Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Standing Still"

Kelly Simmons is a former journalist and current novelist/advertising creative director.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Standing Still, and reported the following:
The main character in Standing Still believes that when someone answers a question, the third thing they say is the true answer. So it seems completely logical to me that the 69th page of a book could be the truest page!

Standing Still is a literary thriller that revolves around Claire Cooper--a panicky, fearful woman who does one brave thing: she trades her life for her child’s in the middle of a kidnapping. As the kidnapper drags Claire away and drives her to a distant motel room, they begin a week-long dance of closeness and distance, of violence and tenderness, as each reveals their motives and secrets.

On page 69, that dance officially begins when the kidnapper takes a shower in the motel room, leaving Claire chained to the bed.

I wait twenty seconds into His shower, certain He’d take a long one; men always do. I work the receiver off with my knee. Lean over and press 9-1-1 with my nose.

When the operator comes on she asks what my emergency is.

I hesitate. There are several emergencies. Which first?

Claire decides, once again, to save her children, alone in her house, and not herself. She gives her home address to the operator just as the kidnapper discovers her. In a show of strength, he pins her down roughly and rips the phone from the wall as she wonders: is he violent, or does he merely want me to believe that he is?

Two of the most important questions in the book are whether Claire is a good mother and whether she can trust the kidnapper. Both of those enter the readers’ consciousness on page 69.
Read an excerpt or watch the trailer at Kelly Simmons' website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue