Monday, November 10, 2014

First Impressions - Julie Mulhern


Wow! I can’t believe I’m here! As a writer, I have a NEWBIE sign around my neck. Thanks to the Stiletto Gang for taking a chance on me.

So, this is it. My one chance to make a first impression. I’d better not blow it. May I say pressure?

First impressions are promises of sorts. The serious young woman with no make-up, the one with her nose in a book, will probably not be body surfing tonight. The man who uses cheesy pick-up lines is probably not your soul mate. Impressions. Perceptions. Promises.

First impressions are like the first line of a novel. It is a truth universally acknowledged…does not set the reader up for a tragedy.

Then there’s this rather prescient opening…

Inasmuch as the scene for this story is that historic pile, Belpher Castle, in the county of Hampshire, it would be an agreeable task to open it with a leisurely description of the place, followed by some notes on the history of the Earls of Marshmoreton, who have owned it since the fifteenth century. Unfortunately, in these days of rush and hurry, a novelist works at a disadvantage. He must leap into the middle of his tale with as little delay as he would employ boarding a moving tramcar. He must get off the mark with the smooth swiftness of a jack rabbit surprised while lunching. Otherwise, people throw him aside and go out to the picture palaces.

Written by P.G. Wodehouse in 1919, the opening to A Damsel in Distress promises fun and comedy. As for those picture palaces, one has to wonder what Wodehouse would have thought of the television.

I have three (maybe four) books coming out in 2015. I thought I’d share my first lines. Hopefully, they’ll give you an idea what I’m all about (hint: no body-surfing).

From The Deep End to be released February 17, 2015 – My morning swim doesn’t usually involve corpses.
From A Haunting Desire to be released in the spring of 2015 - Go to Marie Leveau’s tomb. Find the woman who can tell you about voodoo. She has what you need.

From Guaranteed to Bleed to be released November, 2015 - My second mistake was dropping my lipstick.

From A Haunting Need to be released late 2015 - Christine Lambert’s life changed with a waft of odor. The acrid stench of sulfur. The sickly sweetness of rotting fruit. They eye-watering sting of oily smoke.

So there you have it. Four chances for a first impression.

If you're interested in a second line, I'm giving a copy of The Deep End away on Goodreads. Enter here to win!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Deep End by Julie Mulhern

The Deep End

by Julie Mulhern

Giveaway ends December 08, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Thanks for joining me on this new leg of my journey. I’ll end with a question. What is your favorite first line?

26 comments:

  1. Your first lines are fantastic! Pull me right in. I so look forward to your releases next year. Lots of great reading ahead.

    And isn't that Wodehouse line fascinating? We always think times have changed. Writers today always talk about having to jump right into the story, bypassing that sketch of the ordinary world. We like to talk about the old days--how those books wouldn't sell in today's market. And listen to Wodehouse! He could be sitting across the table from us at one of our conferences!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Aside from his usual comic genius, that Wodehouse opening made me smile for the same reasons you liked it. The more things change...

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  2. Congrats Julie, and I totally agree with Erika, killer first lines. Love it! Can't wait to read! Also fab interview.

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    1. Denny - thanks for visiting. Seems like this is a year of firsts. So glad the Dream Weavers get to share each others' journeys!

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  3. What a fun post. When writing, I always try to come up with a compelling first line. I love how I opened Murder in the Worst Degree:
    Except for the dead body washed up on the sand, conditions were perfect for surfing.

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    1. Marilyn, what a great line! It asks more questions than it answers and it sets a tone. Love it!

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  4. Julie,
    I stopped by earlier to comment, but it's not here. I'm glad I stopped back to check out other people's favorite first lines.
    My writing professor once told our class that if we ever started a creative writing project with the word "the" it would be an automatic fail. I've always been stressed after that. lol. So it takes me quite a while to get my first lines. Usually I start with dialogue. Sometime I start in the MIDDLE of dialogue. lol.
    I love your first lines! They set such a great tone. You'll make quite the first impression. :-)
    Regarding favorite first lines, I have two words for you: Kristan. Higgins.
    From My One and Only: "Stop smiling. Every time you smile, an angel dies."
    From Catch of the Day: "Falling in love with a Catholic priest was not my smartest move."
    From Too Good to be True: "Making up a boyfriend is nothing new for me."
    From Fools Rush In: "I'm a stalker. The good kind."

    If I could only write those kind of first lines, I wouldn't always have to start with dialogue. haha.
    Great post. With those first lines of yours, you'll be making one hell of a first impression. Good luck to you and your many, many books due out in 2015. You'll make a great splash! :-)

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    1. "I'm a stalker. The good kind." Sign me up to read that! I've never read Kristan Higgins but you just converted me.

      Thanks for stopping by - twice.

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  5. Welcome, Julie,
    Definitely awesome first impression. Can't wait to read your novels.

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    1. Thank you for the warm welcome, Marjorie! I am THRILLED to be part of the Stiletto Gang!!

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  6. Hi Julie! Great post! Love the Wodehouse quote, and your first lines are all evocative and fantastic! I entered to win The Deep End -- you had me in seven words!

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    1. Lenora - can't wait to read your first lines!!!!

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  7. I agree with everyone The Deep End has a 'killer' first line. hahah. But, ever since I read the blurb, I've been looking forward to A Haunting Desire. So excited for it!

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    1. Laura, I've been revising A Haunting Desire like a mad woman and feel as if the only line that hasn't changed is the first one. Beta?

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  8. Wonderful first lines, Julie! I'm with Kim-- Kristan Higgins just kills it from beginning to end. Here's another line I love from another of my favorite authors, Lisa Kleypas-- it so perfectly sets the scene for the entire story (Again the Magic) : "A stable boy wasn't supposed to speak to an earl's daughter, much less climb up to her bedroom window." Don't you want to know what's going to happen when he reaches that window???? :) Great post and so excited for your first release!

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    1. Good one! I'm also partial to "Fear is a lot like a Mississippi mosquito."

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  9. Julie, fabulous post! Thank you so much for sharing your first lines with us! I have to say, I'm officially intrigued. Can't wait to read!

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  10. Julie - These are wonderful! So much fun!

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    1. Nan - thank you, thank you for stopping by the Stiletto Gang!

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  11. LOVE the post. Welcome to the Stiletto Gang too. How funny that in 1919 they were already complaining that they had to jump into the story. (Because this would be considered a freefall without a parachute today!)

    First line...hmm. Love Darynda Jones' beginnings. And Kristen Higgins. But I'm going to have to go with my good friend, a Houston author, Kimberly Frost. She has a 'Southern Witch' series that is hysterical and dreamy-hot all at the same time. Her "Slightly Spellbound" novel begins: "No matter how many times people try to kill me, I never seem to get used to it."

    Kind of like yours above, come to think of it! I would fall into any of those stories.
    :)

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  12. Hi, Julie! Congrats again on your sale (*love* that first line!) and on your new blog home. I agree with Sarah — Darynda's first lines are killers. :) The opening lines of Bridget Jones's Diary crack me up, too.

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  13. I'm a huge Darynda fan - something about that snark! True confession - I've never read Bridget Jones' Diary. Should I?

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  14. I thought I wrote a comment already, but it's not showing up, so let's try this again.

    Can I hire you to write my first lines?! You are amazing at this and all your cover blurbs should include your first lines. I would buy your books just because of them.

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  15. Asa - you are dear! Thank you!

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