Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Page 69: Dork

Disclaimer: 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 Will Winkle's Dork to the test...

Set up page 69 for us. What are we about to read?

The story is from the perspective from Ray Cooper, a self-conscious economics major. Here he is bar hopping with his friends Trevor, Chip, and Claire (which he has feelings for). This page finds them in a booth at one of the local bars, after an intoxicated older man intrudes on where they're sitting.

What is your book about?

The relatable, although neurotic, journey of a college student in their early twenties, uncertain about the future.

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

It drops you into the middle of the plot, but does help show the sense of humor between the characters, as well as Ray's fear of his future. It's that slice-of-life aspect that I think readers will relate to, and helps draw people into the story.


“We’re having a private conversation,” Trevor said.
Chip and I knew where this was going, so we quickly downed our drinks so as not to waste them when Claire put the strap of her bag back over her shoulder, and continuing their conversation, she and Trevor stood up from the booth and we began towards the door. I had started needing to pee when the man first sat down but didn’t want to hold everyone up with a detour to the bathroom. So, I had to hold it while pushing my sleeves down as we passed the main bar.
The yellow light at the end of Main seemed miles away, but luckily Sharky’s – our next destination – was only a few blocks. Trevor was the first to speak when we reached the sidewalk.
“What an asshole.”
“It’s our fault,” Claire said. “We shouldn’t have intruded on his booth like that. That was rude of us.”
“We should go back and apologize,” I said.
“Woah, not so fast,” Claire said in a falsely alarmed tone.
We laughed at this on our way down the street, but I began to worry that I was glimpsing a possible future version of myself. If I went to grad school I would be twenty-four when I graduated, so essentially middleaged. Then once everyone I hung out with was gone, I might be driven to the point of ambushing undergrads at bars.
That’s what I was thinking of when I didn’t notice that the others were cutting diagonally across the street, so I had to wait for another car to pass before doing a straight-legged jog to catch up to them just outside of Sharky’s.


Will Winkle graduated from the University of Idaho with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in economics, so naturally, he’s decided to become a novelist. While in college Will wrote comedy segments for the show he hosted on the university’s radio station, KUOI 89.3 FM Moscow, Idaho. Currently, he is writing short stories and cowriting a one-man-show with a graduate theater student at the University of Alabama.

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