Sunday, July 8, 2007

Peter Corris's "Appeal Denied"

Peter Corris, "the godfather of Australian crime fiction," applied the "Page 99 Test" to Appeal Denied, the latest volume in his acclaimed Cliff Hardy series, and reported the following:
I’m not given to analysis or critique of my own work, but your approach intrigued me. I hadn’t heard of the Ford Madox Ford dictum (always found him unreadable), but it sounded witty so I was happy to have a shot.

Page 99 of Appeal Denied (Allen & Unwin 2007) embodies many of the effects I try to achieve in my writing – a balance between dialogue and narrative, a demonstration of the attitudes of my protagonist and enough material to keep the reader interested and the story progressing.

I’m fond of American pulp writer Jim Thompson’s pronouncement: “There is only one story – things are not what they seem.” I think this is demonstrated pretty well in the scene on page 99 where things unfold for the characters, become a bit clearer, but they each continue to entertain suspicions that they’re not getting the whole story. One admits that she’s already been duplicitous and is prepared to be so again.

The scene is edgy which is the way I write – without a plan, trusting that things will come right session by session. So far they have.

So, in the case of this one book at least, dreary old FMF was on the money.
Read more about Appeal Denied at the publisher's website, and learn more about the full Cliff Hardy series and Peter Corris's other works at his website.

--Marshal Zeringue