Tag Archives | first pages

The new slush pile.

My to-be-read pile grows weekly. I make a dent in it every week but then it grows some more.

  • I make a random ebook purchase.
  • I grab a book or two from the library.
  • Books arrive in the mail that I’ve won online.
  • I make a bigger purchase of new hard covers. (I always read these.)
  • I download free traditional ebooks, usually the first in a series.
  • I buy used books for a penny plus shipping off Amazon.

The hard truth is that I don’t read them all – even ones that at some point I couldn’t wait to read.

Samples that I enjoyed build up on my Kindle so I remember to buy them later when I need a good read.

In this new digital age, the slush pile is transferring to the reader – and this includes both traditionally and self published books.

More than ever we need to hook our reader from our premise, to the blurb, to the cover, to the first page and the first chapter.

For me, there’s a crack on the first page and it’s either wide open or it’s just a sliver.

Sometimes I sense just a sliver of emotion, voice, and story but I try. I push my way across the page, hoping to squeeze into the book and fall in love. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen.

Other times, the emotions are raw, the voice captivating, the words powerful. Maybe a question is raised with a strong mystery; and I fall headfirst into that wide open crack and don’t look back.

How do you determine which book to pluck from your pile?

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My first blogfest – Opening Pages

I love reading opening pages. It’s so enlightening and fun to see how other writers approach the all important first page.

For a complete list of the other writers participating click over to Kelly’s blog.

Below is the first page from my middle grade contemporary fantasy titled, How to Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings.

Survival Tip 1       Never doubt the power of the pumpkin pie.

  I hid in the shadows of the hallway outside our kitchen—the perfect place to do a little yoga before one of the hardest missions of my twelve-year-old life.

I had to talk to my dad, who is more like a clam than a canary when it comes to certain subjects. Like missing relatives.  

My hands on the floor and my body in the push-up position, I took a deep breath and dipped into the double dog dare. Don’t get me wrong. My dad talks to me about all sorts of things, especially when it comes to the History Channel and ancient civilizations. But he doesn’t understand the seriousness of split ends or the fact that girls need cell phones (not walkie talkies).

I arched into the alley cat. Communicating with a biological parent shouldn’t be that difficult. We both speak English. And, impossible tasks are my thing. For example, I finally beat my cousin, Melvin, at checkers. Though he claims it never happened. And I figured out how to keep shoelaces tied. Just make sure you can slip your foot in and out of your shoe before using the hot glue. Seriously.   

But none of that was important.

Not compared to finding Zebulon, my grandfather, who’d been missing for two years.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be reading through a lot of first pages today! Join in the fun.

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