Do you consider the first line to be an important part of a story? If so, why?
The first line is important. It should be leading, perhaps even foreshadow what’s to come, interesting, catchy, but not over the top.

Do you find first lines easy to come up with, or challenging? Do you have a technique, or a ritual, that you go by to make it easy?
It’s like anything else, I think. Sometimes they are easy, and just come to me, other times I struggle and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. In “Beguiled,” I changed it more than once and ended up with: The dream was venom to my sleeping soul.

What consequences, if any, do you think there are in having a badly written first line?
I’ve heard some readers won’t go past the first line in a book if they don’t like it. I’ve read books with fantastic first lines, and those with deceptively casual lines. I think it boils down to taste.

What’s your favourite first line that you’ve ever read? And can you recall a worst?
One of my favorite first lines is from Andrew Davidson’s novel, “The Gargoyle.”

Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.

What is one of your own best first lines?
I don’t know about favorite, but I do like this line from “Prey and Magic”:

When you lose everything, there’s only one option.


We’re all sharing here! What’s one of your worst first lines?
Here it is:


LOL. Yep, I had a moment. =)

What are some things a first line *shouldn’t* be? What are some things that you’ve read in first lines that really rubs you the wrong way?
I don’t think there’s a “shouldn’t be” kind of first line. As for a line that rubs me wrong? It isn’t about that for me, it’s about the line doing nothing to gain my interest.

Do you have any suggestions for other authors on how to write a great first line? Have you heard any great advice yourself?
Here’s my first sentence advice: Write it, and move on. You’ll be rewriting, editing, and rewriting the story again anyway, so don’t stress too much. Once you’re in final edits, really think about that line. Change as necessary.


Beguiled by Rashelle WorkmanVenus has become immortal, just as she always wanted. In the process she hurt Zaren, lost Michael, and destroyed her family.

At least that’s what she believed.

Turns out Ramien, the god of her planets’ underworld, has her parents, and Michael.

To save them, Venus makes a deal. She must complete three trials. They seem impossible. They certainly won’t be easy. Worst of all, someone she loves won’t make it out alive.

More praise for the Immortal Essence series:

  • “I… felt like I was literally out of this world for a while.” Melissa Lemon, author of Cinder and Ella
  • “I love a book where the details fit together like pieces in a puzzle…” Rachel Morgan
  • “It’s superb!!! I loved the multiple points of view. I loved Venus. Michael was tough to like at first, but by the end – man, oh man, did I fall hard for him. Zaren is yummy! I want a guardian like him. Heck, I want a man like him! AND THOSE BOOTS. PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE CAN I HAVE A PAIR?” Jenna Heartsong

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Genre – YA / SciFi / Romance

Rating – PG13

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