Friday, January 28

Posted by Laurel Garver on Friday, January 28, 2011 31 comments
What's life without a little spontaneity? I thought for fun I'd join in the 99th page blogfest, hosted by Alicia at Slice of the Blog Pie. Swing by her blog to check out the other entries.

In this fest, we post an excerpt from the 99th page of one of our projects without contextualizing or explaining anything and ask you, dear readers, to answer the questions following the excerpt.


Today's rough and tumble independent publishing world made it necessary to remove all snippets and previous versions of my work from the blog. The existence of such a "publishing trail" can be used to file false DMCA notices about my novels.


  1. This is a great idea! Why would I turn to page 100? To see how he knows that! Now you've got me curious... :)

  2. Wow, this is one gutsy blogfest. Share you writing and then ask if people would read more. I'm not sure if I would. I am intrigued, it's just, I have so little backstory here. I don't know that care enough about any of the characters from just reading a page.

  3. Karen: Thanks. It's kind of an odd exercise, to see if a random page deep in the middle is catchy.

    Angela: I agree that voice and premise aren't going to be enough to go on for every reader.

  4. I liked the characters...I'm curious to know what happens next! :D

  5. Great excerpt! I would read on, mostly because I want to find out what I probably would already know if I had been reading it from the beginning! (And that kind of made my brain hurt, writing that sentence!) Mostly, I want to know, What happened to Dad, where she is now and where she was before, and what happened when Theo held her once! That sounds juicy.

    I also like the line:
    "What would we talk about? Hoof and mouth disease?" :-)

  6. Girl-Chris and guy-Chris sold me. That was very real as I ran around with two Kims and we all had to designate which one we were talking about. The gathering is needing some context, but I am sure the before would tell us that. Very cute and I would rather read-back first, but would definately read on.

  7. Love this line: Especially not a comparison model for dateability

    I like her voice already and I love the mention of a guy-Chris and girl-Chris. I actually have friends who we refer to them as such as well as a C-Chris and K-Kris. Very relatable to me. I'd keep reading.

  8. This is a great page. The writing is clear and there's family drama. There's mention of a boy. I'd flip to page 100 to find out how Lamby knew about the mom. I'm not sure if I would buy it because of my bias of present tense.

    Thanks for participating!

  9. Fish out of water kind of story I'm guessing. While this might not be a page-turner page, I'd want to start at the beginning. Doesn't that mean buying the book?

  10. Beautiful background on this blog!

    But, on topic, I do like this. You get a feel for the character, and I can relate to not wanting to be the mourner. After my father died, I felt like people would stop having fun when I entered a room. They'd use hushed tones and hound dog eyes. So you caught me with your description.

    I'd flip on a few pages, for sure.

  11. I'd definitely turn the page and I have a feeling this is sad - not everything with death in it is sad, but something about the tone feels heavy and kind of wonderful. Like I'd have a good cry and be able to breathe better afterwards.

  12. There's so much emotion going on here, and it's very real. It's not just sorrow, even though that's primary, and that makes it feel that much more realistic. That and your last two sentences are cliff-hangers that really make me want to turn the page.

  13. Hi,

    To be honest there is so much going on here in emotional terms and visual activity I'm lost, therefore I'd have to purchase the map to get my bearings and read the necessary signs! Job done, book sold. ;)


  14. Laura: Thanks. Most of my scenes aren't so cluttered with people--this is one of two scenes in the whole book with "walk-on characters." The teens Dani meets are mostly for local color.

    Melissa: Cool.Glad you found so much to like, and that the questions raised didn't frustrate you.

    Lynn: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. The girl-Chris/guy-Chris was a phenom from a HS class of 22 kids with five people named Chris in it--three girls and two guys.

  15. Kelly: Thanks. The kids Dani meets here are walk-ons she's "trying on for size" as potential buds were she to leave the US permanently. I thought I'd have a little fun with the names because of it.

    Alicia: Thanks for hosting! It was an interesting experiment to see what page 99 held and what it would feel like out of context. I was delighted that the family drama and romantic subplot were clearly here.

    I understand narrative biases. I don't like 3rd person much. My choice of present tense is very deliberate, though. I wanted the character living totally in the moment with no wisdom of hindsight.

    Wendy: Yes, fish-out-of-water is dominant in this part of the book particularly--I'm glad those clues were readable. This section is a valley between faster action sections. I'm glad you'd be willing to see more nonetheless.

  16. Caroline: There are more nice graphics like mine for free or a minimal fee at This one I had to purchase (totally worth it!).

    Yes, one of the toughest parts of the grief experience is how everyone treats you very weirdly. I'm glad that rang true to you.

    Meghan: Thanks so much. I know grieving teens aren't everyone's cup of tea and I've tried to temper the sad with moments of humor and intrigue and romance. But, yeah, I've managed to choke up even some of my male CPs who've read the whole story.

    Loralie: Thank you! I'm thrilled that the emotion grabbed you and felt authentic. That means so much.

    Francine: Sigh. That's one thing I don't love--out of context this feels very busy with too many characters. Pacing-wise at this point it needed to move along and not dwell on walk-on characters. I'm glad the "scenery was pretty enough" to play on your metaphor, that you'd want to buy the map and explore Dani's world.

  17. I wouldn't just because YA isn't my thing. But very well-done, Laurel!

  18. excellent! "I’m sick of being the mourner; I just want to be a normal teenager for one freaking hour." This is perfect on so many levels.

    Thanks for joining in the fun

  19. I would like to know more about Theo. I would turn the page. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I'm a sucker for contemporary YA (and oddly, the dads in mine keep dying, too). Good page, thanks for sharing!

  21. Is she in Ireland? The use of Da. Such as if you hear an adult male call his Father "Daddy" you know your in Texas. I love fish in the punch bowl stories.
    Hey and if yo get a second, I cheated and posted pg 98 in my comments. That paragraph has been a thorn. In 1st it does not fly, and the shift sounds like she's talking to a mouse in her pocket. Head bowed, it isn't the only time she pulls this on me. Is it still messy in context and if you have any ideas...I will jump for joy and do two hours of ellipse clipping as my punishment for bothering you. Do puppy eyes help, I don't have any but I cold find some and post them if they would, Thanks again for your comments! Happy Wishes!

  22. Wow. Pretty excellent writing. I would turn the page. Your characters seem 'real,' and I love the word dateability. :) girl-Chris and guy-Chris is just plain cute.

    Thanks for sharing.


  23. The voice and writing are spot on, and there's lots of conflict here. I am curious about so many things-- the dad's death, the mom's work, the reason she is "fish out of water" in England. I like the totally kid feeling of wanting to stop being a mourner.

    Great excerpt.

    I'd read on!

  24. Your blog is gorgeous! And your page is pretty awesome, too. Great sense of character and voice. I want to read more!

  25. Christine: Aw, thanks. I can understand not wanting to relive the teen years. :-)

    Erinn: Thanks. This was an interesting experiment and fun to meet some new bloggers.

    Heather: Thanks. Feel free to take a peek at my posts marked "writing sample" to see more Theo.

    Erica and Christy: Thanks for coming by and commenting. Nothing like losing a parent to bring lots of complications.

  26. Lynn: So close! It's rural North Britain, which also uses Da in its dialect. I'll try to swing by and take a look at your POV switching issue later this evening.

    Marie: Thanks so much. Glad it worked for you even out of context.

    Perri: Thanks. You're an amazing clue-reader!

    Meika: Wow, I'm blushing. Thanks for your kind words.

  27. Wow, there's a lot going in this page. I'd definitely keep reading - I like the character's voice, and I want to see how she resolves losing her dad.

  28. Laurel Thank you, exactly what I needed, a map. Sometimes I know what it should be doing but can't hear the correct phrase put in the correct tense, but you hit exactly on the error and show how to fix it without changing the beat. Now I can go back and fix the 60 or so other times...sigh. I hate it when she talks to the camera so to speak, now I can change them. Thank YOU!

    Mmmmmm North Britian sounds yummy too.

  29. Oh, well, off to ellipse

  30. Though I feel like I'm thrust into the middle of the story (that's the point, right?) I still like this. This page hints at a couple of big themes and events, and I'd like to know more.

  31. Very nice! I would read on. I enjoyed some of the cute little touches like boy-Chris and girl-Chris.

    I think you've got some neat characters here and also some important information about the death of the MC's dad. I'm interested for sure!