Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: Favorite First Lines

Today we have a guest blogger to Thursday Thirteen on our blog! Edie Ramer is a finalist in the American Title V contest! I hope you'll go and vote for our friend! 


Thank you, Spy, for having me!  Because of today’s Thursday Thirteen, I discovered my husband is nicer than I am.  Since my American Title V book is titled DEAD PEOPLE, I thought it would be funny to write about 13 people we’d like to see dead and the twisted way we’d want them to die.  I asked my husband who he’d like to see dead.  He said, “I don’t want to see anyone dead.” 

He’s right.  I shouldn’t do it.  So you won’t get to hear about Dick Cheney’s unfortunate accident while hunting with Sarah Palin.  (There’s a moose involved!)  And an apology to Amy Knupp, because the “health insurance idiots” (her words) won’t die of an obscenely expensive disease that their company won’t cover.

This month, the entries on Romantic Times Magazine for the ATV finalists’ books are our first lines.  You can read them here and vote for the one you like best.  Of course, I hope it’s DEAD PEOPLE!  My first line is a song verse.  My hero is a songwriter, and every other chapter starts with one or more verses he’s written.

So here are 13 first lines (instead of 13 dead people):

1. My first instinct was to look at the corpse.  It’s what all Irish do. – THE ROOFER by Erica Orloff  (I know, that’s two lines.  Tough.)

2. "Well, put chains on the damn tires!" Kim ordered the car rental guy over the phone. – HAVE YOURSELF A NAUGHTY LITTLE SANTA by Karin Tabke.

3. He was the sort of man who could enslave a woman with a single glance. – DON’T TEMPT ME by Sylvia Day

4. My name is Odd Thomas, though in this age when fame is the altar at which most people worship, I am not sure why you should care who I am or that I exist. –  ODD THOMAS by Dean Koontz

5. They say that if you suddenly wake with a shudder, a ghost has walked over your grave. – COMPANY OF LIARS by Karen Maitland.

6. Claire was an expert bullshit detector. – PLAYING DEAD by Allison Brennan

7. So this is how a marriage ends, thought Julia Hamill as she rammed the shovel into the soil. – THE BONE GARDEN by Tess Gerritsen

8. Everybody lies. – THE BRASS VERDICT by Michael Connelly

9. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of Number Four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. – HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE by J.K. Rowling

10. The sheriff didn’t want me there. – GRAVE SIGHT by Charlaine Harris

11. The deck of the French ship was slippery with blood, heaving in the choppy sea; a stroke might as easily bring down the man making it as the intended target. – HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON by Naomi Novik

12. There are few things more unfortunate in a man's life than being thrown over by one's prospective bride on one's wedding day, Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, reflected. – TO SEDUCE A SINNER by Elizabeth Hoyt

13. I heard she talks to ghosts
      I heard she sends them off to Heaven
      I’ve got a few inside my head
      I wish to hell she’d shoot mine dead. – DEAD PEOPLE by Edie Ramer

Now it’s your turn.  What’s the first line from one of your books?

Edie Ramer

Thanks so much, Edie! I hope y'all will go vote in the American Title V contest. The prize is a contract! If you'd like to help Edie's dream come true and see her witty and wonderful book in print, please send a blank email to with the subject DEAD PEOPLE.

37 bonus scribbles:

bernieg1 11/13/2008 01:05:00 AM  

Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing. Have a happy TT!

Nicholas 11/13/2008 01:10:00 AM  

My first line? "They hanged me on a Tuesday." from my own book.

anthonynorth 11/13/2008 05:40:00 AM  

That was different - and most enjoyable.

spyscribbler 11/13/2008 05:52:00 AM  

Thanks, Anthony! :-) I'm so glad she blogged for us!

Brenda ND 11/13/2008 09:14:00 AM  

What great lines! Especially the one from Dead People. I think a lot of people are going to be fans of Edie.

Erica Orloff 11/13/2008 09:59:00 AM  

WOW! I made the 13 list. :-)

And Nicholas--like your first line.

And Edie . . . I voted!! It sounds awesome.

PQnation 11/13/2008 10:06:00 AM  

I love that Odd Thomas made the list :)

Melanie Avila 11/13/2008 10:19:00 AM  

I added a short prologue last night & while I'm not sure if it'll stay, here's my current first line:

I can't explain why I did it.

Robin 11/13/2008 10:29:00 AM  

That was really fun! I've read all of the Odd Thomas books. They're a hoot. You've got my vote, Edie!

Edie 11/13/2008 10:44:00 AM  

Thanks, Bernie! This was fun to do.

Edie 11/13/2008 10:45:00 AM  

Nicholas, that's great line! I'd have to read on.

Edie 11/13/2008 10:46:00 AM  

Anthony, thanks! I like "different." And first lines fascinate me.

Edie 11/13/2008 10:47:00 AM  

Waving hi, Brenda! Thanks for your support. Hope I'll see you on Saturday.

Edie 11/13/2008 10:50:00 AM  

Erica, yours was the first I looked at! Your first line was great. It didn't need the second, but two together have a rhythm.

Kath Calarco 11/13/2008 10:56:00 AM  

Edie, not to sound biased (or like I'm hoping for a free copy of Dead People when it comes out), but your first line is the best on this here list you posted.

Edie 11/13/2008 10:57:00 AM  

PQ, Dean Koontz is one of the best writers around, IMO.

Edie 11/13/2008 10:59:00 AM  

Melanie, that line raises a question in my mind and I'd have to read on to find the answer. :)

Edie 11/13/2008 11:00:00 AM  

Robin, thanks for your vote!

Edie 11/13/2008 11:15:00 AM  

Kath, thanks! I think you are prejudiced, although I like mine too. It fits my book. But every line I posted makes me want to read on.

Kath Calarco 11/13/2008 12:34:00 PM  

Returning with a first line:

This final resting place is my favorite place to rest - no cell phones ringing or people chattering; it’s just me, the graves and quiet spirits.

~Just Me~ 11/13/2008 12:55:00 PM  

What a cool idea! Happy TT!

Tobias 11/13/2008 01:33:00 PM  

Haha, those were great. I particularly like the first, I always enjoy a bit of humour mixed in with my macabre.

Edie 11/13/2008 01:48:00 PM  

Kath, terrific line! Of course, I'm wondering if the next line will be someone chattering on the phone. Or else a loud spirit.

Edie 11/13/2008 01:53:00 PM  

Just me, it was fun finging first lines. They're kind of an obsession of mine.

Edie 11/13/2008 01:54:00 PM  

Tobias, thanks! All of Erica's books are great. :)

The Gal Herself 11/13/2008 02:42:00 PM  

Can I have two sentences? This is from Laura, by Vera Caspary. "The city that Sunday morning was quiet. Those millions of New Yorkers who, by need or by preference, remained in town over the summer weekend had been crushed spiritless by humidity." Sets the mood perfectly.

This was a great idea for a TT!

Edie 11/13/2008 02:54:00 PM  

Gal, the first sentence alone wouldn't have stood out, but with the second it's great!

I looked at a lot of books -- some by bestselling writers -- to get the sentences I posted. Most first sentences aren't fabulous. They need the follow up sentences to pull the reader in.

Mary Marvella 11/13/2008 03:24:00 PM  

I loved all those first lines. No way I could choose!

My best first lines

1. Maybe I should become a lesbian for a week.

2. The forty year old virgin was a virgin no more.

Rick 11/13/2008 06:54:00 PM  

I looked and looked and could not find even one first line in your list from any of William Shatner's books. My respect for you is therefore immense.

LaDonna 11/13/2008 07:03:00 PM  

Edie, loved your line. I'd post my WIP first line, but this one has given me some false starts. My bad. I'll post the first line of my debut book, Butterfly Wishes, instead.

Eleven-year-old Fey Wright stubbed her toe on a tree root and huffed out, "I hate this stupid, piece of shit town my daddy brought me to!"

Edie 11/13/2008 07:18:00 PM  

Mary, both your lines are winners. You'll have to choose one for Karin's first line contest later this month. You'd get my vote with either one!

Edie 11/13/2008 07:21:00 PM  

LOL Rick, I've never looked at one of his books. (Or his so-called books.) I do like Boston Legal though. It's well written and William Shatner isn't afraid to mock himself.

Edie 11/13/2008 07:22:00 PM  

Aw, LaD, you caught the 11-year old perfectly!

Nancy 11/14/2008 10:19:00 AM  

Edie, what a fun post! I loved the first lines, tho I don't have one to add at this point.

All the best in the American Title contest. I admire everyone who enters that, much less makes it to the finals!!

Nancy Haddock
La Vida Vampire

Edie 11/14/2008 03:47:00 PM  

Thanks, Nancy. I would've loved to read your first line. I see you're making me wait until the book comes out.