First lines | Author Denise Grover Swank First lines | Author Denise Grover Swank
Denise Grover Swank

First lines

Anyone who follows me on Facebook or Twitter can tell when I’m deep in a manuscript– I become that annoying person who posts all the time.  I’m sure I must have undiagnosised ADD.
My two older boys have it so it’s in the realm of possibility. Or it’s just an excuse for my procrastination. I find myself writing for a little bit, then procrastinating enjoying contact with humans through social media. Finally, with any luck at all, I hit a stride and get sucked into my story. But admittedly, it’s like getting into a swimming pool. I’ll in dip my toe to test the waters , then ease  in slowly before I’m drowning at the bottom of the deep end.
Oh, wait. Wrong analogy.
In the spirit of procrastination, I decided to post the first lines of all my books because I really like the first line of Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons.  And because I think I’ve exhausted all other procrastination topics. (Quick! Someone send me ideas!)
An interesting note: Every single first line was the actual first line I wrote for each manuscript.
I’m listing in series order:
The Chosen Series
Chosen: Emma bolted out the door of the rundown diner, pulling her five-year-old son behind her.
Hunted: Beads of sweat clung to Will Davenport’s forehead as he watched the house through binoculars.
Sacrifice: She was dead.
On the Otherside Series
Here: (Prologue) The wail of sirens pierced the air, jerking ten-year-old Tom Phillips from a deep sleep.
(Inside info: I struggled for a VERY long time about putting a prologue in Here. I had gone over the manuscript so many times, trying to layer in clues about what was going on yet it didn’t seem enough. Finally, I caved and wrote the prologue. You’ll note that the first first thing that happens in chapter one is Mr. Archer contradicting what just happened in the prologue.)
Here: (Chapter One) The second hand of the clock jerks with each tick in an odd, click-spaz movement.
Rose Gardner Mysteries
Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes: It all started when  I saw myself dead.
Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons:  Having a boyfriend was suppose to make my life easier.
How important are the first lines of a book to you as reader?  How long do you give a book to catch your interest before you put it down?

Categories: Writing
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Marty Burnett
Marty Burnett
12 years ago

After a 2 day and night marathon, I finished Chosen and Hunted and started looking fot Sacrifice…omg where is it? When? My kindle fire has become permanently attached and I am in withdrawal…help!

12 years ago

I turely can’t wait for Sacrifice! I just had a baby 7 months ago and your books have been my me time on my kindle since Christmas. You are an amazing author!

Where to Buy My Books

  • Buy on AppleBooks
  • Buy on Amazon
  • Buy on Barnes & Noble
  • Buy from Google Play
  • Buy from Kobo
  • Buy from Audible

My books are also available for purchase in the UK, Australia, and Canada.
Check out the translations of my books.