Wednesday, December 8, 2021

"Never Tell A Lie"

Gail Schimmel is an admitted attorney in South Africa, with four degrees to her name. She is currently the CEO of the Advertising Regulatory Board―the South African self-regulatory body for the content of advertising. She has published five novels in South Africa, with The Aftermath as her international debut. She lives in Johannesburg with her husband, two children, an ancient cat and two very naughty dogs.

Schimmel applied the Page 69 Test to her newest novel, Never Tell A Lie, and reported the following:
I had never heard of this test before so I was totally intrigued to see how it would work for Never Tell A lie – a book about friendship and lies and the secrets we keep.

On page 69 [inset left; click to enlarge], we learn a few important things about my main character, Mary. We learn that she has a son who worries her – and the Page 69er would probably believe that this is a bigger part of the story than it is. We meet her friend Stacey, and realise that sometimes Mary doesn’t feel that Stacey is listening to her, even though she is a good friend. We learn that Mary is embarking on a new relationship with Joshua, but on page 69 it is still early days. Finally, we learn that Mary has a new friend called April – probably the most important piece of information on the page. It is this friendship that will lead Mary into a world of lies, wondering who to believe and leaving the reader guessing till the very end.

I don’t think page 69 is the best page to entice a new reader – it is neither gripping nor hilarious, the two things that I hope to be! However, it introduces most of the cast, and hints at some of the themes. I would give it a 7 out of ten as a test for my book! I can’t wait to see how it works for other books of mine.
Visit Gail Schimmel's website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Q&A with Gail Schimmel.

--Marshal Zeringue