Saturday, January 23, 2010


Jack Roberts (pen name). His real name is Scott Bryan.

Our Random Integer Generator picked number 14, the number of Jack's entry:

"I’m not supposed to get cold. Eliza shrank into the dark corner of her living room. Her immortal body was free from disease and uncomfortable temperatures, but she felt colder every time the horrible sounds continued."

Now, technically, Jack stretched the rules a bit by using not one sentence, but three. But who's counting? The Random Integer Generator rules, and Jack is the winner this time. Here's a bit more about Jack:

"I'm a husband, father of four and full time CAD drafter. On the side I'm striving to become a full time writer. I've written two books. The first one, Annabelle and Roland; The Night Children, is the one I'm trying to find representation for. The other one is the sequel. I'm currently writing a different novel called Myths. Night Children follows the adventures of Annabelle and Roland as they learn to be vampires while surviving the Vampire Lord's attempts to kill them. Jeff Herman's book will be a considerable resource in my search for representation. Again, thank you very much."

Our first "Blogtest" was great fun for us and I hope you all enjoyed it.

And keep reading the blog where we'll feature some of our favorites in the first "First Line" contest!

Friday, January 22, 2010


We've had great response to our "First Lines" contest. (See below.)

If you haven't entered, there is still time. Get your submission in before 2 p.m./Eastern today, Friday, January 22 and you could still be the lucky winner of our pristine copy of Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents.

The winner of our contest will be determined by a random number generator and will be announced tomorrow, January 23.

I'll be highlighting some of the submissions in days, weeks and months to come in this blog because there are some great lines!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Our "First Line Contest" to win a free copy of Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents is steaming right along! We have been having a ball reading your submissions! Such imagination, wit and variety proves the written word is still alive and well.

So continue sending in your fabulous first lines--deadline is next Friday, January 22. And just to inspire you, here's British novelist Mo Hayder's ("the U.K.'s Thomas Harris) favorite first line, featured in an interview posted today on Shelf Awareness

The opening line of Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess. "It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me."

"Woah," said Ms. Hayder. "Now there's a sentence that does the work of an army in terms of plot and characterization and pacing."

OK, see if you can top that one!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Sourcebooks was kind enough to send us a copy of Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents 2010. Every writer needs this book--at a cover price of $29.99, it will make an invaluable addition to your library. And now, it can be yours for free!!

As I mentioned yesterday, we purchased the book last fall, so.....we have a copy to give away to one of you lucky readers! All you have to do is answer the following question and you will be registered to win the book. (A random number generator will make the final decision.)

Here's the question: Pretend you are the author of the hottest new novel of the year. What is this novel's first line?

So let yourself go--your "novel" can be about anyone or anything. Only one entry can win the book, but the most interesting "first lines" will be featured in this blog. Deadline for submissions is Friday, January 22. Post your entry in our "comments section."

Monday, January 11, 2010


Three books arrived on our front porch this morning--each one important, each one meaningful--for very different reasons.

Book Number I--Shantaram (St. Martin's Griffin / 2003) a novel by Gregory David Roberts. My client/friend Paddy sent it with a note that read: "I agree with Pat Conroy." I was stumped at first until I read the endorsement on the cover: "A novel of the first order, a work of extraordinary art, a thing of exceptional beauty."--Pat Conroy
Paddy told Jon last week that she began reading this book last summer, and just finished it. She said that multiple times during her reading she was stopped cold and forced to ponder the author's words. She said the book was life-changing. said: Roberts is not reluctant to wax poetic; in fact, some of his prose is downright embarrassing. Throughout the novel, however, all 944 pages of it, every single sentence rings true. He is a tough guy with a tender heart, one capable of what is judged criminal behavior, but a basically decent, intelligent man who would never intentionally hurt anyone, especially anyone he knew. He is a magnet for trouble, a soldier of fortune, a picaresque hero: the rascal who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. His story is irresistible. Stay tuned for the prequel and the sequel.

Paddy and I don't always agree on books, but I respect her judgement and look forward to diving into this one. (First though, I have to finish Pat Conroy's South of Broad for reading group next week.)
Book Number II--Town in a Blueberry Jam by B. B. Haywood (Putnam Prime Crime / February 2, 2010). Haywood is our client and this is his first book in the Candy Holliday Murder Mystery series. The advance copy looks great with an illustration of the fictional town of Cape Willington, Main gracing the cover. It's so exciting when we see the fruits of the author's (and to a lesser extent, our) labors in real book form! I highly recommend this book. : }

B. B. sent the following email yesterday: The first review of Town in a Blueberry Jam is up on the Barnes and Noble website and Harriet Klausner, a layman (or laywoman) reviewer who has a huge following on Amazon, gives us five stars!! She calls the book "a charming and amusing Pine Tree State cozy in which Cape Willington is vividly described so that the reader feels they are attending the Blueberry festival." She adds, "The cast is solid as the residents bring out the ambiance of the seaside village. Although the amateur sleuthing is similar in tone to many sub-genre entries, the irony of readers knowing a lot more than the cops or the BFF detectives and the Twitter sight provide a fresh spin to B.B. Haywood's first Candy Holliday whodunit."

Very cool indeed!
Book Number III--Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2010 by Jeff Herman (Sourcebooks / 2009). I've mentioned this book many times in this blog and always recommend it to new writers. It's chock-full of great information about publishers, agents and the whole world of books. In addition to this invaluable information, Jeff Herman always features several excellent articles and other resources for writers. It's a real bargain for the cover price of $29.99. This book was sent to us compliments of Sourcebooks because we are included in the text--page 650 to 653 to be exact. What a nice gesture! Thank you Sourcebooks!

However, we got antsy last fall and bought a copy for our library. Now we have two! That's a win-win because I'd like to give one of these books to one of you readers.
I think we'll have a contest! Stay tuned for more information!