Tuesday, July 20, 2010

6 #41 Valerie Kemp

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Chapter One

I died before I was even born.

It was April 13th, not a Friday, but it might as well have been. My mom was in labor with me as my parents’ car raced down the two-lane wooded road that passes for a highway in our part of Michigan. A thunderstorm raged, blotting out the last of the sunset. They were two miles from the hospital when a speeding car slid through a stop sign and slammed into them.

They never saw it coming.

My dad died first, instantly, the steering column punching a hole right through his heart. Their ancient car didn’t have airbags and the seatbelt wasn’t enough to save my mom. She bled out while they were using the Jaws of Life, and since I was inside her, I died too.

The paramedics couldn’t do anything for my mom, but they thought I deserved a chance. They cut me out, right there in the intersection, in the middle of the pouring rain. I was blue, but they wouldn’t give up. A few tiny puffs of air later, I finally gave my first cry.

The nurses said they should call me Lucky. Gran said, “What’s lucky about coming into the world with your parents already dead?” So she named me after the reason for my sad situation. The name my nineteen-year-old mother joked about on the phone with her, before she left for the hospital.

She named me Rain.


  1. I kind of love it :) Great voice and flow.

  2. I'm biased, but I totally love this one.

  3. I got the chills reading the last line. What an awesome ending to a first page! I have to say I enjoyed it and I enjoyed the device you used with separating the dramatic lines into their own paragraphs. Though, having said that, be careful only to use that or any device sparingly. I wish you'd put the query up because that's my genre and I'd love to know where you're going with it. Sorry I couldn't give you more to work with. Great job!

  4. I'm with Lisa Gail - chills on that last line! I really enjoy your voice - great set up!

  5. I really like the vivid imagery and the strong voice in this passage. It’s very powerful without being melodramatic. The short paragraphs help build the suspense. My only criticism would be in the fifth paragraph where the construction of the descriptions with two clauses joined by a comma can be a little repetitive - it might be even more powerful to separate one or two of them into individual sentences to give them more punch. The last sentence is very effective. Since you haven’t submitted a query, I’m not sure where you’re going with this, but your genre description tells me where you’re headed. This is not my genre, but if I didn’t know that, I would definitely keep reading, since the opening is compelling and intriguing.

  6. Thanks so much for the kind words and helpful comments!


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