Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"All Woman and Springtime"

Brandon W. Jones lives off-grid in Hawaii, tucked in a small cottage in the jungle with his wife and their beloved cat, Ula. He writes every day, when he is not teaching himself to play the cello, sculpting, working on one of his countless crazy inventions or tending the land in his care.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his debut novel, All Woman and Springtime, and reported the following:
When I first read the rules for the page 69 test, I was hoping that my page 69 would fall on the section break that reads only, “Part II.” That would have given me an opportunity to discuss the structure of my novel, which often gets overlooked to discuss more tangible elements such as plot, character and the bizarre setting of North Korea. It looks like I will have to leave that discussion for another time. As it turns out, page 69 is mostly blank, which, I hope, is not some cosmic page 69 litmus indicator of a novel lacking in substance. 69 is the last page of chapter 15, and may very well be the least representative page of the whole novel. On it is mostly dialogue, a device I used infrequently in the book, between two important, but secondary characters who are setting up an illicit transaction. The main characters who drive the story are not even indirectly mentioned. I suppose, however, that this would be a good place to discuss my use of secondary characters to tell the story of All Woman and Springtime.

Throughout the novel I included chapters from the perspectives of secondary characters because I felt that they provided a wider scope for the unusual situation in North Korea, as well as to give texture to the sex trade underworld. The story of my main characters is a direct result of the scheming and justifications of the secondary characters, and their fates are intertwined. Even though it is a novel with main characters who we hope to see triumph over hardship, it is not a novel about those characters. All Woman and Springtime is about crossing boundaries of all kinds, about universal humanity that transcends borders and cultures, about taking charge of one’s own destiny. One probably would not glean these things from page 69.
Learn more about the book and author at Brandon W. Jones's website.

--Marshal Zeringue