So I was glancing over The Warlord, The Blind Slave, And The Dog Called Brutus*, and it occurred to me I'm quite pleased with my first line. First lines are important: something drummed into me during my authorly apprenticeship. First lines should intrigue and interest the reader, should make them want to know more, wonder why and how this situation or thought or conversation has arisen.
I'll give you my most recent three. From The Untied Kingdom:
Eve Carpenter was having a bad enough day even before she fell through the hole in the ground.
From Run Rabbit Run:
Four in the morning and I was painting over the number plate of my boyfriend's car with black nail varnish while I hid in a camera blindspot in a car park in Dover for the early crossing to Calais.
From The Warlord*:
She lay motionless on the bed, a skeleton in a red silk dress.
What do you think? Do you find first lines important, or do you not notice them? Do you find them hard to write, or like me do you find it hard to go on if you haven't got it right? What's the best one you've ever read?
*Not the actual title. More a working title (except it doesn't work at all).
**Also not the actual title, but the response of my publisher when I told her my working title. "We'll just call it The Warlord for now, shall we?"