Thursday, July 17, 2008

#10 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

Title: THE LONG ROAD TO HEAVEN
Genre: literary fiction


I fought my soul’s toughest battles within earshot of the strangers who knew me best. Smiling for the cameras, pretending to be some rock ‘n’ roll beauty queen – it’s an empty endeavor when you’re frozen on the inside. Sometimes I wondered how I pulled off being Heather Montgomery when I felt so removed from myself. I mean, it's easy finding ecstasy in the mind-blowing release that occurs delivering aural sex to a sold-out arena of screaming fans, but long nights on a tour bus become even longer when you’re afraid of what your nightmares and drunken ramblings might reveal.
I envied my son the innocence and serenity that cradled him when he drifted into that realm of twilight I had grown to fear so much. That fear goaded the nagging impatience inside me when the lights of St. Louis proper fell within my sights. After spending the past 13 months on the road, we were finally coming home long enough to unpack our bags.
And not a moment too soon.
I’d started punishing myself with the guilt of missing so many opportunities to hold Elias as he drifted into the serene lucidity of sleep. Even in ill temper, the four-year-old angel napping in my arms calmed my inner turmoil. His sweetness kept me from dwelling on why I couldn’t find peace from the hell of that little farm I left outside Brayton five years earlier, a hell my fatherless son prevented me from pretending never happened.

23 comments:

Just_Me said...

I think this looks interesting. I'd keep reading to see where it goes.

JC said...

I know this one...lol. Again, it is great, very intense. Love that first line.

Yunaleska said...

Yes.

I want to see how her life changes, the style pulls me in.

gypsywitch said...

Not something I'd normally read but the character and direction of the story came across nicely so I'm going with a yes.

Melusine said...

It's beautifully poetic. Nicely written, but not for me. That's a personal thing though and not a judgement on your writing. I like things to have a little more immediacy than this seems to offer.

Anonymous said...

I to don't normally get caught up in this type of story, but, this really was able to hold my interest. I would love to read more!

Wulf said...

No.

But the writing is vivid and well structured. It's just that it's all writing and no event.

Guess Wulf wasn't built for literary :(

Merc said...

No.

I don't read the genre, so it's probably a personal thing, but I didn't find a hook--it felt over-done, melodramatic, and too whiny for me. I don't really care about the narrator and nothing seems to be happening (well, not enough for me).

Good luck.

~Merc

Secret Agent said...

Yup. I'd ask for pages here. I agree that there is a little trimming that could go on in the third and fourth paragraphs specifically--"serene lucidity," "nagging impatience," these are lots of modifiers--but there's a very strong sense of personhood here that I'd want to check out.

Drunken Raine said...

Not for me either.

It was interesting and some sentences really stuck out for me (including the aural sex, guess it's just something that sticks out anytime there's the mention of sex). But overall I'd pass on it.

The beginning sentence of the second paragraph threw me off. It needed a comma or a sentence. Or simply a restructuring of the sentence.

Good luck.

Alicia said...

No ... at least not without some restructuring.

The descriptions and voice are good, but the genre isn't one I read at all. I'd rather see the book opening with a scene that shows the protagonist's disconnection and emptiness. Hearing her state it fact for fact doesn't move me or entice me to read more.

Lori said...

Definite yes. It's a unique take on a lifestyle I'd never thought much about before. And I love the "auric sex" line.

But I also agree that some trimming would help, where one word would be sufficient to describe something rather than the two or three used here.

Beth said...

Wow. I'm about to disagree with everyone :( I thought there was a lot of telling going on. Not my cuppa. Gonna pass :(

Anne Spollen said...

This would be a yes if there was one action here, but overall, I like this. It sort of reads like a prose poem.

Ardyth said...

I want to know more about her son and her inner conflicts, I'd keep reading, even if the writing is a little thick for me.

Inkblot said...

This was a no-yes-probably, for me. In the first para, I was thinking no. Then as I read on, the voice and situation drew me in, and I want to know more about who she is, and what's prompted her sudden re-examination of her life.

But then by the last paragraph (particularly this line: he drifted into the serene lucidity of sleep) the imagery was beginning to feel a little bit repetitive, so I became a 'probably' ;):)

Anonymous said...

As an avid reader of novels (not trashy fiction) I find that this start makes me want to learn more about the story. The way I pick books are by reading the first little bit of the book. I would definitely pick this one up!

fairchild said...

I'm mixed on this. If I had to, I'd pass.

The MC's voice is strong, I like her character, but it felt like there was too much trying to be conveyed in the first 250. Like her whole backstory up til this point; it should be given in small doses and sprinkled around--I like to be enticed into the MC's world, discovering something new about them evey so often.

I am interested about what happens when she gets home, and what she intends to do about her career/lifestyle.

nakedfrog said...

I think I would read this. The MC seems to have it all, but is haunted by memories of the past. I would keep reading just to find out what happened.

Dave said...

Hooked? no.

Then again, I stopped at "aural sex". Not what I want to read.

Anonymous said...

This sounds very interesting. I would definitely like to read more.

Katie said...

No, I'm sorry.

I sometimes read lit, so I don't think this is just the genre not working for me. It felt like I missed an introduction to the character... like I started reading half a chapter in.

Kat said...

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I just thought I'd let everyone who said they were looking for more action here know there is short intro scene where there is action, but I was more concerned about Chapter One.

(And Dave, it's aural, not oral. The latter would be gross.)

;-) Thanks!