The Guest post: The First Line in My NovelI was recently asked how I came up with the first line in my novel, The Mistaken:
“I don’t know how I missed it, that moment I changed, when I somehow became a different man.”
Simply put, that’s the whole premise behind the book, its very essence. You see, I was inspired by lyrics of a song, Hurricane by Thirty Seconds To Mars. Those lyrics—“Tell me, would you kill to save a life? Would you kill to prove you’re right?”—made me wonder what could make a truly good man commit a violent crime, and, if afterwards, he could return to the man he used to be.
In that first line of the book, the character, Tyler Karras, is looking back and wondering where it all went wrong, how he’d changed into a different man, one he no longer recognized, a monster, an abomination.
My first drafts didn’t actually start with that line. It came about as the book evolved and matured, once I truly understood what it was about. I needed Tyler—who had always thought of himself as a straight arrow who followed every rule—to reflect on his mistake and ponder the moment he betrayed his own values.
Tyler always insisted on obeying the letter of the law, but when his pregnant wife is killed, the victim of a reckless woman’s greed, and the authorities are unable to prosecute her, he sinks into a deep depression, macerating his guilt in alcohol. And from the depths of the bottle screams a voice, howling for vengeance. Better still, he uses the means of his revenge to free his brother from the clutches of San Francisco’s Russian Mafia, promising his quarry to these sex-traffickers as repayment for his brother’s debt.
Trouble is, Ty mistakes the wrong woman for his intended victim, and all his plans go straight to hell. He can’t turn over an innocent woman, but the Russians are holding his brother as leverage to force him to do just that. So he has a decision to make: turn over the girl and save his brother, or do the right thing and save the woman he’s endangered and abandon his brother to the villains he’s tried so long and hard to free him from.
Realizing the stark reality of his mistake, Tyler strives to make amends, but no matter what he does, someone will have to pay for his error. He can’t believe he’s sunk so low, and he desperately needs to understand how he could have let himself do the things he’s done. So that moment, the one where steps over into the dark side, is everything, for if he recognizes it, it may well define whether he truly is a monster or simply a man driven too far, and the answer to that may determine who he chooses to save.
Nancy Thompson makes her fiction debut with The Mistaken. She is an interior designer and
California transplant, currently living with her husband
near . Seattle, WA
Book Page- www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/themistaken