Monday, October 18, 2010


F. Paul Wilson, Jeff Strand, Jack Kilborn, and Blake Crouch are the co-authors of Draculas.

Strand applied the Page 69 Test to the novel and reported the following:
I didn't write page 69. Draculas is a collaborative novel between myself, Blake Crouch, F. Paul Wilson, and Jack Kilborn, and page 69 came from the mind of Jack Kilborn, which means that, like much fine literature, it was written by a drunken author.

Starting here would be a somewhat jarring experience for a reader, since it begins right in the middle of an action sequence that involves powdered dairy creamer used as a weapon. The previous couple of pages set that up quite nicely, and though page 69 gets the point across, I personally know that when I read about makeshift dairy creamer flamethrowers, I want to be properly eased into the concept.

But, oh, the Page 69 Test certainly provides an accurate barometer of the book's tone:
Snarling, Dr. Lanz rushed at Jenny, far too quick for her to prep another creamer bottle, his hideous mouth unhinging at the jaw and a look of smug satisfaction in his predatory eyes.

Jenny threw herself backward, Lanz's claw swiping the air a few inches in front of her face. A cloud of sweet-smelling vanilla non-dairy creamer floated above his head and shoulders, and a ropey line of drool escaped his cage of teeth, dripping down his neck.
Yeah, there is no lack of drooling monsters in this book. We've been promoting it as the anti-Twilight, and fortunately the Page 69 Test doesn't feature any weepy dialogue scenes. It would've been embarrassing to write this and discover that Page 69 involved Jenny asking Lanz to bite her so their love could last forever. But, no, most of this page involves stuff like this:
Jenny turned her attention toward the broken window as another dracula climbed through. She charged it with the cannula, pulling it free from the oxygen tank, and spearing the creature through its left eye. The monster hissed, blood and bits of brain matter spraying out of the hollow end, arcing across the playroom, and landing directly in the mouth of the catatonic woman who'd been watching the entire scene unfold with her jaw hanging open.

Children screamed. Flesh sizzled and popped. Jenny cast a frantic look around, seeking a weapon as the dracula flopped through the window, crashing at her feet where he squirmed and undulated like a landed swordfish. Jenny looked up as another dracula snaked into the opening. But rather than attack her, it pounced on the other creature, positioning its mouth over the fountain of blood and tissue pumping through the cannula, and locking its lips around it like a drinking straw.
Yeah! Go Jack Kilborn! Child endangerment, tasteless humor, brain matter being removed from its proper storage unit, sizzling/popping flesh...and that's only on page 69! Oh, there's characterization and stuff in the book, and of course these over-the-top action sequences are a lot more effective when you have a reason to care about the people involved, so though page 69 is certainly a representative sample, we'd hope that readers would start from the beginning.

But if you want to read about people doing battle with ferocious vampires, believe me, we're not ripping you off.
Read an excerpt from Draculas, and visit the official Draculas website.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue