Thursday, February 1, 2018

"Blood Sisters"

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist and has spent time as the writer in residence of a high-security prison for men–an experience that helped inspire My Husband’s Wife, her suspense debut.

Corry applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, Blood Sisters, and reported the following:
Page 69 comes after a really tense scene when Alison has witnessed a violent attack in prison. I tried to impart the sense of unreality when the rest of the world goes on around you, even though you are in shock. ‘All I really wanted to do was drive home and hide under the covers’. I’ve wanted to do that at times and I’m sure you have too.

This page also shows the effect on the other prisoners. (A few years ago, I was writer in residence of a high-security male jail which gave me first-hand experience.) Prisoners play a big role in Blood Sisters. I wanted to show that they aren’t always what they seem……

Criminals are also (usually) fiercely loyal to their nearest and dearest. as this page shows. ‘Family outside assumes huge significance for prisoners - usually more than when they were free.'

The funny thing is that the page numbering differs in the UK paperback version so I thought I’d take a look at that too. There, page 69 of Blood Sisters shows a rather tender scene between Kitty and the man/boy she falls in love with. It shows her manipulative side as well as the vulnerable aspect. It’s funny. Yet it’s also painful. So in a way, it’s representative of the tone throughout the book.

Page 69 also gets right into the heart of Kitty’s head and also describes the care home where she lives. ‘Kitty’s heart began to float. Right up to the ceiling with its brown cloud stains.’

Kitty doesn’t know why she’s in the home because she’s lost her memory (she thinks someone might have left it in the back of a wardrobe) but page 69 describes how love has made everything all right again. She can’t talk or walk but she has learned to hum with happiness as the following line shows. 'Never before had she felt so happy. Hmmm! Hmmm!’

It also shows the way that Kitty sees other characters. She doesn’t always give them names but describes them in the way she sees them. On Page 69 we meet Smiley Carer.

The Page 69 Test is such a clever idea! I’m just about to start writing my next book and I’m going to pay particular attention to the text on that page!
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--Marshal Zeringue