How much information does an author give away before the book comes out?
This is an interesting question. Obviously, an author doesn’t want to give away too much about the plot. No secrets, no twists. But it’s still important to market your book. How do you market your book? There are only so many ways you can tell people that you have a book coming out. You know who else has a book coming out? Pretty much everyone. There is a lot of competition. And not everyone is like me. I have pretty much bought every book that I ever found even mildly interesting, and I have a huge “to be read” pile. It starts on the floor and is up to my neck. But that doesn’t stop me from buying more, much to the chagrin of my spouse and my bookcase.
So now you know I have a book coming out. So, what sets my book apart from the millions of others, and what will make you choose to read my next book after you read my first? Well, you have to like it. You have to not only like the way I write, but also the story I present. Is it captivating? Are the main characters likable? Are the antagonists just the worst, or maybe even someone you can sympathize or empathize with? Is the story interesting? Is there conflict, and does it resolve in a way that is satisfactory? You are not going to learn any of this by looking at my TikTok videos (although you can still visit them at dbmquick or follow me on Facebook at Debby Meltzer Quick, Author). You need to see a sample, or several samples of my writing. That is one reason I write a blog, so you can see my writing style. But blogs are not stories. They are snippets into my mind at the moment I am writing them.
So, I have decided to give you a taste of my book. A very small taste. A nibble, if you will. It shows a bit of the state of mind of one of my protagonists, without giving too much away.
So, with no more ado, I give you a little piece of chapter one. Setting: McKinney High School in Eastboro, Massachusetts, first day of school, junior year, 1984. James, Chris, and Carl are standing by the water fountain before the first bell (although they would call it a bubbler). They are dressed in jeans, and tee and baseball shirts, two of them in brand new wicked cool black leather vests. And here’s what happens next:
The boys were checking their schedules to see which classes they were in together, when Sally Bachman came in through the door. James coincidentally looked up at exactly that moment. It was a moment that years later he would later remember happening in slow motion. He didn’t recognize her at first. She was at least two inches taller than she had been when he last saw her at Randall Junior High, and definitely much curvier. Her straight brown hair fell above her shoulders and was softly layered around her face. She wore a button-down pink shirt with ruffled short sleeves, tight blue jeans, and white sneakers with pink stripes. She had her eye makeup done in a way that flattered her pale blue eyes and long lashes. She looked around with wide eyes and seemed unsure of what to do for a moment. She hadn’t been a student at McKinney Sophomore year, and James remembered she had gone to private school after ninth grade.
She caught his eye and smiled, making all of her nervous energy seem to melt away, replaced by relief. “Hey, Jamie!” she said walking toward him. “How are you?” She didn’t wait for an answer as she checked out her surroundings. “I’m so glad to see you! It’s my first day here and I have absolutely no idea where to go. Can you tell me where the office is? I’m supposed to check in there when I get here.”
James smiled back, amused at remembering how talkative she could get. “Hey, Sally,” he said, pointing in the correct direction. “Yeah, it’s just down the hall past the lockers, to the right.”
“Thanks Jamie,” she said, and she touched his elbow lightly. “Maybe I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah, see you later,” James responded, watching her as she walked away toward the office.
James glanced back at his friends, who were both looking at him oddly. “What?” he said to them, shrugging.
“Hey Jay-mie,” said Chris mockingly. “Hey, man, pick your jaw up off the floor!”
“Was that Sally Bachman?” Carl asked. “Wow, she’s grown up a lot. Like really,” he gestured toward his chest area. “She must have been a late bloomer!”
James glowered at his friends to hide his embarrassment. “Shut up, you dufuses,” he told them. “Look, Chris, there’s Rhonda.” Carl and Chris became distracted by Chris’s girlfriend and her friends coming through the door, and James quickly turned again toward the main office to try to catch another glimpse of Sally walking away.
Spoiler alert: She likes him, too. But you’ll have to get the book when it comes out to learn about how things go for these two amorous teens, and to find out about their adventures.
I hope you liked the very short, very benign section of “May I Have Your Attention Please” that I have shared with you. I may share more later, I don’t know. If you like what you see, remember to buy the book when it comes out. And then buy a few more for your friends!
Have a wonderful holiday week, everyone!