Monday, October 19, 2015

Page 69: Anemogram

The Page 69 Test is not mine. It has been around since 2007, asking authors to compare page 69 against the meat of the actual story it is a part of. I loved the whole idea of it and so I'm stealing it specifically to showcase small press titles - novels, novellas, short story collections, the works! So until the founder of The Page 69 Test calls a cease and desist, let's do this thing....

In this installment of Page 69, 
we put Rebecca Gransden's Anemogram to the test.

Ok, Rebecca, set up page 69 for us.

Here David and Sarah have formed their precarious bond and are in the middle of figuring each other out. They have taken off together on a spontaneous journey that seems to make little sense for either of them. After Sarah appears to David, seemingly from nowhere, and he makes the perhaps rash decision to look out for her for a time, they take off on a path drawn more from an internal navigational logic than any rational explanation. At this point they are becoming more familiar with each other and David in particular is trying to work out the nature of the girl, and what her motivations might be towards him.

What is Anemogram about?

Anemogram is about the significance that transient relationships can have, and that sometimes it is these fleeting connections that can have the most profound impact on our lives. The origin of an uncanny girl who walks out of the woods is a mystery and David seems unnaturally curious and quickly bound to the her. The girl also has a kind of guide who may or may not be imaginary. It is through this guide, called Tinker, that we begin to see the girl’s parasitic need for stories. Their haphazard journey moves from one born from random chance to one that takes on a sense of predestination.

Do you think this page gives our readers an accurate sense of what the novel is about? Does it align itself the book’s overall theme?

I think it gives an idea of what defines their relationship for much of the book. There is a constant pull between them, the power dynamics while not in obvious opposition are of a constantly shifting and oblique nature. It also sets up the next destination for them, which has a pivotal role in the story, and illustrates that their interaction is one that exists in a world in flux and without any apparent anchor.

 PAGE 69

The windows started to fog reacting to the pervading in car heat. David rubbed at the windscreen with his sleeves and the crystal air of the morning came into view.

‘Alright. We need some petrol,’ David said.

She sighed and pulled the seatbelt around her to sit in its now familiar tightness. ‘Do we have to?’

‘Course we do. Unless you want to walk.’

‘But it’s boring. I thought we were going somewhere you remembered.’ She crossed her legs.

‘We are. Afterwards.’

‘Where’s that?’

David scratched his chin. ‘It’s the top of a hill. You can see all the way over some villages, right out to sea. There’s a bench up there we used to have a rest at. When I last went up there there were a few trees on top. They might still be there.’

She smiled, showing her teeth, and kicked up one of her feet. David smiled and moved the car past the piled up discarded things and away, along the pine edged roadway.

David pulled the car into the petrol station. A red Mondeo idled in front of them. He got out of the car and moved to put some petrol into it. She took deep breaths, the smell of fuel heady. David clanked around before she heard the sound of fuel being pumped into the vehicle. An elderly woman struggled out of a car across the forecourt. She walked over to David, asking him something. David finished pumping the petrol and strode to Sarah’s window. ‘Stay here,’ he said, ‘This lady needs a bit of help. I’m locking the door.’ He locked the door. ‘I won’t be long.’


Rebecca Gransden lives by the sea in the United Kingdom. She writes mainly short stories and has recently self-published her first novel. Supports indie authors with great passion. Her writing tends to focus on forgotten or neglected people and places. She likes documentaries and music plays an essential part in the creation of her stories.

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