On that Tuesday afternoon in the April of 1987, I had no idea that I was finally about to shed some light on the mystery of sex. Indeed adults had made it clear that sex, just like God, was a topic of the utmost importance yet never to be discussed. Questions were received with trepidation if not outright embarrassment, and the only answer so far was that one day everything would make sense.
It didn’t, yet.
Peo, Flavio, and I spilled out of the church with the rest of the kids. The sky was a promise of the summer to come, and the blackbirds celebrated it from the poplars and cypress surrounding the cornfields. Hoping to inhale freedom and spring, I was disappointed by the stench of the new road: a black, sticky umbilical cord that connected the church to the small town of Arese.
Flavio nodded toward the countryside, where the dust of a dirt-path glowed in the sun. “Wanna go for a recon?”
He was the tallest in our class, while I was the shortest of all the almost nine-year-olds in school, probably in all of Italy.
I answered, “Why not,” and Peo nodded. He never spoke much.
We always spent the afternoon playing together after Catechism, which we had to endure to maintain our good-standing position in Jesus’ fastidious notebook of sins. I would have never suspected that I was about to add to it big time.
Hopefully I made you curious enough. Wouldn’t you want to keep reading?
Think about it; Meyer didn’t start the twilight saga with Bella strolling to school. She started with her about to die ravaged by a thirsty vampire. Flashback, how did we get there? And don’t give me that “Meyers’ books suck” face, because she’s a best seller and likely you are not (yet). You don’t need to start with a prolepsis (a flashforward type of moment) but you need to engage the reader within the first page. This is very hard. Don’t get stuck on the first chapter! I always rewrite it last, typically many times over.
Who am I to give you advice?
I am the author of The Italian Saga (#TIS) A series of YA novels taking place in Italy. You can check them out here :) BIG FLASH NEWS! An Italian Adventure will soon be available on ALL e-readers! (Kobo, i-pads, computers…all of them, not just Kindle! Stay tuned ^_^)