Monday, March 2, 2015

"The Way to Stay in Destiny"

Augusta Scattergood is the the author of the acclaimed debut novel, Glory Be.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Way to Stay in Destiny, and reported the following:
Here's a bit of what I wrote on page 69 at the very end of "Chapter Ten: The Problem":
Now my heart’s beating so fast, my head’s spinning.

“Does your nephew know about this?” Miss Sister speaks louder. “What exactly did you tell Theo?”

"Nothing yet. Not your business. If I get me the new job in Mount Flora, there's a duplex waiting, too. Nice old lady next door offered to watch after him."

"Mount Flora? My stars! Even on the bus, that's over an hour away," Miss Sister says.

"Don't know what difference it makes to anybody 'cept me." Uncle Raymond keeps muttering even while he's shutting the front door, making it hard to hear, harder to believe.

But I know Miss Sister heard every single word. Even the ones he didn't say out loud.
I love the Page 69 test. When I was a school media specialist, I often encouraged my students to try it. I'm delighted to discover that my own page 69 is one I remember working on very hard. I re-wrote that last sentence more times than I care to remember.

I hope this passage will encourage young readers to turn to the next page of The Way to Stay in Destiny! I love ending chapters on a note that leaves readers wondering.

In this selection, Miss Sister and Uncle Raymond are talking about our narrator Theo, while he's standing at the top of the stairs at the Rest Easy Rooming House and Dance Studio, eavesdropping. For the first time since moving to Destiny, Florida, Theo is worried his uncle may be taking him away from the place and the people he’s just beginning to love. I think this passage shows how much Miss Sister cares about Theo.
Learn more about the book and author at Augusta Scattergood's website and blog.

Writers Read: Augusta Scattergood (April 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue