Opening chapter rule number one:  Grab your reader’s attention.

 “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single blog in possession of a good author, must be in want of an audience.”

Rule number two:  Ground the reader in your setting.

Francisco Goya [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

She picked her way across the drawing room. The fluttering of her fan drown out the ball as she tried to extinguish the fire on her cheeks yet to burn out from his kiss.  The satin skirts of her ball gown rumpled in her hand as she crept about the room, not so as not to trip over her too-swollen feet, but because she didn’t want to wake the snoring loaf of bread on the settee.

Rule number three: Intrigue the reader with an interesting character.

Why couldn’t the duchess have a cat? Cats don’t care who crept into rooms after forbidden kisses. They wouldn’t give a fig if her aching feet made her trip over the rug and  fall on her nose. They’d purr and yawn then expect a better performance next time around.  But the pug… the pug was always there, stubby legs tucked under his fat body, his already smashed in face rammed down into a pillow. That dog was a sentry of  enormous proportions, ready to wake at the sound of a clementine being unpeeled,  let alone her attempts at fanning away the evidence of a tryst on her face.

Rule number four: Give the reader a puzzle to solve.

Don’t wake up the dog. Don’t wake up the dog. Don’t wake up the dog.  Don’t wake up… Eventually she’d stop repeating that, but eventually wasn’t good enough with Lord Delaford on her heels.

There was nothing to do but ride the sequence out. Anxiety wrapped tight bands around her chest, making it difficult to breathe. Well, who needed air, really? Lord Delaford would only steal her breath anyway…

Rule number five:  Always keep them reading.

Welcome to the first blog post on my new website. My old site was redesigned in anticipation of my new releases, so I am glad you found your way here. Sorry, this is not a blog about creating a compelling opening chapter, although the four steps above pretty much cover how you do it.  I’ll be blogging from time to time about anything that strikes my fancy be it the writing process, the stranger sides of the Regency and Victoria eras, or life as a romance writing single mom.*  I love hearing from my readers and eager new writers! I hope you’ll keep coming back.



*who owns a pug and a cat, and has Pure O, OCD. No shortage of stuff to write about guaranteed