Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Lone Star"

Paullina Simons is the international best-selling author of novels such as Tully, Red Leaves, Eleven Hours, The Bronze Horseman, and Tatiana and Alexander.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, Lone Star, and reported the following:
It can go either way; who knows what’s on any given page of your typeset manuscript? Page 69 could be a description of the torrid hotel room where some of the spicier action takes place or an hour of horrid plane travel. I could be either setting up for a vocal solo or killing it on stage. It could be filler, a transition, or even the title of a new part.

Fortunately in Lone Star, page 69 wasn’t filler.

In Lone Star, my two main characters, Chloe and her lifelong friend Blake are in study hall on page 69, sitting across from each other, trying to figure out what kind of story Blake is going to write. He is not a writer. But he wants to write a story so he can win some prize money. He comes to Chloe for advice. Chloe is smart, studious, sensible. Can she help him figure out if he’s writing a mystery or a love story? She tells him he must know the most important thing about his story, and then he will be able to write it. But Blake maintains it is the act of writing that forces him to figure out what the story’s about. Chloe disagrees. She tells him he must know at the outset. Blake shakes his head. Like he knows everything. “No,” he says. “A story is the best thing of all. It’s an unexpected thing.”

This is all on page 69.

And that’s how I feel about my novel Lone Star. It’s not what you expect. You think you’re reading one kind of story, but then it becomes another. And another, and another. Until you get to the end, and then you say, oh, now I get it. It’s this.

Chloe and Blake are leaning over the table toward each other and that’s how I want you to be reading my book, leaning over the table, your head and your heart fully immersed in it.
Visit Paullina Simons's website.

--Marshal Zeringue