Tuesday, February 2, 2021

"Hadley & Grace"

Suzanne Redfearn is the bestselling author of four novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, In An Instant, and Hadley & Grace.

Born and raised on the east coast, Redfearn moved to California when she was fifteen. She currently lives in Laguna Beach with her husband where they own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza & Beer.

In addition to being an author, Redfearn is an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. When not writing, she enjoys doing anything and everything with her family—skiing, golf, tennis, pickleball, hiking, board games, and reality TV. She is an avid baseball fan. Her team is the Angels.

Redfearn applied the Page 69 Test to Hadley & Grace and reported the following:
From page 69:
The case isn’t complicated and should have been wrapped up months ago, but they hit a snafu when the marked money they’d put in circulation never showed up in Torelli’s accounts. Not a big deal: it simply meant Torelli was stashing the money somewhere other than the bank.

Mark set up surveillance cameras outside Torelli’s office and his garages, and now they were just waiting on a search warrant. As soon as they have it, a team will go in, find the money, and Torelli, his brother, and his cousin will be sent away for a nice long stay at their local federal penitentiary, compliments of the US government.

Mark rubs the bridge of his nose as Fitz says, “It’s the tapes from last night.” He hesitates, mutters an “uh,” then an “um,” then stops again.

Fitz is a good kid, smart and hardworking, and Mark genuinely likes him. But his dream is to someday be a field agent, and Mark has his doubts. While the kid has a great criminal mind and good instincts, being on the ground means making life-and-death decisions and, more importantly, being able to live with the consequences of those choices after they’re made. There can’t be any second-guessing, and with Fitz, everything the kid says seems to come out a question.

“Fitz?” Mark says, trying to conceal his irritation. A hazy hangover has formed behind the front of his skull, the thrum of his pulse in his brain, and he presses his fingers against it, regretting the beer binge he indulged in last night after the recital.

“Maybe you should take a look for yourself?” Fitz says.

Mark grunts and hangs up, then for a long minute sits where he is, staring at the fan as it pulses back and forth beside the window. Even at seven in the morning, the heat that’s descended on the capital this week is suffocating, and again, he is reminded of how much he misses Boston.
This page gives a snapshot of the setup for the story. The problem is it is told from the least important of the three narrators. The book is primarily about “Hadley” and “Grace,” and this particular chapter is from the POV of the detective who is investigating them. But I would definitely say the “page 69” test worked remarkably well in the sense that I don’t know if any other single page explains why this two women end up accidental fugitives from the law.

The idea for Hadley & Grace came from my enduring love for the movie Thelma & Louise. I wanted to write the same sort of exciting, road-trip adventure that also had an underlying theme of self-discovery and empowerment. As it turned out, I couldn’t actually tell the story as it was originally conceived by the talented Callie Khouri. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from gawking truck drivers, bar-thug rapists, and patronizing do-gooder cops as typical male stereotypes. So, while the plot is similar—two women on the run who become accidental outlaws—the story turned out very different, a modern retelling that, while still thrilling and unexpected, is much more about family, finding inner strength, and redefining yourself.
Visit Suzanne Redfearn's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Suzanne Redfearn and Cooper.

Q&A with Suzanne Redfearn.

My Book, The Movie: Hadley and Grace.

--Marshal Zeringue