Friday, December 6, 2013

"Thin Space"

Ohio-based Jody Casella has been writing stories since the age of seven. She majored in creative writing at Rhodes College and has an MA in English from the University of Memphis. After many years teaching and raising children, she's thrilled to be making her debut with Thin Space (Beyond Words; Simon & Schuster) which Kirkus called "A creepy supernatural chiller (that) sets up a gut-punch of desolation and loss...Brutal and brilliant."

Casella applied the Page 69 Test to Thin Space and reported the following:
When we meet Marsh Windsor, the main character in Thin Space, he's buckling under the weight of guilt and grief. A few months ago he hobbled away from a horrific car accident that killed his identical twin brother. It was not Marsh's fault, everyone says, but he was the one driving the car...

It doesn't help that he and his brother were on the outs at the time, and Marsh blames himself for that too.

A possibly crazy elderly neighbor tells Marsh about the Celtic belief in thin places, sacred places where the wall between our world and the other world is "thinner." Marsh latches on to the idea and makes it his quest to find one. He thinks if he can find a thin space, he'll be able to see his brother again and set things right between them.

At this point in the book, on page 69, Marsh has come to the conclusion that there's a thin space somewhere inside new neighbor Maddie Roger's house.

The challenge, though, is how to get in without telling Maddie, a girl he hardly knows and doesn't want to know, what his motivation is. To complicate matters, Maddie's got an overprotective older brother, Sam, who's taken one look at our tormented hero and decided his sister needs to stay far away.

Here Marsh works on manipulating Maddie into inviting him inside, and she turns the tables and gets to the heart of his problem:
The snow's really coming down now. The flakes plop on the ground fat and wet. "You think we should get out of this?" I say. "You know, go inside?"

She takes a step back and her foot slides in the snow. I reach out and touch her arm to steady her. "I don't know. Sam..."

"He doesn't want me in your house." Why does this surprise me? Has anything about this whole ordeal ever been easy? "So where is he?"

"Out with friends, I guess. I don't know. I told him--" Maddie blinks at me. Snow wets her cheeks, her hair. "Hey, do you ever wish you could go back in time, do something over?"
Oh yes. This is exactly what Marsh wishes he could do. And if he can find a thin space, he will have his chance.
Learn more about the book and author at Jody Casella's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Jody Casella and Zooey.

--Marshal Zeringue