21 March 2014

First Line Fridays: Lisa

Welcome back to first line Friday!

Each Friday, I invite a guest author to share the opening line from his or her upcoming release and a favorite book. I was out of town, and didn't manage to get last week's up in time, so you get two this week!

Today's guest is Lisa Colozza Cocca, debut author of PROVIDENCE, which just came out this month! 

Here's the blurb:

The eldest of ten children on a dirt-poor farm, Becky trudges through life as a full-time babysitter, trying to avoid her father’s periodic violent rages. When the family’s barn burns down, her father lays the blame on Becky and her own mother tells her to run for it. Run she does, hopping into an empty freight car. There, in a duffel bag, Becky finds an abandoned baby girl, only hours old. After years of tending to her siblings, 16-year-old Becky knows just what a baby needs. This baby needs a mother.  With no mother around, Becky decides, at least temporarily, this baby needs her. When Becky hops off the train in a small Georgia town , it’s with baby “Georgia” in her arms. When she meets Rosie, an eccentric thrift-shop owner, who comes to value and love Becky as no one ever has, Becky rashly claims the baby as her own. Not everyone in town is as welcoming as Rosie though. Many suspect Becky and her baby are not what they seem. Among the doubters is a beautiful, reclusive woman with her own terrible loss and a long history with Rosie. As Becky’s life becomes entangled with the lives of the people in town, including a handsome boy who suspects Becky is hiding something from her past, she finds her secrets more difficult to keep.  Becky should grab the baby and run, but her newfound home and job with Rosie have given Becky the family she’s never known. Despite her guilt over leaving her mother alone, she is happy for the first time. But it’s a happiness not meant to last. When the truth comes out, Becky has the biggest decision of her life to make. Should she run away again? Should she stay—and fight? Or lie? What does the future hold for Becky and Georgia? With a greatness of heart and a stubborn insistence on hope found in few novels of any genre, Providence proves that home is where you find it, love is an active verb, and family is more than just a word.

Sounds great!
Let's get started:

What are the opening lines of your book?
I first met Baby Girl in a freight car.
I was carrying a bag.
She was sleeping in one.

Where these lines set from the first draft? And if not, how many times do you think you've changed them? 
The lines were in the first draft,  but they weren't the first lines. I had a critique of the first draft at a SCBWI event. The editor suggested I start the book at that point. It has been the book's opening lines since then.

Why do you think this opening is perfect for your novel? 
They establish the theme of providence and destiny. They also draw a quick picture of the characters.

Give us your favorite opening line(s) from a favorite book, and tell us why you love them.
One of my favorite openings is the first line from Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo:

"My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni and cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog."

Why? The line gives a firm idea of who India Opal Buloni is and establishes her voice beautifully.

Find Lisa Colozza Cocca online:

Don't forget to order Providence

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