[Cross-posted from Fur, Fey & Fangs.]
Tall, Dark & Dead actually starts with a two sentence question and answer:
“What’s the best way to keep Vatican witch hunters off your scent? Dress to kill.”
Dead Sexy also begins with a question:
“Who knew there were so many dead things in Madison, Wisconsin?”
The book I’m working on right now (tentatively called Bloody Charming) begins with:
“I was on my bicycle five miles out of town and thinking about what it might be like to settle down, really settle down with a vampire, like forever, when I saw the gray wolf on the side of the road.”
...which is clearly not as snappy as the other two, and may explain a bit why I’m still struggling with this sucker. I’ve started Bloody Charming three times now and can’t quite get things into focus. I’ve decided, in fact, to abandon perfection for the moment in order to keep moving forward.
I agonize over first lines. I’m convinced that they’re critical in hooking (hoodwinking?) your reader into buying your book. I know that when I’m thinking about book buying I often judge a book first by its cover, its back copy, and then by the first page or so of the author’s writing. Given that usually only one of those is in the author’s complete control, I figure I need to make my first page a real grabber.
How do you buy a book? How important is that first page (if you even read it)?