Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hippo Birdy To Me

Saturday, November 18th was my birthday. It was a good day. I got to have breakfast out with a friend AND dinner out with the one I love. I also got some fantastic presents, the best of which was a long, hot bath alone (without Mason.)

I always love to read the Star Tribune's yearly horoscope on my birtday. Here's what mine said about me:
"Your birthday today: You approach this year with great imagination and wonder. Therefore what occurs is much larger than is usually expected of thought possible. Figure out exactly what's needed to make a deal work and you'll pull it off in January. Love is lavished on you, and you go into the new year feeling whole. Aquarius and Virgo are your allies."

So what do you think it really means? Another book contract? Fame? Fortune? Or...?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Question of Beginnings

[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)?