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Hook, Line & Sinker

Writing Journey

Last week I finished reading Fiction Blurbs by Phoebe J. Ravencraft and Bryan Cohen. The hardest thing in writing is distilling a three-hundred-page book into a couple of paragraphs that will entice a reader to give it a chance.

This book was just my kind of practical, easy-to-follow guide for writing back cover copy, query letters, or any type of marketing blurb. It started with an overview of the entire blurb and then broke each sentence down by chapter. Yes, every sentence in the book has a chapter devoted to it with specific goals, word choices, and examples.

The first sentence of the blurb is the hook, that one sentence that will draw readers in. I started practicing my blurbs and wrote ten for one book. I kept this up through several books. But which sentences would most appeal to readers? I had a couple of favorites, but when you write them yourself, it’s hard to know if others will like them.

I decided to test them on my friend Jocelyn and created a quick survey. She immediately got back to me with her favorites. I would love to know which ones you like best. There are three surveys, one for each book. Click on one or all of them—I’d appreciate the feedback.


I'd love to hear which book sounds most interesting to you! LMK at kathryn@kathryndodson.com,

The craziest part of this is how much fun it was once I started. A chore that morphs into something fun is my favorite kind of project.


Book Recommendation

The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev is the uplifting and humorous story of three generations of Indian American women: a grandmother with a hidden past, a mother who can't move forward in her career or love life, and a tech genius daughter.

Sonali Dev throws plot twists at them that keep their lives in turmoil, especially when they start online dating. By the time the novel ended, I'd have followed the characters anywhere and craved a mug of lemongrass chai.



A Travel Story - Portugal: UEFA 2004

My husband is a huge European soccer fan (Real Madrid). Every four years, the best teams play a European championship. In 2004, Portugal hosted the tournament, and my husband and I went.

We started off in the Algarve, on the gorgeous southern coast of Portugal. Russia promptly beat Spain in the first match. After that, we went to the insanely beautiful town of Lagos. Unfortunately, sleep was impossible as drunk fans singing at the top of their lungs Eng-a-land, Eng-a-land, Eng-a-land, passed by our window, all night long.

Next, we went to Lisbon, where hometown fans in red and green packed the main square. Later that night, when Portugal won an unexpected matchup, waiters climbed on tables to shout the fight song, and happy tears and laughter filled the streets.

Spain didn’t make it out of the first round, which freed us up to travel to cities we hadn’t planned on and see matches we didn’t expect. From Danes in bars screaming Danmark, Ya! to the comparatively reserved French fans, to the Greeks who unexpectedly won it all, we all became part of the beautiful game that summer.



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