Not having read any of Jennifer Fallon’s numerous fantasy works, I did not know what to expected when her latest novel The Lyre Thief arrived in my mailbox several weeks ago. Once I dug in however, I began to discover an epic story.
In this followup to The Demon Child trilogy and The Hythrun Chronicles: Wolfblade, Ms. Fallon delivers an amazing fantasy in the classic mold, filled with numerous POVs, capricious gods, magical beings, and political machinations. To say I immediately fell in love with it is an understatement, so I was honored when the author agreed to contribute a guest post to Bookwraiths. Hope you enjoy and check back tomorrow for my review of The Lyre Thief.
My struggle for a great first line…
Every writer wants a fabulous hook – that first line the grabs the reader and won’t let go. I tell young writers this all the time in when I teaching writing or worldbuilding.
“Nobody is going to pick up your book, open it at Chapter 27,” I tell them (try to imagine that in a wise, worldly voice), “and decide, wow! This looks good! They are going to open it at the first page while they’re browsing in the bookstore, or checking the “Look Now” link on Amazon, and if you haven’t engaged them by the end of the first paragraph, the chances are good they won’t read on. They certainly aren’t going to plonk good money down on it.”
“It’s always messy, cleaning up after a murder.”
This is the first line of Wolfblade, which is the first book of the Hythrun Chronicles, of which my new book, The Lyre Thief is the latest installment.
I’m so proud of this line. I wish I could think up lines like this all the time. It says there is danger. A murder has happened. The reader is plunged straight into the action.
My first book Medalon, starts with a funeral (it’s also set in the world of the Hythrun Chronicles). The Lion of Senet starts with a volcanic eruption and a madman standing on the edge of a cliff.
The Immortal Prince, Book I of the Tide Lords series starts with the end of the world:
“As the last of the stragglers stumbled into the cave, Krynan looked back over his shoulder at the end of the world, wondering vaguely why he felt nothing.”
I firmly believe the best good opening lines (or hooks) involve an act or event that lets the reader know something important is going on. A funeral, a wedding, a birth, a death, being fired, starting a new job… all of these things are pivotal events that impact on people’s lives.
One of my favorite openings of all time, in fact, is from David Copperfield. “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”
The Lyre Thief, I fear, does not open with anywhere near such literary elegance. It opens with a little bit of madness:
“Were it not for the voices in his head, Mica would have been incredibly lonely.”
Unfortunately for the rest of the characters in The Lyre Thief, Mica listens to those voices far more than he should.
And for the record… I think Chapter 27 ain’t half bad, either.
Fallon is the author of 17 full-length bestselling novels and a number of published short stories in genres ranging from horror to science fiction.
In addition to 4 complete fantasy series – The Demon Child trilogy, The Hythrun Chronicles, the Second Sons Trilogy,The Tide Lords Quadrilogy and the Rift Runners series – Fallon has written both a tie-novel and short fiction for the TV series, Stargate SG1, an official Zorro story, a novella for the Legends of Australian Fantasy Anthology and has a superhero – The Violet Valet (CHICKS IN CAPES).
Fallon has a Masters Degree from the Creative Arts faculty of QUT. A computer trainer and application specialist, Fallon currently works in the IT industry and spends at least a month each year working at Scott Base in Antarctica.