Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pg. 69: "Greywalker"

Kat Richardson is the author of Greywalker, the first novel in a detective series with a supernatural twist, featuring PI Harper Blaine.

I asked Kat to put her book to the "page 69 test;" here is her reply:
On reading page 69 of my book, Greywalker, I was at first inclined to say it fails the test, but on thinking about it, it’s a reasonable sample of what the book’s about. The protagonist, Harper Blaine, is a private investigator who reluctantly ends up working for the undead after a near-death experience and has to come to grips with the way her life is changed by all of this, while still solving her cases. The first complete paragraphs on page 69 are a dialog as she questions a source:

“Well, you’re certainly standing in the right place for strange.” He chuckled. “I’ll talk to Mrs. Ingstrom and look for you tomorrow. All right?”

“That would be great. I appreciate it.”

He gazed down at me with half a smile, then shook himself. “Mind’s wandering, I guess. I’d better finish locking up. Would you like a guide to the door or can you blaze your own trail through the maritime wilderness?”

The man speaking in this excerpt becomes the love interest in the book and the page ends as Harper steps outside where she gets hit by a car. The novel is a paranormal detective story and page 69 shows the detective at work, plus some byplay with the characters in the romantic sub-plot, as well as an indication of the lurking weirdness in “the dry, uncanny mist with its accompanying vertigo and unpleasant reek of dead things” at the end. The rest of the book’s a lot weirder than that, but that’s a balanced taste of the major elements, even if it’s a bit heavier on the romance angle than the rest of the book. So, while it’s not the best sample, it passes McLuhan’s test.
Many thanks to Kat for the input.

Click here to read an excerpt from Greywalker.

Among the praise for the novel:
Greywalker is a non-stop action book with an intriguing premise, a great heroine, and enough paranormal complications to keep you on the edge of your seat. Richardson's characters are multi-dimensional and engaging, and I enjoyed this book all the way through.
--Charlaine Harris

Well-produced, pleasingly peopled, with a strong narrative and plenty of provocative plot lines: a superb beginning to the series that's unquestionably in the offing.
--Kirkus (starred review)

Richardson's first novel features a genuinely likable and independent heroine with a unique view of reality. Following in the tradition of Tanya Huff and Jim Butcher, this is a strong addition to the growing body of urban fantasy mysteries.
--Library Journal

Fast-paced fun, this first novel will captivate fans of Charmed, Buffy, and Charlaine Harris.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This first novel involves a missing person, vampires, an antique parlor organ, an Irish witch, and of course "the grey." There's enough action to satisfy just about anybody, along with some humor, and Blaine's first-person narration moves the story along at a good clip. Sure, Richardson is mining some of the same territory staked out by the likes of Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Charlaine Harris, to name a few, but she has her own original take, and it's worth a look. Check it out.
--Bill Crider
Entertainment Weekly gave Greywalker an 'A': it sounds negative, but I'm sure the "ick factor" is a huge plus for fans of the genre.

Click here to read Kat's blog.

For Kat's interview with Jeri Westerson--including the answers to "Who are your favorite authors? Who inspires you?"--click here.

Previous "page 69 tests":
Michael Bess, Choices Under Fire
Masha Hamilton, The Camel Bookmobile
Alex Beam, Gracefully Insane
Nicholas Lemann, Redemption
Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything
Wendy Steiner, Venus in Exile
Josh Chafetz, Democracy’s Privileged Few
Anne Frasier, Pale Immortal
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
David A. Bell, The First Total War
Brett Ellen Block, The Lightning Rule
Rosanna Hertz, Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice
Jason Starr, Lights Out
Robert Vitalis, America's Kingdom
Stephen Elliott, My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up
Colin McGinn, The Power of Movies
Sean Chercover, Big City, Bad Blood
Sigrid Nunez, The Last of Her Kind
Stanley Fish, How Milton Works
James Longenbach, The Resistance to Poetry
Margaret Lowrie Robertson, Season of Betrayal
Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig
Allison Burnett, The House Beautiful
Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, A History
Ed Lynskey, The Dirt-Brown Derby
Cindy Dyson, And She Was
Simon Blackburn, Truth
Brian Freeman, Stripped
Alyson M. Cole, The Cult of True Victimhood
Jeff Biggers, In the Sierra Madre
Jeff Broadwater, George Mason, Forgotten Founder
Alicia Steimberg, Andrea Labinger (trans.), The Rainforest
Michael Grunwald, The Swamp
Darrin McMahon, Happiness: A History
Leo Braudy, From Chivalry to Terrorism
David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie
Leah Hager Cohen, Train Go Sorry
Chris Grabenstein, Slay Ride
David Helvarg, Blue Frontier
Marina Warner, Phantasmagoria
Bill Crider, A Mammoth Murder
Robert W. Bennett, Taming the Electoral College
Nicholas Stern et al, Stern Review Report
Kerry Emanuel, Divine Wind
Adam Langer, The Washington Story
Michael Scott Moore, Too Much of Nothing
Frank Schaeffer, Baby Jack
Wyn Cooper, Postcards from the Interior
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Maureen Ogle, Ambitious Brew
Cass Sunstein, Infotopia
Paul W. Kahn, Out of Eden
Paul Lewis, Cracking Up
Pagan Kennedy, Confessions of a Memory Eater
David Greenberg, Nixon's Shadow
Duane Swierczynski, The Wheelman
George Levine, Darwin Loves You
John Barlow, Intoxicated
Alicia Steimberg, The Rainforest
Alan Wolfe, Does American Democracy Still Work?
John Dickerson, On Her Trail
Marcus Sakey, The Blade Itself
Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
John Gittings, The Changing Face of China
Rachel Kadish, Tolstoy Lied
Eric Rauchway, Blessed Among Nations
Tim Brookes, Guitar and other books
Ruth Padel, Tigers in Red Weather
William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke
Jed Horne, Breach of Faith
Robert Greer, The Fourth Perspective
David Plotz, The Genius Factory
Michael Allen Dymmoch, White Tiger
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Civilizing the Enemy
Tom Lutz, Doing Nothing
Libby Fischer Hellmann, A Shot To Die For
Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm
Bob Harris, Prisoner of Trebekistan
Elaine Flinn, Deadly Collection
Louise Welsh, The Bullet Trick
Gregg Hurwitz, Last Shot
Martha Powers, Death Angel
N.M. Kelby, Whale Season
Mario Acevedo, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Dominic Smith, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Simon Blackburn, Lust
Linda L. Richards, Calculated Loss
Kevin Guilfoile, Cast of Shadows
Ronlyn Domingue, The Mercy of Thin Air
Shari Caudron, Who Are You People?
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
John Sutherland, How to Read a Novel
Steven Miles, Oath Betrayed
Alan Brown, Audrey Hepburn's Neck
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

--Marshal Zeringue