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The Rebuilding Year – upcoming excerpts

December 18, 2011

So I said a week ago I would have some excerpts from my upcoming book to post. And I’ve been thinking about them. (I’ve been overthinking it, I suspect.) In the past the only excerpts I’ve done have been the first chapters that MLR makes available with each new release. I’ve heard mixed opinions about using the first chapter. Some people like it, because there’s no spoiler effect. They get a look at the book and the author’s style without worries about giving away any of the story. Other people have said that they don’t like first chapters. I’ve had readers tell me that then when they start the book, it isn’t fresh and new and they end up skipping ahead.

Samhain has a different approach. They select a couple of sections from in the first quarter or so of the book, for their website and as teasers in the back of other published stories. For The Rebuilding Year they’ve selected a few scenes that show my two guys gradually coming together. They say the best enticement is a good scene from after the story gets moving. And they’ve chosen a couple of my favorites.

So is it better to pick the most appealing early scene you can? (One reader who approved said, “then when I reach it while reading the book, it’s like finding an old friend.”) Or is it like a movie where some of the best jokes are in the trailer? I don’t think there is a consensus. And I don’t read excerpts myself, (other than the first chapter of new-to-me authors’ work.) So my opinion’s not worth much.

But I’m going to try this Samhain’s way. With a hedge.

The excerpt that Samhain has selected for their website shows my two main characters, John and Ryan, the afternoon of Halloween. And I’m going to have that scene up on a guest spot on Kathleen Hayes’ blog Romancing the Word on December 23rd. Kathleen is doing a wonderful 12 Days of Christmas Extravaganza with author interviews and excerpts and book giveaways and more. So check it out now, and look for me there on the 23rd.

But it’s possible I might put a bit of the first chapter up here first. If there are any first-chapter-excerpt enthusiasts out there let me know. This is all a fun experiment in how to present my writing to readers. And I’m learning every step of the way.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Christie permalink
    December 19, 2011 2:51 pm

    I’ve got no objection to having part of a first chapter posted because I can get an idea of a new author’s style. However, writers don’t always introduce all of their main characters in the first chapter and sometimes I’m left wondering what the love interest is like. Maybe the first chapter set-up is one character and his/her issues, which is going to lead to the action and romance. I admit to occasionally being disappointed when the romantic partner finally makes an appearance and it’s ‘huh’. An excerpt from someplace else in the story usually takes care of that and gives an idea of the attraction.

    • December 19, 2011 6:21 pm

      I see your point; I don’t think I’ve written a book like that, so it didn’t occur to me. But I have read some. It would be important for the excerpt chosen to feature both of the two (or three or however many) main characters in it.

  2. Iva permalink
    December 20, 2011 4:25 pm

    I like the idea of a excerpt from early when the two main characters
    meet. It is a good tease to get the reader to want more.
    I really enjoy your books and will read what you decide to put up.
    You are an automatic buy when your books are published. Please
    Keep us up to date as to when we will get the next sequal.

    • December 20, 2011 7:31 pm

      Thanks so much, Iva. The characters meet in the first chapter in this one so I may still put that up, although the scene that will be on Kathleen’s blog is the first time they get a little taste of mutual attraction.

      The next thing I have out will be the short Christmas story “Where the Heart Is” from MLR Press on the 30th. And I’ll definitely be posting when the next Hidden Wolves book gets close to release. I appreciate the interest

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