Hooking Readers with a Great First Line by Lucienne Diver - N.K. Jemisin's THE OBELISK GATE Wins RT Reviewers' Choice Award for High Fantasy - Faith Hunter's COLD REIGN Makes USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books List.

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N.K. Jemisin's THE OBELISK GATE won the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for High Fantasy. It's also up for a Locus Award, as is her short story, The City Born Great. Also up for a Locus Award is THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WHEEL by R.S. Belcher.


Christie Golden received two Scribe Award nominations: Best Adapted—General and Speculative (ASSASSIN’S CREED) and Best Speculative Original (ASSASSIN’S CREED: HERESY). She also won the 2017 Faust Award, an award given by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

More News

 - THE WRONG BED: NAKED PURSUIT, based on the novel by Jill Monroe, will premiere on Lifetime June 2, 8/7c.

 - Nalini Singh’s SILVER SILENCE made Goodreads’ list of the 23 Hottest Books of Summer. Booklist also gave it a great review. Nalini also did interviews with Books & Ballads and Audible.

 - SLAVE TO SENSATION by Nalini Singh and SIN ON THE STRIP by Lucy Farago made BookRiot's International Romance Authors Must-Reads.

 - FIRSTLIFE by Gena Showalter is a National Reader's Choice Award finalist.

 - BookRiot's list of 100 Must-Read Books About Serial Killers includes FEMALE SERIAL KILLERS and SERIAL KILLERS: THE METHOD AND MADNESS OF MONSTERS by Peter Vronsky.

 - BookRiot’s recommendations based on favorite Harry Potter characters suggests that if you like Hermione, you should try Genevieve Cogman’s THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY.

 - BLOOD OF THE EARTH by Faith Hunter and Rachel Caine’s GLASS HOUSES made The Portalist's Books Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer list.

 - Rachel Caine's ASH AND QUILL received a Top Pick review from RT Book Reviews.

 - Kirkus Reviews’ Sunny Reading for a Strange Spring list included BLACK TIE OPTIONAL by Ann Marie Walker.


The Informer

Hooking Readers with a Great Opening Line

With so much competition out there on the submission trail and on the bookshelves, it’s vitally important to stand out—to capture the agent or editor’s attention on the front end of the process and the reader and reviewer’s attention on the back end. The best way to do this, of course, is to write an amazing book, and this all starts with your opening line or lines, which should grab readers instantly and draw them into your narrative.

One of the best known and oft-quoted lines from literature comes from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” It is, in fact, so famous that it is often riffed in articles, on social media and in books, like Janet Mullany’s The Rules of Gentility: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman of fortune and passable good looks amuses herself in London with fashion, philanthropic works, and flirtation, until a suitable gentleman makes an offer.” And, naturally, Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

Readers browsing bookshelves, virtual or otherwise, will often pick up a book because they’re intrigued by the cover or the title. Or, of course, because they recognize the author’s name or have heard about the book through a great review or word of mouth. But before buying, they’ll often turn to the first page or click on a “Look Inside the Book” function to be sure that the author’s style suits them. This is where those killer first lines come in.

I’d like to share a few that have stayed with me:

Joshilyn Jackson’s Gods In Alabama: “There are Gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel’s, high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus.”

Kalayna Price’s GRAVE WITCH: “The first time I encountered Death, I hurled my mother’s medical chart at him. As far as impressions went, I blew it, but I was five at the time, so he eventually forgave me.”

Diana Pharaoh Francis’s THE CIPHER: “There were some days that deserved to be drowned at birth and everybody sent back to bed with a hot brandy, a box of chocolates, and a warm, energetic companion. Today was definitely one of those days.”

Or, on a more serious note…

Mackenzi Lee’s This Monstrous Thing: “My brother’s heart was heavy in my hands.”

Each of these lines intrigues, sets the tone, and draws the reader instantly into the narrative and voice. Now the author simply has to continue on in that vein and not let the reader go until the very end. In my experience, un-putdownable first lines often lead to un-putdownable books!

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