Thriller author Samantha Downing talked about “My Lovely Wife,” her novel about a husband and wife turned serial killers, at last week’s Thacker Mountain Radio Hour at Off Square Books.
The show also featured Ellis Family Gospel Ministries, a Christian bluegrass group featuring Jonathan and Misty Ellis and their five children.
“My Lovely Wife,” Downing’s first novel, was published on March 26 after a friend in her writing group gave a copy of the book to an agent friend. The book was sold to Berkley Publishing Group just four days later.
Downing regards writing as a hobby, similar to playing an instrument. She said she wrote 12 books, all of which she shelved for not being good enough before writing “My Lovely Wife.”
Downing highlighted the uniqueness of her novel; despite being a thriller focusing on the lives of two serial killers, it lacks the gore associated with that genre.
“It is not graphic in any way. There’s no killing, there’s no sex (and) there isn’t even a curse word — it’s a clean serial killer book,” Downing said.
Thacker Mountain Radio Host Jim Dees joked about its title given the context of the story.
“‘My Lovely Wife’ may be the most sarcastic title ever given to a book,” Dees said.
The Ellis Family band, which uses harmonies and features instruments like the fiddle, banjo and mandolin, is based in north Mississippi. The children, who are between the ages of 8 and 19, are the stars of the group. Benjamin, 16, plays guitar for the group and said they give all the glory of their music to God.
“We get to worship the Lord with (our music),” Ellis said. “We do this for his glory, not for ours.”
Ben Lloyd, an event attendee, said that the best part about Thacker Mountain Radio is the atmosphere.
“I just really enjoy the spirit here,” Lloyd said. “The enthusiasm with the lyrics, and the literature that’s all in one place is just a really neat thing to me.”
Thacker Mountain Radio is broadcast on Thursdays throughout the fall and spring and can be heard on Rebel Radio WUMS-92.1 or on replay Saturday nights on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and Alabama Public Radio.
The Thursday show wrapped up the 2019 Thacker Mountain Radio shows at Off Square Books. The final show of the year, next Thursday, will be at the Lyric.