Thursday, March 25, 2010
Sharp Edge Of A Knife by D. N. Giles
Following is a copy of the review that I wrote on February 12th.
This suspenseful story is amazing. Make sure you have plenty of time to read because once you start you won't want to stop. I promise you that this book will keep you turning pages right until the very end.
When Mel Petersen leaves for work on the morning of February 7, he has no idea what awaits him. A few miles from his house, Mel picks up a pair of young men who appear to be college students, hoping to prevent them from having to walk in the cold. What Mel doesn't know is that the men are actually convicts on the run from the law who are desperate to get away by any means necessary. When one of his passengers holds a knife to Mel's throat, he has no choice but to submit to the demands of the criminals. Mel hopes he has what it takes to talk his captors into letting him live so he can return to his wife and children, but fears they will kill him before he has the chance. Based on a true story, The Sharp Edge of a Knife follows Mel and his captors on an unforgettable ride that will have you questioning the depth of your faith and sitting on the edge of your seat as it grabs your attention from the first sentence and keeps you riveted until the very end.
Many times, I've stopped to pick up someone because it was cold or I saw they had missed their bus and would have to wait outside in the frigid weather. This book will make me rethink my actions.
INTERVIEW with D. N. (Nichole) Giles - Author of Sharp Edge Of A Knife and co-author of the book Mormon Mishaps and Mischief
Q: How much research did you have to do to write Sharp Edge Of A Knife?
A: I started out with a handful of newspaper articles and about two pages worth of journal accounts from my grandpa, and somewhere in the mix there was a court subpoena. From there I called the police departments involved, but because the case was so old –fifty years–they referred me to the national archives in Denver. From there, I was able to get someone to help me track down the case and all the evidence and court documents. Interestingly, the knife used in the kidnapping, as well as some of the other evidence, is still there, and will remain there forever. Or at least, that’s what I’m told.
Q: What else did you do?
A: I did some more digging and tracked down one of the kidnappers. I wrote him a letter, asking him about the situation, and not really expecting a response. So, I was completely shocked when a week later this guy called me and talked to me on the phone for about an hour, telling me his side of things. He was very remorseful and teary. Very apologetic. It was probably the most profound conversation I’ve ever had.
Q: Is there anything else that no one has asked you, that you want to make sure everyone knows about your book?
A: If you look at the cover--really close--there are watermarked newspaper articles in the background. Those are the actual, real articles that I dug out of my grandma's basement in the beginning of my researching stage. Also, the full articles are printed on pages at the end of the book, including a real-life family picture.
Q: Was this an easy book to write or is it easier to just sit and let things come out of your head?
A: No, it was very difficult to write. You'd think that because I already knew what happened before I wrote it that it would be easier. But it wasn't. Because it's based on a true story, I felt so much more obligated to stick to facts and how things were, and how they happened for real--even if something seemed way off base to me. I think the hardest part was writing the beginning.
Q: Thinking about the writing that you have done, which has been the easiest? And which has been the hardest book to write?
A: There is no answer to that question, really, because there is no such thing as easy writing. And every project I've worked on has had different levels of difficulty and different challenges. My young adult fantasy is right now my biggest challenge, but only because I've rewritten it about 15 times. My other two books are already finished, so looking back, I don't always remember problems and issues that made me want to quit. But I will say that when it comes to producing the finished product, Mormon Mishaps and Mischief took the most dedication and work.
The Sharp Edge of a Knife is a completely different project from Mishaps, and from my YA book, and was so difficult when it came to research. I had to track down a kidnapper! And the court case is fifty years old. Even the national archives people were stumped for a while. So yes, there were definite challenges. But in the end, it was definitely worth it.
So there you have it. A non-answer. None was the easiest because there's no such thing. They've all been hard work and completely frustrating. And I loved working on all of them.
You can read the first chapter of this book at her website, http://sharpedgeofaknife.blogspot.com
This book is great and I would encourage everyone to attend her official book launch promotion this coming Saturday, March 27th from 1-3:00 pm at Eborn Books in the Provo Towne Center mall in Provo, Utah.