Sunday, June 26, 2022

"The Ballad of Perilous Graves"

Alex Jennings is a writer/editor/teacher/poet living in New Orleans. He was born in Wiesbaden (Germany) and raised in Gaborone (Botswana), Tunis (Tunisia), Paramaribo (Surinam) and the United States. He constantly devours pop culture and writes mostly jokes on Twitter. He loves music, film, comix, and even some TV. He has two of the best roommates on earth (one of whom is a beautiful beautiful dog named Karate Valentino).

Jennings applied the Page 69 Test to his debut novel, The Ballad of Perilous Graves, and reported the following:
On page 69 of The Ballad of Perilous Graves, one of our deuteragonists, Casey Ravel, learns that his cousin Jaylon has been experimenting with impossible street art—something the two swore when they were younger that they would never do. Jayl shows Casey an attempt at a free-floating graffiti tag, and Casey is physically horrified by the art and what it implies.

I think the page does an excellent job of communicating what the book is and what it’s about—to an extent. The material with Casey is fascinating, but most of it takes place outside my fantastical version of New Orleans that is full of living songs, airborne trolleys, zombie cabbies, and talking animals. The bulk of the story takes place there, and I don’t think it’s possible from this page to predict how and why this world will interact with that one.

My favorite stories are always the ones that take events in a direction as unexpected as it is inevitable. On that score, a lot of craziness and happenstance comes across as just noise, expressing just some things that happened rather than a story, so as I wrote this book, and then revised, and revised again, it was important to me to draw readers along with that sort of snake-charmer effect and take them somewhere crazy, but to make sure that they understand how we’ve gone from point A to point π.
Visit Alex Jennings's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Alex Jennings & Karate Valentino.

My Book, The Movie: The Ballad of Perilous Graves.

--Marshal Zeringue