Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Artemis Invaded"

Jane Lindskold is the bestselling author of the Firekeeper series, which began with Through Wolf’s Eyes and concluded with Wolf’s Blood, as well as many other fantasy novels. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Lindskold applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Artemis Invaded, the second book in the Artemis Awakening series, and reported the following:
Starting a page in the middle, not only of a scene, but also of a sentence is a challenge. I’ll admit it.

If I were the person browsing Artemis Invaded in a bookstore, I’d glance back to the previous page. There I’d see a dingbat telling me that the scene started there, so that’s what I’d do, too.

I like the first two sentences: “If there was ever a time Adara was reminded that Griffin had not been born on Artemis, it was when he said something like ‘scout the base of the mountain.’ Clearly, he had no idea how complicated the base of a mountain could be.”

Even for someone who hasn’t glanced at the dust jacket, this tells so much. Griffin is not native to Artemis. Adara is. Adara, however, has come to accept Griffin because she needs to be “reminded” that he isn’t local. This says a lot about both how well Griffin has adapted and Adara’s willingness to accept him as a person, alien or not.

In the next paragraph, Adara provides a swift, vivid description of why mountains are complicated to search, ending with “So it was that Adara did not set out on this very generalized search with a great deal of confidence.”

Searches interest me. They're mysteries in miniature.

Page 69 itself picks up with the search. Almost immediately, there’s conflict.
As they began their search, Sand Shadow was a bit peevish. Explaining to her why they were searching for nothing Adara could precisely define had been difficult. All the puma had gathered was that the end result of their quest would be Griffin’s departure. Since Sand Shadow liked Griffin – she had adopted him as her favorite playmate when they were in Spirit Bay – a search that would end up with her losing her ‘toy’ did not seem worth the effort.
The paragraph pays double because a reader will learn – without having read anything else and without any repetition on my part (as writer) that the goal of the search is something that will take Griffin (not-native) away from Artemis.

So, transportation oriented. Readers who realize that Artemis is a planet will guess that what is being sought is high-tech. If they are familiar with the previous novel, they’ll realize how rare – indeed, how nearly impossible to find – such is on Artemis.

Page 69 ends with a little gem about how Adara and Sand Shadow met – and the nature of their relationship.

So, mystery, conflict, backstory… All in about a page and a half. I’d keep reading!
Visit Jane Lindskold's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Artemis Awakening.

Writers Read: Jane Lindskold.

--Marshal Zeringue