Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"The Tulip Virus"

Daniëlle Hermans works as a freelance communication consultant and lives in Bilthoven, the Netherlands.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her debut mystery, the recently published The Tulip Virus, and reported the following:
Is my page 69 characteristic of The Tulip Virus? Is it representative for the rest of my book?

Partly, and I’ll explain why. In The Tulip Virus, I take the reader back and forth to the seventeenth century and the present. Page 69 is a seventeenth century chapter, and takes place in the Dutch town of Alkmaar on July 21, 1636, to be exact. On page 69, my character Wouter Winkel, an inn-keeper and tulip merchant who actually worked and lived in Alkmaar during this time, is mistreated.
The fingers dug deep into his armpits. He felt the heels of his shoes sliding along the floor, catching slightly on the edge of each tile. Through half-closed eyes, he looked down. His hands were tied together over his stomach, rising and falling with each tug as he was dragged across the floor. He could see the fingertips of the person dragging him, the thick, irregular nails caked with blood. His blood.
On page 69, Wouter Winkel is begging for his life, and begging to be understood in his fight for freedom of thought and freedom of speech. In seventeenth century Holland, known as the Golden Ages, these were important topics as our country boarded mutual different religions and was the only country in the world at that time where people were free to write and print anything they wanted. But for some people in the Low Countries, even freedom had its boundaries. And in the eyes of some people, Wouter Winkel crossed these boundaries and had to pay for it.
Learn more about The Tulip Virus at the publisher's website and visit Daniëlle Hermans' website.

--Marshal Zeringue