You Have Five Pages to Tell Me It’s Good: When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East by Quan Barry. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast

Hello, amazing fellow creatives! Here’s to more fun perusing the library’s new releases to see what strikes our fancy. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve retitled Story Cuppings to better fit the premise of the podcast.

As writers, we hear all the time that we’ve got to hook readers in just the first few pages or else. We’ve got to hook agents in the first few pages or else.

Whether you’re looking to get published or just hoping to hook your reader, first impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are the key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, and are crucial for keeping your reader engaged.


Well then, let’s study those first few pages in other people’s stories, shall we?

Today I snagged from the New Release shelf:

When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East by Quan Barry

Not going to lie–when I saw identical twins were involved in this story, I had to grab it. (Being a mother of identical twins m’self, you see.) We don’t meet both twins in the opening pages, but we still learn quite a lot…

If you do not see the audio player above, you can access the podcast here.

It’s a beautifully written opening, to be sure, and I really dug how Barry uses such a small-scale scene to capture the mentality and personality of the men in Mongolia. Since our narrator/protagonist is a monk, we are with an “outsider” even though he is a native, and that adds to the unique perspective and language chosen.

As always, I love hearing what’s on the shelves of your own libraries. Libraries Rock!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!