Hi all! I was so excited when Jacquelyn asked me to come over here and guest blog! I'm a big fan of her books and am eagerly awaiting Elijah (and damned upset we have to wait so long for it).
My name is Anya Bast. I write for Ellora's Cave and Berkley Sensation. I also recently sold a book to Berkley Heat (whee!) and have a novella in a Harlequin Spice anthology coming out next year. I write paranormal romance and I tend to write it on the hot side. Hell, sometimes it's flat out flaming kinky. It just depends. My EC books tend to be the kinkier ones. My Elemental Witches series, just out from
I don't look like I write ménage a trois and BDSM romances, do I? I know. I look like I should be asking if you want to buy some
I started writing when I was very young, but didn't turn out my first full length novel until I was twenty two. I finally sold a number of years later -- to two publishing houses in the same week. I live in the country, (where the buffaloes roam and, dude, I am not kidding about that), with my husband, our toddler daughter, eight cats, two rabbits and a dog. The strays see "sucker" written right across our foreheads.
But I digress….
For days I mulled over what I wanted to talk about. What would be of interest to both readers and writers? Hmmm… Should I talk about writing process? What is it like to go from being an ebook author to a mass market NY pubbed author? Should I talk about paranormal creatures and the readers who love them? How about graphic sex scenes and infusing emotions into them. I discarded every idea that came to me for one reason or another.
In the process, I picked up Jacob and read the first line. "How ridiculously simple it would be to cause them harm." What a great first line! Immediately you're wondering who this person is. Who do they wish to harm? It compels you to read the next sentence, then the next paragraph. It hooked me.
So I decided to write about first lines and how they can hook the reader. See? A good topic for readers and writers.
I always spend a lot of time on the first paragraphs of my books, especially the first line. It's probably the part of the book I agonize over the most because I know that often it's the readers first introduction to the story and determines whether or not they'll read on.
Here are some of the first lines from some of my books, in no particular order.
Witch Fire (Berkley Sensation, June 2007) -- "He looked like sin and seemed like salvation. Salvation for her sluggish libido, anyway."
Witch Blood (Berkley Sensation, coming March 2008) -- "How to Catch a Warlock 101. Isabelle could teach that class."
Whisper of the Blade (Ellora's Cave, 2007, ebook) -- "The blade could injure the wind itself."
Edge of Sweetness (Ellora's Cave, 2006, ebook) -- "Ben had never believed in fate or destiny, not love at first sight. Hell, he’d never even believed in love. Codependency, maybe, but not love. He thought it was a myth, love. Just some name people gave to lust on steroids."
Tempted by Two (Ellora's Cave, 2006, ebook) -- "Theo watched the glass slip from Miranda’s fingers and crash to the floor as the goblin walked into the restaurant."
Blood of any Angel (Ellora's Cave, 2005, print, ebook) -- "If only he could’ve fallen for a woman like that one."
Getting Slayed (Dreams of the Oasis 4, Ellora's Cave, 2006, print, ebook) -- "Still a virgin. Was I destined to remain a virgin for the rest of my pathetic, royal life?"
Winter Pleasures: The Capture (Ellora's Cave, 2004, print, ebook) -- "Sienne glanced up, then lowered her eyes as was proper, but in that moment she memorized the visage of the man who would be her temporary keeper."
Blood of the Raven (Ellora's Cave, 2005, print, ebook) -- “He can make you forget your own name in bed.”
Contest time!!! Okay, kiddies…. I'll give you until Wednesday, August 22 to respond to this post. Tell me what some of your favorite first lines from books are. Tell me about how you LOVE first lines, or maybe don't really pay attention to them at all. Write about anything having to do with the first line/first few paragraphs of a book that you care to discuss. If you have any questions for me, I'll take those as entries too.
On Wednesday I'll post the winner, but I'll do in the comments to this post ('cuz Jacquelyn will have wisely denied me access to her blog by then. Heh.)
You want to know what you're playing for? (Best Jeff Probst voice) An autographed copy of Witch Fire and some yummy surprise goodies to go with it. Ready…set…GO!