Turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book.
That was Marshall McLuhan’s advice anyway. Over the next few Wednesdays, I invite readers to submit their own or other works (pg. 69 only of course!) via the Contact Form here.
BLACK is Back by Russell BlakeGenre: Crime Fiction Page 69 Excerpt pub. Nov. 24, 2013 In this second installment in the acclaimed BLACK series, Artemus Black, Hollywood PI to the stars, dives into the rap music scene to stop a killer – with often disastrous and humorous results. Fans of hard-boiled detective fiction from Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly and Lawrence Block will enjoy Black’s trials and tribulations, all delivered with a tongue-in-cheek cynicism that’s uniquely Russell Blake.
“And I don’t suppose you saw a guy wearing a little black mask and a cape, holding a remote control detonator or anything?”
“Mm, no, I missed him. Or her. Or them.”
“Bastard. What good are you then?”
“According to my exes, none at all.”
“You wouldn’t by any chance have any theories, would you?”
“Not yet. And don’t forget my theories are usually, er, incomplete, at best. Until I put it all together. Which I’m not even close to yet.”
Stan caught a glimpse of Genesis over Black’s shoulder and his eyes widened, a rarity on his hangdog face. Black followed his look and then nodded.
“I understand she likes older cops.”
“Older cops like her.”
“She’s B-Side’s PR flack. Probably a galaxy or two out of your league. No offence.”
“None taken. But I’m not so sure. If the older cop thing doesn’t cinch it, maybe my borderline alcoholism and poor hygiene will.”
“Guy’s gotta dream.”
“Ain’t that the truth. All right, so we can put you into the “I don’t know nuthin” category on this one, right? For the record, you didn’t kill them, did you?”
“Not unless I bored them to death.”
“They were too far out of range to make you a credible suspect.”
Black’s cell phone rang, with an AC/DC ringtone clamouring “The Girl’s Got Rhythm” at eighty decibels, and he fumbled in his pocket before answering.
“It’s Sam. What the hell happened?”
“We don’t know. But if I had to guess, somebody rigged the boat to explode.”
Inkker Hauser: Part 1: Rum Hijack by Phil ConquestGenre: dark humor
Page 69 Excerpt (pub 8 Sept 2014)One day he will write the masterpiece that renders critics speechless and seats him on the throne of literary infamy. It’s inside him…somewhere. In the meantime, between going from one failed relationship to the next, he sits in his dead grandfather’s flat watching videos of nautical disasters, scorning bestselling ebook writers and searching for his elusive muse. One day he will show them all. All he has to do is write that first sentence… The protagonist, an unnamed young man, is convinced that he is a literary genius, yet his ‘writer’s block’ has rendered him unable to write even a sentence. In this excerpt, he rails against popular e-writers who promote their work on Twitter.
And it seems that those who are writing ‘contemporary’ kitchen-sink dramas or ‘chick lit’ can’t tell you fast enough how ‘hilarious’ their book is, which is a guarantee that it is, at best, vaguely amusing, and then only to the lowest common denominator whose sense of humour is as plain and dull as a landfill pebble. The real jewel in the hashtag crown, however, is ‘#controversial’. That one really infuriates me. How overblown does a person’s sense of self have to become to declare their own writing so? So controversial that no one’s heard of it? That the only person saying it is the person who wrote it? The desperation to laud yourself as a controversial writer when no one has a clue who you are. And it’s a given that the ‘controversy’ within is well below sub-scandal and so blatantly contrived in desperation that it’s nothing but the equivalent of a seven year old farting as loudly as possible in its class room for attention – though even the most deprived seven year old would still exercise some caution so as not to soil themselves, a concern these ‘controversial’ writers are clearly without.
The banality of their creating. The noise these empty vessels make! They are the drunks hogging the microphone on karaoke night, the equivalent of the people at the auditions at the beginning of each series of The X-factor, laughed at for their lack of talent, while they themselves think that just being there is enough. That because it’s their ‘dream’, they therefore have the ability to pull it off. Just as those idiots show up to wail tunelessly at the judges, oblivious to how abysmal they really are, so e-authors churn out their dreary prose under the presumption that they are naturally gifted for the written word. The X-Factor comparisons are all too obvious. Self-publishing made something possible to people who had given writing no thought whatsoever until it emerged, and once it was available,
I would really love to feature your Page 69! Use Contact Form here to submit your favorite Pg 69 (your own or other’s work) or tweet #Pg69