It's only been available for a few days, but Tasmanian author Kyle Perry is already breathing a sigh of relief based on initial feedback received for his latest book.
However, the acclaimed author has admitted to being shattered after border restrictions forced the upcoming promotional tour for The Deep to be postponed.
Set in a fictional village on the Tasman Peninsula, the thriller tells the story of a family at the centre of a drug ring and the upheaval after young girl - presumed dead for the past seven years - suddenly reappears.
Signing copies of The Deep at Petrarch's Bookshop in Launceston on Wednesday, Perry said he had put a lot of pressure on himself to live up to the success of his first published work - The Bluffs - which was critically acclaimed.
"I was really trying hard to deliver on the promise of delivering on a book that was just as good, if not better," he said.
"Nearly all the feedback I've gotten already is that it [The Deep] is even better than The Bluffs.
"It makes me feel good - relieved. It's taken a massive weight off my shoulders because there was all that expectation.
"It also lit a fire under me as I realised I could actually do this - be a writer."
The latest release comes almost a year to the day since The Bluffs first hit Tasmanian book store shelves, later going on to earn a nomination for Dymocks book of the year.
Raised at Ridgley in the state's North-West, the young author signed a two-book deal with Penguin Random House in 2019 and is contracted for at least another two more books - with work on his third novel already well underway.
While unable to promote The Deep nationally due to COVID-19 restrictions, Perry said he remained blown away by the ongoing support from fans near and far.
"The thing about Tassie readers is they have already come out and supported me so much. They have risen to the occasion and I couldn't ask for anything more," he said.
"I am really shattered I'm not getting a tour for this book, but also acknowledging the fact that I am lucky to be in a state where I can drive around and visit places. So [I am] trying to see the silver lining."
- The Deep is available now.
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