Terminally Ill gets its world premiere tomorrow. And I’ll be…working in the ER with my posse. You think we’ll get any Elvis impersonators drowning while chained and nailed into a coffin?
Does that sound too bizarre? Actually, it’s based on real life. Here’s a clip of Dean Gunnarson, the man who inspired the book:
Yup, Sook-Yin Lee’s CBC Radio interview with Dean on DNTO really got my motor running.
You won’t catch me chaining myself to a roller coaster track, but as the great Harry Houdini said, “Nobody wants to see a man die, but everyone wants to be there when it happens.”
You will catch me at the book launch Saturday, March 22nd, at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexandria Public Library and at 2 p.m. at the Cornwall Public Library. All paper copies will be only $15. Cornwall will also host a book draw, so you could win a copy of Terminally Ill absolutely free. And if you have any publishing questions, you can ask Kobo operations manager Jodi White, who will be travelling all the way from Toronto to attend.
Pre-order the e-book now for just $5.99 at Kobo and Smashwords. The trade paperback retails for $17.99 U.S. ($19.99 Canadian), and you can order it at your local bookstore. Plus, through our partnership with Kobo, if you buy a print copy, contact me for a coupon for a free e-book.
His breath whistled inside the coffin.
He heard the crowd cheering, although the plywood walls surrounding him dampened their yells. He could hear and feel the rumble of the crane lifting him and the coffin into the air.
He started to undo the chains on his wrists. Usually, those were the easiest.
He slid his wrists inward to gain a little slack, then twisted them to pop his wrists free.
The chains tightened on his wrists instead.
Meanwhile, the crane lowered his coffin into the St. Lawrence River.
Water splashed, and then he could hear the abnormal silence of the water surrounding the coffin.
He bent his wrists again.
The chains tightened once more.
Step two. He reached for the lock pick pinned on his left sleeve to jimmy the padlock on the chains. He always placed the pick on the inside cuff, where it would blend into his costume and he’d be able to reach for it blindly.
The pick was missing.
He reached for the pin secured to his right shirt sleeve, groping the fabric of his wetsuit to make sure he would not mistake the metal lock pick for a seam.
His heart hammered faster than usual, and his hard, hot breath seemed to fill the coffin. The wood underneath his body felt cold and damp, like water was already seeping inside.
He refused to panic. He could escape the chains. He always had and always would. They had built fail-safes into his act, including a fake chain with a middle cuff that made it easier to undo.
Using his fingertips, he skimmed blindly along the chain on his chest, only to realize that someone had removed the trick middle link.
He was handcuffed, chained, and nailed inside a coffin. In a river.
With no escape.