dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author
For First Impressions this month, Angela Brown is back, this time sharing the first page of her MG fantasy, FABLE RANGER:
Mom always told me to check before I answered the door. I really should have listened. Two boys stood on my porch, eyes wide with surprise. My neck and ears tingled. My freckles probably spelled e-m-b-a-r-r-a-s-s-e-d across my cheeks and nose.
“Case?” Darius tucked a basketball between his arm and side, snickering.
“In a dress?” Wynton whistled. His forehead wrinkled when he lifted his eyebrows, more confused than curious.
I was about to swear both of my so-called-best-friends to a “Don’t you dare tell anyone about this!” when mom called out from her studio. “Caesimilia Mollands! Close that door before bugs get in here.”
“Look, guys,” My hands dangled at my sides. I balled them into fists and gave Wynton and Darius my best evil eye. I think. “I have to get back so mom can finish the hem on this, ugh, thing, for next weekend.”
“That’s why we stopped by,” Darius said. “Wanted to get in some hoops since you can’t make it to the Community Sports Jam, you know, because of the wedding.”
I practically drooled on the spot, staring at the basketball. I wanted to snatch it from Darius, take off to the rec center and show them how much better I’d gotten charging the paint. A picture popped in my head: skinny girl in a fancy, strappy dress, heeled slippers click-clack-clicking down the sidewalk in a mad dash, dribbling the ball. Not cool. Not cool at all. I shook my head and sniffled. “I want to, guys. I really do, but–”
Mom called out again. “Case!”
“Maybe next time?” Darius tilted his head.
I nodded, sighing.
Both turned slowly, hesitant to leave. Darius glanced over his shoulder one last time and waved goodbye. It could’ve been a sign for me to run to the rec center with them anyway, slippered heels, dress and all. I wanted to so, so bad.
I closed the door instead, wishing I was on the other side.
My first thought was that I didn’t know what caused the narrator’s embarrassment in the first paragraph. I think the sentences describing her reaction will work better after Wynton’s line about the dress. I would also say Darius and Wynton stood on my porch … Calling them two boys seems weird if they are her best friends.
I also think this line of Darius’s could use some tweaking: Wanted to get in some hoops since you can’t make it to the Community Sports Jam, you know, because of the wedding. Maybe, Thought you might want to get in some hoops before you leave for the wedding … Or something like that.
And I have no idea what charging the paintmeans. But then, I am utterly sports deficient. If it’s a commonly known phrase, just ignore me!
Other than that, I have no complaints. We get a pretty clear picture of Case on this page, and it’s done quite naturally. There is no clue this is a fantasy novel, but I don’t think there has to be. I’m willing to wait for it. Readers, what do you think?

Angela, thanks for sharing your page! You can find Angela at her blog. Marcy has her own critique at Mainewords, and you can also see a query critique for this book at Matt McNish’s QQQE.