Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"The Incident on the Bridge"

Laura Rhoton McNeal holds an MA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and has worked as a freelance journalist, a crime writer, and a high school English teacher. She is the author of Dark Water, a finalist for the National Book Award. She and her husband, Tom, are the authors of Crooked, Zipped, Crushed, and The Decoding of Lana Morris.

McNeal applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Incident on the Bridge, and reported the following:
Page 69 is the last page of an expository scene in which Fen Harris, who has just moved to Coronado, takes a sailing lesson. Fen has no knowledge of sailing terms, but his uncle has signed him up for a private class with an Olympic-level coach and has implied that Fen has some experience with boats. I don’t think this would be the best place for a reader to pop into the narrative, but it does contain kernels of Fen’s predicament as a newcomer. I was keenly aware, as I was writing about Fen’s sailing lesson, of how hard it is both to learn a new skill—I’ve taken sailing lessons myself, to mortifying effect--and to keep your dignity when you’re bad at something. You can learn everything you need to know about the pain of growing up by watching an adolescent try a new sport in front of his or her peers.
Visit Laura McNeal's website.

--Marshal Zeringue