Great Opening Paragraph 31… ‘Bel Canto’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“When the lights went off the accompanist kissed her. Maybe he had been turning towards her just before it was completely dark, maybe he was lifting his hands. There must have been some movement, a gesture, because every person in the living room would later remember a kiss. They did not see a kiss, that would have been impossible. The darkness that came on them was startling and complete. Not only was everyone there certain of a kiss, they claimed they could identify the type of kiss: it was strong and passionate, and it took her by surprise. They were
Read More

Book Review: Dominion

You know that feeling, it happens once in a while, when you finish reading a book that was so good you want to go back to the beginning and start again? Well, it was like that for me with CJ Sansom’s Dominion. It was the premise that caught my attention as soon as I read the pre-publication reviews: an alternate history set in Britain in 1952, peace is made with Hitler in 1941 which changes the direction of World War Two. An alternative world. Previously I had read one Sansom novel, Winter in Madrid, which I enjoyed; three of his Matthew Shardlake
Read More

I agree with… SJ Watson

SJ Watson “Write every day even if it’s rubbish. Bad writing can be improved, but a blank page will always be a blank page.” [interview with Grazia magazine, November 2011] This is advice to new writers from Steve Watson, author of the sleeper hit Before I Go To Sleep. He is quite right. Nothing is whiter and more empty than a blank page staring at you. The only way to make it not-white, is to put some words on it. So many people say to me ‘I have an idea for a book.’ The difference is, I’m writing mine. Are
Read More

If books were real, Bella Swan…

Bella Swan… would be a vampire and live in Forks, she… would wear edgy Chanel make-up and… Victoria Beckham dresses every day.   ‘Breaking Dawn’ by Stephanie Meyer [UK: Atom] How would other fictional characters behave, if they were real? Mr Wickham in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Sarah Burton in ‘South Riding’ Torak in ‘Wolf Brother’ And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: If #books were real, what would Bella Swan wear? BREAKING DAWN by Stephanie Meyer via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-no
Read More

Great Opening Paragraph 30… ‘The L-Shaped Room’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“There wasn’t much to be said for the place, really, but it had a roof over it and a door which locked from the inside, which was all I cared about just then. I didn’t even bother to take in the details – they were pretty sordid, but I didn’t notice them so they didn’t depress me; perhaps because I was already at rock-bottom. I just threw my one suitcase on to the bed, took my few belongings out of it and shut them all into one drawer of the three-legged chest of drawers. Then there didn’t seem to be
Read More

My favourite library… The British Library

I only visited the old British Library, when it was at the British Museum in Bloomsbury, once. When the plan to move to a new building St Pancras was mooted in the late 1970s, I was a student at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. I saw the plans of the architect, Colin St John Wilson, and it was a case of instant dislike: all that red brick. Brutalist architecture, not my favourite. But I have an inbuilt love of all libraries.Now the building has mellowed and so have I. Now that I’ve been there, worked there, spent many days there
Read More

If books were real, Mr Wickham…

Mr Wickham… would lie on his Facebook page about his connections, his achievements, and his fortune. He would find Linked In a little more difficult, as no-one would want to link themselves to him. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen [Penguin] How would other fictional characters behave, if they were real? Bella Swan, vampire, in ‘Breaking Dawn’ Jamie Fraser in ‘Cross Stitch’ Torak in ‘Wolf Brother’ And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: If #books were real, Mr Wickham would lie on social media PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-nM
Read More

Great opening paragraph 29… ‘The Murder Room’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“On Friday 25 October, exactly one week before the first body was discovered at the Dupayne Museum, Adam Dalgliesh visited the museum for the first time. The visit was fortuitous, the decision impulsive and he was later to look back on that afternoon as one of life’s bizarre coincidences which, although occurring more frequently than reason would expect, never fail to surprise.” ‘The Murder Room’ by PD James  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Lucky You’ by Carl Hiassen ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding And
Read More

Aah Snoopy, you are so right… 1

Sometimes, the words of Snoopy are spot-on about writing.   ‘Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life’ ed by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz [UK: Writer’s Digest Books]     And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Sticking with a formula: great advice for writers from @Snoopy http://wp.me/p5gEM4-nZ via @SandraDanby
Read More

Great opening paragraph 28… ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“When the phone ran I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along to an FM broadcast of the overture of Rossini’s ‘The Thieving Magpie,’ which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.” ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘A Change of Climate’ by Hilary Mantel ‘The Pelican Brief’ by John Grisham ‘Sophie’s World’ by Jostein Gaarder And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more:
Read More