Wow! Is that a great line or what? It’s the first line of the Prologue for LACE by Shirley Conran. It’s been almost thirty years since I read the book, and it still has me in awe. My God! Who could stop reading after that? Here’s the blurb from Amazon.
Four elegant, successful, and sophisticated women in their forties are called to
I remember staying up half the night to find out the answer, but Ms. Conran didn’t make it easy. Chapter One began with the story of one of the women and moved on to each one as I hurried through the pages trying to find out which one had mothered this young woman. I wanted so desperately to cheat and skip ahead to the end, but I didn’t want to spoil it. The answer didn’t come until the last chapter. The book was made into a two-part miniseries in 1984, but it didn’t do it justice. The paperback is going for $29.42 right now on Amazon. Although Ms. Conran wrote several more good books, none of them even came close to her genius in LACE, IMHO.
Why am I bringing up a thirty year old book, you ask?
Because every time I come up with a hook for my chapter endings, I think about this line. I ask myself, “Is mine as good as hers?” Sometimes, I surprise myself with a really good one, but most of the time I have to go back to the drawing board and rethink things.
Most of you know I have just finished with book #3 of The Clueless Cook Series, and I’m ready to start book #4. I have been lollygagging because I can’t come up with the perfect place to start this one. I believe an awesome first line is the hook of the entire book. You either grab the reader with it …or you don’t.
I’m hopelessly stuck. Where is Shirley when you need her? (Probably across the pond since she’s a Brit.)
So, I need a little inspiration. Tell me some of the great first lines or hooks that have stayed in your mind long after you read the book. Who knows? Maybe I’ll have an ‘ah ha!” moment and can get started on CHICKEN CACCIA-KILLER before panic sets in. “Which one of you bitches is my mother?” won’t work in my cozy mystery!! Darn!