We speak with the lovely and talented Kelly Van Sant, agent at D4E0 Literary, about a new first page from author Erin Shachory.
If you'd like to submit your first page for this podcast, please send it to Academy@ManuscriptWishList.com as a Word document, with "First Page Podcast" in the subject line.
Here's Erin's first page, so you can follow along at home:
My new life begins with a spark.
First, a pinch in the center of my forehead, sharp enough to make me close my eyes. Then my
skin tingles and a burst of inspiration seems to burst through my skin. Before I can even open my eyelids,
I’m imagining my first sketches of Italy on a fresh page in Notebook 19: apartment towers lined with
laundry and streets littered with beat-up cars, everything layered in smog and smoke. In movies, Italy is
all vineyards and farmhouses. In Naples, it’s chaos.
“Daydreaming?” Dad squeezes my shoulder, then nods to some chairs across the lobby. “I’ll
check us in. You two sit tight.”
As he sidles up to the registration desk, I shake my head, blurry with jetlag, and take in the sad,
dim lobby of the oddly named American Hotel. “Italy sucks.”
Troy nudges me with his elbow and calls the chair closest to the elevator. “C’mon, E. Give it a
I follow my brother past a group of kids sprawled across backpacks and each other’s legs.
They’re about our ages, chattering loudly in a mash-up of European languages, earphones dangling from
their ears. No cares. No worries. Their dads didn’t just move them halfway across the world.
I shrug off my backpack and toss it onto our pile of mismatched suitcases. “A ‘chance’ is a
weeklong vacation, not selling our house and moving.”
“Dramatic much?” Troy stretches out like a starfish and the chair sags. “We’ve been in the
country about an hour, Eden. Chill out.”
He turns his head and a girl across the room, a brunette with Botticelli curls, notices the small
patch of bright purple hair behind his right ear. Then her eyes fall on the violet hair spilling over my right
shoulder. Troy sees the girl and nods, but I fidget with my hair, self-conscious. I twist the whole mess into
a knot and tie it back, hoping the purple streak is hidden by brown hair, cursing our shared birth defect, a
recessive trait from our mother’s family.
“I wish it was recessive,” I mutter.
Troy kicks my chair and mouths chill before returning to his phone. The electric whine of his
favorite game blips and beeps, and he’s oblivious to me again.