Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Forsaken Skies"

D. Nolan Clark is the pseudonym bestselling horror writer David Wellington uses for his science fiction books.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Forsaken Skies, and reported the following:
It happens every time.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve taken the Page 69 Test. I do know that each time I’ve reached for the book, excited to share some incredible action scene or maybe a tender moment between two characters I love. Every single time, it turns out page 69 is right in the middle of an exposition scene. Typically, it’s a page of pure dialogue, one character telling another one about what’s going on in the plot.

And yeah… here we are.

Forsaken Skies is the best book I’ve ever written. Working on it, it felt like the culmination of everything I’ve learned over the years about writing, all the little tricks I’ve picked up, all the sweat and tears I’ve put into improving my skills. There are scenes in this book I can’t believe I wrote, scenes so exciting and fun. There are characters here I can hear breathing when I read their dialogue, people I’d love to spend time with in real life (as long as I didn’t have to live in their dangerous world!).

On Page 69, one of those characters, Elder McRae, is talking about how her world was settled. About why her people came to the planet of Niraya, a planet now in terrible peril. She’s pleading with the main character, a starfighter pilot named Aleister Lanoe, to come to their aid. She isn’t begging. Elder McRae doesn’t beg anyone for anything. But she’s desperate, and she knows without Lanoe’s help, her world will die.

It’s an intense, fraught scene. It is not particularly typical of the book. This book is full of spaceships twisting through the void in fast-paced dogfights. It’s chock full of mysteries and their revelations, of people trying to connect with each other in the midst of mortal danger. Most scenes full of action and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

But on page 69, there’s an old woman trying very hard to convince a warrior just to listen to her. To give her a chance to tell her story.

I hope you’ll give me the same chance, and check out my book. And be ready for what happens on page 490, because it’s awesome.
Learn more about the book and author at David Wellington's website.

--Marshal Zeringue