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Exeter novelist on 'Jeopardy!' episode tonight

EXETER — Brendan DuBois has used a ballpoint pen to write award-winning novels, but he recently discovered another use.

The mystery/suspense author wanted to practice before he stood in front of &#';Jeopardy!&#'; host Alex Trebek last summer, so he grabbed a pen and pretended it was a clicker.

All the practicing paid off for the 53-year-old Exeter writer who will appear tonight as a contestant on the popular TV quiz show that put his trivia knowledge to the ultimate test.

&#';It was just a great experience. It was surreal, but it was loads of fun,&#'; said DuBois, a Dover native and 30-year Exeter resident whose brother is Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen DuBois.

He flew out to Los Angeles in July and taped his first episode on July 25.

He can&#';t say how well he did on tonight&#';s episode, but he urged viewers to tune in Monday as well.

The appearance is a dream come true for DuBois, who&#';s always been a huge fan of the game show.

His journey to &#';Jeopardy!&#'; began in February when he took a 50-question online test after the show announced it was seeking contestants.

DuBois didn&#';t know how well he did until April when he received an email telling him that he had passed the first test and next had to audition in Boston with about 20 other potential contestants.

He was given another 50-question test to confirm he was indeed the smart guy who took the first test and not a fake. He was also interviewed and screened to make sure he had a personality fit for TV.

DuBois got the news he had been waiting for on June 1, when he learned he landed a spot on the show.

While he read books by former &#';Jeopardy!&#'; contestants, DuBois said, &#';You really can&#';t cram for it.&#';

Appearing before Trebek and the cameras as a contestant was nothing like sitting at home and watching the show with a bowl of ice cream, he said.

&#';I didn&#';t sleep much the night before.&#';

For those planning to watch tonight, DuBois said viewers watching on Boston&#';s WBZ (Channel 4) will have to tune in Saturday at 2:07 a.m., since it will be delayed due to the &#';Patriots All Access&#'; show airing in the usual 7:30 p.m. time slot.

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Jason Schreiber may be reached at


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