What IS calico? Where did it come from, and who used it to fashion clothing in the nineteenth century? Why did Calico appeal to working women? Why was Calico the fabric of choice for Calico Balls?
Today is A Book Birthday for brand-new release The Gunsmith’s Bride. This article contains not just the opening scene but the first TWO CHAPTERS. Come on in and meet my characters: the gunsmiths–George and Morgan Hudson (father and son), and the brides–Zylphyia and Elizabeth (mother and daughter).
The Gunsmith’s Bride originally appeared in the bundle: GUNSMOKE & GINGHAM, containing five brand-new novellas by FIVE USA Today Bestselling, Amazon Bestselling, and Award-winning Authors. While this bundle is no longer for sale, individual titles can be found where each author’s books are sold.
Question: How do authors determine where to begin the story?
Answer: I imagine in a group of five authors, you’d obtain at least 2 different answers. How’s that for ambiguous?
Every writer has developed their own methods that work for them. We’re all different, as unique as our fingerprints. My method of ensuring my books start at the right place may be quite different from someone else’s methods and that’s perfectly OK. My answer to this question: “As late as possible.”
This means I skip as much back story as possible– details that don’t really matter for the crux of the story yet it still makes sense. We dive right into action. It’s the latest possible moment when that “something” happens and everything changes.
Inside, I share a full, polished opening scene (not published in The Bride Lottery), deleted when I realized in the final drafts that the story was beginning too early.
A Peek Inside Gideon’s Secondhand Bride shares most of a scene from within the novella. This scene, wherein John Gideon teaches his mail-order bride of convenience to shoot his rifle. This interaction occurs near the middle of the book, so it’s not visible in Amazon’s “look inside” feature.