Monday, August 13, 2012

"Kill You Twice"

Chelsea Cain is the New York Times bestselling author of Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, and the newly released Kill You Twice. Both Heartsick and Sweetheart were listed in Stephen King’s Top Ten Books of the Year in Entertainment Weekly.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Kill You Twice, and reported the following:
Gretchen Lowell is definitely my favorite character to write. Sure, she slaughters people, but she’s also an excellent conversationalist. She knows how to deliver a zinger. She’s smart. My favorite scenes are the ones between Gretchen and Archie, my beleaguered detective protagonist—sometimes they kiss, sometimes they try to kill each other, but they always break out the witty rejoinders. Page 69 of Kill You Twice is a scene between Gretchen and journalist Susan Ward. Gretchen loves to toy with Susan--and when you’re locked up in a mental hospital you have to get your entertainment where you can. She agrees to tell Susan about the first person she murdered, knowing that Susan won’t be able to resist the story. But Gretchen, as always, has an agenda. She knows that Susan will share their conversation with Archie and that Archie will be compelled to investigate, pulling him deeper into Gretchen’s sphere of manipulation. The scene is basically one long monologue. Gretchen drags out every gory detail, relishing in Susan’s discomfort. Susan doesn’t say anything on the entire page. She just listens and tries not to vomit. This is one of the more graphic scenes I’ve written. It was important that Gretchen describe the violence deliciously, because Susan starts out with the power in the scene and this is how Gretchen wins it back. On page 69 alone, she describes cutting off her victim’s nose (“flesh always looks so much smaller once it’s been dismembered”), and then disemboweling him (“He was fat and the blade got dull”). Is it representative of the book? No. I’m not sure I could sustain that! It’s too dark and intense. I think that this scene represents what some people assume my books are like. But Kill You Twice is also very funny in places and sexy in places and there is plenty of mystery solving and adventure. Plus, Archie is the protagonist. Any scene that would be representative of the book would have to have him in it.
Learn more about the book and author at Chelsea Cain’s website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 99 Test: Sweetheart.

The Page 69 Test: Evil at Heart.

--Marshal Zeringue