Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Prisoner of War"

New York Times bestselling author Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than twenty books, primarily for teens and young adults. He is an Edgar Award nominee, winner of the Wrangler Award and his books have appeared on numerous state reading lists. His trilogy, The Youngest Templar, was an international bestseller. His newest novel, Prisoner of War, is historical fiction based on the true story of America’s youngest POW in World War II.

Spradlin applied the Page 69 Test to Prisoner of War and reported the following:
Page 69. A random number. A random page. It can be a whole page of dialogue, the beginning or end of a chapter, or several paragraphs building narrative tension. In the case of Prisoner of War, the protagonist, Henry Forrest, has lied his way into the Marine Corps and is now suffering through the first leg of the Bataan Death March as a Japanese captive.

Henry is only fifteen years old, having lied about his age to join up. Now he is witnessing some of the most evil and inhumane acts of human cruelty imaginable. And on page 69, he meets the man who will become his tormentor.
As my senses slowly returned, I scanned the crowd hoping to see Jamison, but could not locate him in the teeming mass of men. With nothing else to do but think, I was reminded again of all the reasons why I wished I’d never come to the Philippines. The air was thick with humidity, like a wet blanket constantly covering us. The breeze was miserably hot, and were it not for the pitiful shade of the palm tree, the sun would set our skin to sizzling like bacon on a grill.

But I’d made my choice when I’d lied and joined up. The Marine Corps was not a democracy. You got sent where you got sent. Right now, despite the unrelenting brightness of the sun, it felt as if I was in the darkest corner of the world.

I dozed with my back to the tree and had no idea how much time had passed. It must’ve been a few hours later when a Japanese staff car arrived, followed by a column of trucks filled with more Japanese soldiers. An officer emerged from the back of the car. He was dressed in an immaculate uniform, carrying a riding crop in his hand and wearing knee high leather boots.
This officer will test Henry to the limits of human endurance. Can he survive? Will he find a way to keep his humanity intact? Page 69. Onward.
Visit Michael P. Spradlin's website.

My Book, The Movie: Prisoner of War.

Writers Read: Michael P. Spradlin.

--Marshal Zeringue