
“I’m ready for a nap!” he quips while throwing on his glasses. An app he had no idea existed completely changed his life in the span of 24 hours. Life is extraordinary in that way.
Subsequent videos show the pair celebrating the unexpected win, which has left Lloyd feeling “overwhelmed” and “blessed.”
Truly, even with all its inherent flaws, the internet can be an amazing tool for connection. As one person commented, “The world has so many hidden gems. Social media allows us to find them.”
One person noted how TikTok specifically could be a really positive platform, writing that “moments like this are why I stay on the app. The love and generosity from people is astounding. There is definitely more good than evil.”
As for Lloyd’s ever-growing fanbase—he’s been working on a sequel for the past four-and-a-half years. Stay tuned. Something tells me publishing won’t be nearly as difficult this time around.
And for those who might be finding themselves up against a similar challenge with their own creative endeavors, Lloyd does have a tip. Unsurprisingly, it has to do with resilience.
“Write, rewrite and write it again. And never give up.”