He applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, Terminal Island, and reported the following:
Page 69 of my novel Terminal Island is not particularly indicative of the book as a whole, but it does give a crucial bit of insight into the main character, Henry Cadmus. It is a flashback to Henry’s childhood, when his mother brought him to Catalina and he first experienced the romance…and the horror…of the island.View the video trailer for Terminal Island, and visit Walter Greatshell's website and blog.
In alternating chapters, these disturbing boyhood memories are contrasted with Henry’s present-day return to Catalina, where he has come with his wife and baby daughter to reconcile with his estranged mother…and hopefully put to rest the demons of his past. Unfortunately, Henry finds that those demons are still there waiting for him…
Without more ado, here is page 69 of Terminal Island:
Chapter Ten: FISH HEADAnd that’s it, the end of page 69. A little puppy-love, a boy’s first crush; nothing too scary, right? But Henry’s infatuation with bad-girl Christy will lead him to his first close encounter with the evil lurking beneath the island’s beautiful façade…an evil he will never escape.
Henry was in love.
He spent the next few days in a delirium of romance, the island taking on even more fantastical Technicolor hues than before. Everything Henry had been doing by himself or with his mother—fishing, snorkeling, exploring the town—he now started doing with Christy, and it made all the difference. She brought a fresh perspective, a whole new way of looking at things.
For instance, when Henry was alone he was accustomed to ignoring the pleas of the coin-divers—that group of local kids who loitered under the base of the pier in the afternoons, cadging quarters from tourists. In the company of his mother he might ask for some change to toss, mildly interested in the feeding frenzy it provoked, but otherwise he passed them by.
Christy, however took evil pleasure in tormenting them. She would fake tossing a coin, like a dog owner pretending to throw a stick, and when the boys were wise to that trick she would toss a bottle cap, or flattened gum, or anything else resembling a coin, so that they dove furiously after these worthless item. When they objected she would harangue them with insults, long strings of the