Friday, July 10, 2015

"The Mountain Story"

Lori Lansens burst onto the literary scene in 2002 with her first novel Rush Home Road. Published in eleven countries, Rush Home Road received rave reviews around the world. Her follow-up novel The Girls was an international success as well. Rights were sold in 13 territories and it featured as a book club pick by Richard & Judy in the UK, selling 300,000 copies. Her third novel The Wife’s Tale is currently in development as a feature film. Born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, Lansens now makes her home in the Santa Monica Mountains with her husband and two children.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Mountain Story, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Smiling, Frankie followed, stopping at the counter. “What’s your name?”

“Byrd,” I said loudly. “He said his name is Byrd.”

“Like…flapping?” Frankie inquired.

“Like Larry,” Byrd grinned.

“Hate the Celtics,” Frankie said. “How do you say “It’s good to meet you in Cahoola?”

“The slang way’s simple. Like saying ‘What’s up?’ It’s Yo arra.”

I lowered my face when Frankie repeated, “Yo arra.”

“The formal version is longer. It’s how you’d address an elder, a teacher, or a cop, for example, You add fah ken ut. Yo arra fah ken ut.”

Yo arra fah ken ut,” Frankie said slowly.

We repeated that phrase to each other, Byrd and me, a thousand times after that day. It was the bedrock of our friendship. I’d once asked him if we’d exhumed the stupid cliché of the wise red man having one over on the dumbass white man. He thought about it for a moment, because Byrd was a thinker, and then said, “Not cliché, brother. Classic.”
I love this test. Well, the page isn’t representative of the entire book but it does involve the eighteen-year-old protagonist, Wolf Truly, meeting his best friend for the first time.

The Mountain Story is about four lost hikers, eighteen-year-old Wolf Truly and three women, strangers, Nola, Bridget and Vonn. To understand the mountain story you have to know what came before. Wolf, our narrator, chronicles the mountain misadventure, and sheds light on the events from the past that brought them all to the mountain that day.

Page 69 is the end of the section where Wolf meets his first, best and only friend, Byrd, upon arriving in Palm Springs from Michigan. Frankie, Wolf’s ne’er do-well father has stopped at a gas station in the desert. Byrd is Native American, a descendant of the Agua Caliente Indians of the Coachella. Frankie mispronounces the name of the Indian band – Cahoola instead of Cahuilla (Ka-wee-ah). He has no idea he’s being made a fool of.
Visit Lori Lansens's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Mountain Story.

--Marshal Zeringue