Friday, February 6, 2015

"Before He Finds Her"

Michael Kardos is the author of the novels Before He Finds Her (2015) and The Three-Day Affair, an Esquire best book of 2012, as well as the story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for fiction, and the textbook The Art and Craft of Fiction: A Writer’s Guide. His short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, and many other magazines and anthologies, have won a 2015 Pushcart Prize, and were cited several times as notable stories in Best American Short Stories. He was named by Library Journal as a Big Breakout Author for February 2015.

Kardos applied the Page 69 Test to Before He Finds Her and reported the following:
From page 69:
In the kitchen, Meg was peeling magnetic letters off the refrigerator and dropping them on to the floor. “I was thinking we could get pizza for the guys,” Ramsey said. “From the good place.”

“How long do you think rehearsal will go?” Allie asked.

“Don’t know—but I’ll make sure we turn everything down at eight.” Meg’s bedtime.

“Because I was hoping you and I could have some time tonight.”

Already the plastic letters were everywhere. Now Meg was over by the toy barn. When she threw a plastic pig across the room, Allie said, “Sweetie, don’t throw the animals,” and Meg pursed her lips and slammed a cow onto the ground.

“Are you little mad?” Ramsey asked her, and cursed himself for forgetting to use this surefire trick back at the park.

Big mad,” Meg answered, already smiling, her anger allayed by their inside joke.

Ramsey winked at Meg and said to Allie, “The thing is, this isn’t some ordinary jam session. We got a gig coming up.”

“You do?” Feigned astonishment. “Why, I had no idea.”

Okay, he deserved that. He’d been yammering on about the gig for weeks. But Allie only knew the half of it.
Long before page 69, we sense that something is not right with Ramsey Miller. He’s a long-haul truck driver who has just sold his truck—his livelihood—and come home to his wife Allie and daughter Meg after eleven days on the road. Turns out, he’s a Doomsdayer who is convinced that on Sunday evening, in just two days, the earth will suffer a cataclysmic, all-human-life-ending event. But before that happens, he really wants to gig one time with his garage band, in public, at a block party he decides to host. On page 69, he is breaking the news gently to his wife that, alas, he has no time for hanky-panky—not with the gig to get ready for.
Learn more about the book and author at Michael Kardos's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Three Day Affair.

My Book, The Movie: The Three-Day Affair.

My Book, The Movie: Before He Finds Her.

Writers Read: Michael Kardos.

--Marshal Zeringue