Thursday, January 24, 2008


Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and she also attended the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, sculptor Sabin Howard, whose classical figures and love for Renaissance Italy inspired her to write a novel set during that time period.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Immortal, her first novel, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Immortal, Luca Bastardo secretly obtains a vial of poison, then walks through bleak, wintry Florence to return to the brothel where he is indentured against his will. The next day, he is summoned by Bernardo Silvano, the proprietor of the brothel, who questions him regarding the death of a young girl, a fellow prostitute, on the very eve of the girl being turned over to an important visitor. The visitor is a cardinal who cleanses the world of Eve’s sin by torturing young women to death. The girl would have died slowly, agonizingly. Instead, Silvano must return the substantial deposit the cardinal had paid for the girl. Silvano is furious and threatens Luca with a knife.

All through this novel, Luca makes hard choices. He faces questions about faith and worship and the nature of God, life and death, friendship and betrayal, love and loss. On page 69, many of these ideas pop up. What is Luca willing to do to spare a friend severe pain? What kind of God demands suffering? Why do people devote themselves to cruelty toward other people? Luca is passionately wrestling with these questions even as, terrified, he faces a raging Silvano. On page 69 there is also a glimpse of the city of Florence, with its unparalleled art and history. This page is a microcosm of the entire novel.
Read an excerpt from Immortal and learn more about the author and her writing at Traci L. Slatton's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue