Thursday, October 28, 2021

"The Family Tree"

Steph Mullin is a creative director and Nicole Mabry works in the photography department for a television network. They met as co-workers in New York City in 2012, discovering a shared passion for writing and true crime. After Mullin relocated to Charlotte, NC in 2018, they continued to collaborate. Separated by five states, they spend hours scheming via FaceTime and editing in real time on Google Docs. The Family Tree is the duo’s first crime novel.

The authors applied the Page 69 Test to the new novel and reported the following:
On page 69 in The Family Tree, our main character Liz Catalano and her cousin Andie are meeting Liz’s biological Great Uncle and Aunt for the first time. Liz had recently found out she was adopted after completing a 23andMe kit, and Cris and Rosie are the first relatives she’s been able to track down. This page shows them all sitting around a dinner table, eating and getting to know each other.

This test does not work well for our book, which has a lot of suspense and layers that are not fully represented by this page in the story. While the page is important because it builds backstory to the relationships that shape the frightening journey Liz embarks on and is important to her development and later choices she makes, it does not depict fully what she’s going through – or give insight into the dark and twisty “Victims Chapters” that really propel our story forward.

The Family Tree is more than just a serial killer story – while it does have many chapters and details that are perfect for lovers of true crime, it also has a lot of heart and personal introspection. Liz’s journey is one of self-discovery and determination to connect with her culture and where she comes from. That, woven with chapters that highlight our serial killer’s victims as real women going through an emotionally frightening ordeal, give it a little something for everyone.
Visit Steph Mullin & Nicole Mabry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue