Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Where Armadillos Go to Die"

James Hime’s debut, The Night of the Dance, was a finalist for the Edgar Award for best first novel. Born in Arkansas, he lives in Dallas, Texas.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his third and latest novel, Armadillos Go to Die, and reported the following:
I suppose it says something about that particular page in Where Armadillos Go to Die that, when I do a reading from the book, I start with that page. I do this in part because I think it is indeed representative of the book from the standpoint of writing style, my approach to character development and my use of humor. It also contains what my agent has declared to be his favorite sentence from my work:

“In Texas, speeding is a form of self-expression, like playing a musical instrument or creating a calligraphy scroll or knitting a sweater.”

This observation is prompted by the fact that one of my main characters is engaged in a search for something by the side of a busy, four-lane highway just outside Brenham, Texas. He’s a young, African-American private investigator who’s been asked to undertake this task by a client. He’s not sure what he’s looking for, exactly, since his client was none too clear on that score. He despairs somewhat of finding it in any event, as the Highway Department has let the roadside vegetation grow wild. As he casts this way and that amongst the weeds he wrestles with his besetting existential question:

What in the world is he doing with himself, trying to make a go of it as a PI in this dinky burg?

But at length he finds what he has been sent to look for, and when he does, well -- you’ll have to read the book to learn what happens next.
Read an excerpt from Where Armadillos Go to Die, and learn more about the book and author at James Hime's website and blog.

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

--Marshal Zeringue