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Author lets readers choose what to do with lottery millions

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Heather McElhatton
Heather McElhatton's new book "Million Little Mistakes" allows a reader to choose what happens after winning millions of dollars in the lottery.
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

Most of us have played the "what would I do if I won the lottery" game. Of course, the laws of probability mean few of us will get to play the game for real. But a new book from Minneapolis writer Heather McElhatton can give us a little closer whiff of those millions. 

"Money is a lullaby," McElhatton writes in the opening of her new novel, "Million Little Mistakes." 

"Small soothing words whisper in your head, a chorus, repeating 'You're safe. You're safe. You're safe.' So if you quit your job, go to section 2. If you keep your job go to section 3."

McElhatton, who once worked at Minnesota Public Radio, writes what she calls "Choose your own adventure" novels. At the end of each chapter, the reader gets to make a choice as to what happens next. 

McElhatton's first such book, "Pretty Little Mistakes," was an international bestseller. Her starting point for that one was the last day of high school, and she pretty much let her imagination run riot, leading her readers to some wild and crazy situations. 

McElhatton says she did the same this time, but it's hard work coming up with ways to spend $22 million. 

McElhatton will read from her book at the Talk of the Stacks series on Thursday evening at the downtown Minneapolis Public Library. She'll be joined by fellow writers Kevin Kling and Laurie Lindeen.

McElhatton is also working on a series of books for young adult readers with a vaguely occult theme, but she admits she's mulling over another "choose your own adventure" book.