Saturday, October 24, 2015

"The Searcher"

Simon Toyne is the bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy: Sanctus, The Key, and The Tower. A writer, director, and producer in British television for twenty years, he worked on several award-winning shows, one of which won a BAFTA. His books have been translated into twenty-seven languages and published in more than fifty countries. He lives with his wife and family in England and the south of France, where he is at work on his second Solomon Creed novel.

Toyne applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel The Searcher, the first book in the Solomon Creed series, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Solomon stood inside the door of the church letting his eyes adjust to the gloom after the fierce sunlight outside. Huge stained-glass windows poured light into the dark interior, splashing color onto what appeared at first glance to be a collection of old junk.

To the left of the door a full-size covered wagon stood behind a model of a horse and a mannequin dressed in nineteenth-century clothes. A fully functioning Long Tom sluice box stood opposite with water trickling through it, making a sound like the roof was leaking. A collection of gold pans was arranged beneath a sign saying Tools of the Treasure Hunter’s Trade. There were pickaxes too and fake sticks of dynamite and ore crushers and softly lit cabinets containing examples of copper ore and gold flake and silver seams in quartz. Another cabinet contained personal effects—reading glasses, pens, gloves—all carefully labeled and arranged, and there was a scale model of the town on a table showing what Redemption had looked like a hundred years ago. And right in the center of the strange diorama a lectern stood, angled toward the door so that anyone entering the building was forced to gaze upon the battered Bible resting on it.
Page 69 of The Searcher is the start of a chapter where my main character enters a church at the heart of the town of Redemption, Arizona. It’ s a very important scene because it introduces key elements of the story, the church included, and so has to be both informative and intriguing. I must have rewritten this scene twenty or thirty times, adding things, taking things away, changing the things Solomon notices or the order in which he sees them. Describing places is always hard in a thriller because you need to do it to ground the action but you can’t dwell too long on it otherwise you risk derailing the pace, and that’s death to your story.

Anyway there it is, you can be the judge of whether I succeeded or not.
Learn more about the book and author at Simon Toyne's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: The Searcher.

Writers Read: Simon Toyne.

--Marshal Zeringue