Murray State Graduate Releases Second Novel, "What Lies Between the Lakes"
MSU alum Clayton Tune recently released his second novel, What Lies Between the Lakes, with illustrations by Stephanie Woods. The new book is a sequel to The Burger Brothers' Family Funeral Home, picking up where Burger Brothers ended. Tune speaks to Tracy Ross about his new book, upcoming works, and local inspiration.
From What Lies Between the Lakes:
"For a competitive price, Donnie and Frank Burgers' Funeral Home will help bury your loved ones. For the right price, Frank Burgers will dig them back up.
This scheme brings in extra money for the home but lands Frank in a morbid mess. Picking up where The Burger Brothers' Family Funeral Home left off, Frank discovers an anonymous package left at his front door. Inside is damning evidence of his lucrative grave robbing.
The person who left the package blackmails Frank into recovering a bizarre object from a teenager's coffin, setting off an amateur investigation that will lead Frank and his friends to unearth a disturbing case and an even more menacing secret."
"The second book was written in the beginning," Tune begins. "I originally wrote this super long book. [My editor] said you've either got to cut half the book, or you have to put it into two. So, that's what I did. I made two books out of it."
Like Burger Brothers, Tune used the Murray area as his backdrop for What Lies Between the Lakes. Though he wasn't trying to incorporate Murray at first, Tune says, "the places I was describing and how the characters moved and who they interacted with, I was just describing Murray. So, I switched everything out and just made it that town."
"I've not written anybody into the book," Tune continues. "Sometimes, people will recognize locations."
Tune says he enjoys the time he spent in Murray through childhood and in college. "It was just a fun place for me to be. I've enjoyed some of the mystery in Murray."
"There's a lot of fun things to do, especially when you get into Land Between the Lakes. There are so many things to explore back there. And if you're doing it by yourself, it's kind of frightening."
Tune used that fear to create the dark comedy in What Lies Between the Lakes. Tune said his editor described it as "Scooby-Doo meets its darkest material possible. You're talking about people who disappeared and these murders. Then, these characters crack jokes, and it's lighthearted. That was very fun trying to balance out all of this stuff."
Though Tune doesn't have a third Burger Brothers novel in the works, he says he'll continue to play off the pseudo-Murray universe he created. "If you know the second book well enough, and you read the next book, there's a little Easter egg that talks about a character and situation in What Lies Between the Lakes. So, that kind of clues you into the third book."
What Lies Between the Lakes is available on Amazon now. For more information on Clayton Tune, visit his website.