First Lines

IMG_4726Back in the Livejournal days, there was a meme that encouraged writers to list the first lines of their works in progress.  The point was to talk about your hopes for the projects and to give yourself a little public accountability.

In that spirit, these are the things I have on my plate at the moment:

As Above, So Below:  “Lorelei licked the last traces of soul from her lips, then smoothed the knee-length hobble dress over her thighs.”

I want to revise our succubus novel for a second edition, to be published by Automatism Press in April.  I don’t know if the book will change very much, but I want to smooth it over one last time, then add blurbs and a chapter from the sequel. The title may change to Lost Angels to better match the sequel’s title.

Angelus Rose:  “Morning in LA dawned brown, just the way Lorelei liked it.”

The sequel to As Above will come out in Fall 2016, also on Automatism.  The book is done in a rough first draft, but Brian and I need to whip it into shape. This is the succubus novel that sets LA on fire.

Unnamed Lorelei story: “He was the most beautiful mortal Lorelei had ever seen.”

I had so much fun writing about Lorelei meeting Jimmy Page on the eve of Led Zeppelin’s first American tour for Dana Fredsti’s Demon Lovers anthology!  I’ve wanted to write another succubus and rock’n’roll story for a while. David Bowie’s death inspired me to write down what I’ve always thought about him.  I can’t wait to really dive into this one.

“The Assassin’s Mirror”:  “Raena Zacari stood in the doorway of the War Crimes Monument, looking across the vast, dimly lit space.”

In this new short story, the heroine of my space opera novels takes Haoun, her lizard boyfriend, to visit her mother’s grave in the monument to the human agents of the Human-Templar War.  I want to look at survivor’s guilt and the weight of the prejudices of the past.

The Death of Memory: “As the elevator rose past the twelfth floor, Alondra DeCourval shivered inside her black dress.”

I’m finishing the overhaul of the original Alondra novel, now that I’m putting it back out for submission.  The subplot needs a final smoothing over, then it’s good to go. Alondra solves her brother’s murder.

The nonfiction:

Death's Garden001Death’s Garden Revisited: “Twenty years ago, I was given a box of miscellaneous cemetery photos.”

I’ve been gathering up essays for the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries.  The new essays are going up every Friday on  I hope to publish the new edition early in 2017.

The Pioneer Cemeteries of the San Francisco Bay Area: “Somehow I ended up living in a city with no active cemeteries.”

I’ve been working on this project for years,  but it keeps getting pushed to the back burner by all the fiction.  This has to be the year I finally get the proposal written up and start looking for a home for it.  This is my compendium of all the Gold Rush graveyards in the area.  No one else seems to want to write this book, so I’m going to have to buckle down and do it.

Writing in Cafes: “I started writing in cafes in the early 90s.”

I had a brainstorm about this book up in Calistoga over the holidays.  I hope to start updating it regularly on Wattpad again.

So that’s what I’ve got ahead of me this year.  Mostly I’m finishing the Raena short story and working on Angelus Rose, for now, but the rest is looming.

All you writers, consider yourself tagged.  What are you working on now?  Want to share the first lines?

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, as well as a space opera trilogy. I'm also co-author of a series about a succubus and her angel. In addition to blogging at, I blog about my morbid life at
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5 Responses to First Lines

  1. Another busy year for you, Loren! Good writing on the fiction and the non-fiction!

  2. Loren Rhoads says:

    Just wanted to add this here: Somebody took me up on the challenge!

    • OK, Loren, I will take up your challenge. I have fiction that I have been trying to finish for a long time. It will either be a very long story or a short novel. The title is “TALES OF THE BLUE INDIGO.” The first line is: “JOE T. SUSPECTED THAT THE OLD MAN BROUGHT HIM ALONG ON THE RIDE JUST TO OPEN AND CLOSE THE GATES…THEN HE SAW THE SNAKE.” There is a murder but I can’t seem to decide who did it. I will check out Martha Jallard’s blog.

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