Elizabeth Stanton fled New York for Seattle, trading a career on Broadway for a teaching position in theater arts and a house built like a beautiful fort. But when she discovers one of her students dead inside an empty theater, Beth risks her own safety to discover the truth of Alyson’s death—a truth that lies hidden in the histories of four women and the events surrounding the production of the play Madame Butterfly. In this psychological mystery life imitates art, with deadly consequences.
The first sentence of my novel The Balance of Fear didn't change from the first draft to publication. I thinks that's pretty unusual, but I never even considered changing it. Those four words orient the reader and convey a lot of information. There are two people, a him and a her. They are both asleep in the same place. One can assume it's night and they are in bed. She's having the nightmare, but he is woken by it. It's a nightmare they are sharing. Hopefully, the reader will wonder what the nightmare is and why she's having it. They'll wonder who he is, and how he feels about being woken by whatever it is that torments her. Four words--and three of them are pretty short! That's why I love to write. Words can be so powerful. They can do so much. It's incredible really. Nineteen little letters, three spaces and a punctuation mark, and we're off.
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