Saturday, May 24, 2008


Kate Mosse is the author of the New York Times-bestseller Labyrinth. She is also co-founder and Honorary Director of the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction, which annually celebrates and promotes the best works of fiction written by women throughout the world.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Sepulchre, and reported the following:
Thursday 15 May was paperback publication day in the UK. A box of the small format copies of Sepulchre turned up and I pulled one from the box to find out exactly what happens on page 69.

Sepulchre is a timeslip novel. That means it has two storylines - one set in the 1890s and one in the present day - that are told separately. By the end of the book, each plot reaches its own climax and the chapters switch more and more quickly between the two time frames.

I wrote the two storylines in Sepulchre separately, then intercut them, getting rid of duplications and redundancies in order to - I hope - generate pace. The book starts in 1890s Paris but page 69 is early in the second section, introducing my modern heroine, the American academic and author Meredith Martin.

Two things happen on page 69. We get to know Meredith as she journeys from London to Paris, through the Channel Tunnel and down through the slag heaps and flat lands of northeast France. We also find out about her fascination with the life and musical career of Claude Debussy, the brilliant, innovative fin-de-si├Ęcle composer. It's an establishing scene, like a long shot in a movie, leading up to Meredith's first moment of crisis on the streets of the French capital …
Read an excerpt from Sepulchre, and learn more about the book and its author at the Sepulchre website and Kate Mosse's website and her blog. View the video trailer for Sepulchre.

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

--Marshal Zeringue