Jun 14 2008
Welcome to First Page aka Query Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page (or query) read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. Published authors may do so under their own name or anonymously.
Readers, though, the way that I look at it is this: Would the hook itself interest you in reading the book. If yes, what interests you and if not, what would you change to make it more appealing?
Genre: Contemporary Romance (set in a Caribbean island)
Author Background: Unpublished. I have not shopped it, or any other work around to agents. Apart from the readers here today, only my eyes have seen this.
First Page: Untitled
When your baby sister – yuh sweetheart, yuh darlin’ – threw a house party to celebrate the premiere of her glorified-porn-star music video, you deserved a little alone time. It was a legal right, like bereavement leave.
When that baby sister – yuh baby – threw the mad-ass house party in your living room, you didn’t get any of that alone time. Instead, you spent the first half of the night – the half you would otherwise have spent wondering where you had gone wrong – fending off the drifting hands of a nasty blast from the past ex-boyfriend. You also watched your stupid-ass mother guzzle Carlsberg after Heineken after Carib, before taking to the makeshift dance-floor to embarrass herself and the family name straight into an impromptu wine-a-thon.
But no, embarrassment required at least an iota of self-awareness, so the wine-a-thon only really managed to embarrass you. Everyone else enjoyed it.
For the second half, you fielded telephone calls from pissed off neighbours alternating between complaints about noise pollution and enquiries into why they hadn’t been invited to your latest fÃªte. Standing out from the rest would be one not so politely phrased f-y-i that until the government decided otherwise, Tuesday was still a work night.
Then, when out of the fawning multitude of men currently vying to sit at the feet of the porn star, one hopeful spilled stink-ass beer on your goddamn rug, you had three choices. One. Kill the fucker. Two. Kill the fucker. Three. Kill the goddamn motherfucker.
But being a good girl and because the knives were dull, you got as far away from temptation as possible in the confines of your over-priced, small-ass townhouse.
This carried Féyi Gordon to her front porch where she interrupted the hot prelude to a heavy shag against her ivy trellis. What was society coming to that the nameless and faceless dared enjoy that outdoor sport before she had the chance? One verbal smack down later, she walked out onto the street.
The night breeze cooled her skin. It felt good. The sky looked good too, bright with more stars than she’d expect for a cloudy November night. This – the pretty sky, the teasing breeze – she summed up as the placid, romantic interlude to her horror movie but she’d been primed since earlier that afternoon on the blood and guts effect of a sister gone wild, so it went unappreciated.
The cars forming haphazard lines on both sides of the road all belonged to Zahra’s adoring public and their owners were being too well fed and too efficiently plied with drink for any to consider leaving before midnight. She wondered if all the cars would blow up, domino-style, if she set a torch to just one of them. Like maybe the tricked-out Honda across the street. It had some nice paintwork if you were into nude female airbrushing and it could either be poor street lighting, her four eyes, or for real, but the rims were still spinning a couple hours after being parked up.
Féyi continued to contemplate arson as she tucked her thumbs into the front pockets of well-loved jeans and tugged downwards, releasing some diabolical waistband pressure off her stomach. Though she couldn’t see it, the feel of her tummy left to hang free was bliss. In her current frame of mind, soothing Caribbean breeze and celestial wonder suffered into pansy-ass wind and flecks of space shit in comparison.
There was only one other feeling that could trump a liberated tummy, and that was when she returned home on evenings, kicked off her boots and undid the clasps to her bra. God yes. Thinking about it, Féyi rocked back on the heels of her Timbs and inched the waistband down further.
Interested in participating in First Page or Query Saturday? Send your submission to jane at dearauthor.com. All queries are kept confidential. If you are an author, either aspiring or published and want to participate, send your first page to jane at dearauthor.com or use our handy dandy input form.