You know it's going to be an interesting morning when the first person who walks through the door of your brand new downtown office is a 350-pound man named Precious.

People sometimes ask, "How do you write a whole book?"

My answer? One word at a time. It's the only way.

And so private investigator Nicholas Colt begins a new adventure. I don't outline, so I'm not exactly sure how it's going to go. See, that way it's an adventure for me as well.

Let's hear some of your favorite first lines from books published in 2008-2009. Or, from your own works in progress.

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My visitor chair has seen its share of dames, broads, and even a bimbo or two, but she was none of those.

Unpublished as yet, but I keep hoping.
Now my curiosity is aroused, D. Curtis. If she isn't a dame or a broad or a bimbo, what the hell is she?

A St. Bernard?
Actually, she was a very classy lady from old money. As much as I liked that line it didn't actually make it to the final story. My detective was not nearly hard boiled enough to say it that way. Isn't a bummer when the characters won't say what you want them to?
I don't have that problem much; my characters are a lot funnier and smarter than I am, in the moment—I just let them talk, and usually what they say is exactly what they would say. It's only when I try to make them say stuff that they sound dumb or awkward or wrong. It took me most of a draft of a first novel to get to that point, though.
Aha! Divine inspiration.
The thief had been hiding in our house for nearly a week before anyone realized he was there.

Not that they're terribly unobservant or anything. They just have a very big house. The first line from my first book, Blood Money.
This is why I have a small house, Pepper.
Detective Frank Coffin stood in the sun-streaked living room that had, until sometime the day before, belonged to Kenji Sole.

The first line of my new one, Mating Season. Body on page one, baby.
Very existential opening, Jon.
In the sense that Ms. Sole is lying dead on the living room rug, yes.
Dammit, you spoiled it!


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