Opening Page: ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness

Photo:David Castillo Dominici

Photo:David Castillo Dominici

SQUEE! I’ve just finished amping ME AND HER : A Memoir of Madness to the MAX … My struggle and victory over Bipolar Disorder. Hope you LOVE the revised version.

‘After parents at my school harass me to breaking point, my personality and moods begin to change.’

A year ago, my cyber friend, Bi-Polar Girl suggested I post the first page from ME AND HER : A Memoir of Madness on her website, I asked myself … Could I really be Brave Enough?

I sucked in a deep breath and snapped my eyes tight, pleading for guidance.
Could I really divulge my opening page for the world to read?
Self-doubt  overwhelmed me …

Again I ask in 2011, Will everyone understand my anguish and my mania ?

So here’s the  BRAND NEW opening to ME AND HER : A Memoir of Madness … Please let me know what you think.

In May 2005, my mad half, ‘Her’ was born …

Hot water flowed over me, soothing my skin, washing my anguish and tears down the drain. After a week tucked up at the motel, should I return home to Steve and the kids? To teaching? I quivered … No, I can never return to that horrid school. Never.
I heaved a loud sigh.

Without warning, the shower screen shook, reverberating from thuds against the bathroom window. I dropped the soap, bumping the tap. The stream became icy as I stood there shivering. I spun the handle around and turned off the water. Muffled shouts came from outside. Then someone pummeled hard on the front door of my motel room.

‘Samantha, you all right?’

Samantha? That’s not my name!

My hands shook, beads of sweat forming on my forehead. ‘I’m naked. I’m getting out of the shower. Wait. Wait till I’m dressed!’

I grabbed a towel, drying my body as fast as I could. The chipped steamed-up mirror reflected a glimpse of myself, hair dripping over my face ─ skin  the colour of milk.
Why is someone banging on my door? I didn’t do anything.

‘Open the door now! Samantha Howard, you’ve got three minutes to let us in!’

I gulped. But that’s my fake name. The name I registered at the reception counter.
My heart hammered fast, the surging adrenaline pumping through my veins.

What will I do now?

Karen Tyrrell 2011 © Me and Her: a Memoir of Madness

What did you think of my Opening page ?

Is the first page strong enough to peek your interest?

Do you want to read more?

PS. Original post has been edited. KT.

Did you like this? Share it:

106 comments to Opening Page: ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness

  • I went back and found the comment link. Techno is not my middle name. I do love this opening. I feel the desperation – especially in the line about the motel manager and the thoughts about not being able to go back. I love that it opens in a space where you’re trapped. Such a good starting point. Will you be posting more?

  • Marjorie Sawyer

    Karen, Tell me more, tell me more, PLEASE. Marjorie

  • Hi Cath, I’m glad you’re intrigued with the opening already. Yes, I will be posting more! cheers, Karen :))

  • Hi Marjorie, Have I hooked you in? says me with a HUGE smile …Thank you so much for your enthusiasm. Cheers, Karen :))

  • Excellent Karen. My only suggestion would be possibly moving the opening paragraph to after you discover why the police are there. At the start, it gives too much away.

    When the banging started on the bathroom window, my mind chimed in “Don’t worry, it’s only the police come to escort her from the motel room.” If the statement came a little later, the drama of the police turning up would be more pronounced.

    That’s just my thoughts.


  • Thanks Jefferey, I have been considering that. I might leave the intro in but take out mention of the”police”. So hard to write that opening sentence isn’t it? Changing in a minute please come back and take a look. Cheers, Karen :))

  • Michael

    Intriguing opening Karen. I would definitely read on.

  • Thanks Michael, Glad you like it … Planning to post page 2 next week. Many Thanks, Karen :))

  • Wow, Karen. Great first page. Sets up lots of immediate questions, as well as some action to keep us reading. Can’t wait to see more 🙂

  • Thanks Katherine, Glad you like it. And this all really happened. I had some dramatic times back then. I’m planning to put up page 2 next week. Stay tuned … Karen :))

  • Debbie

    Good opening, pulled me into the story. Yes, I would keep reading…

  • Hi Debbie, Thanks for dropping over to read this. I’m glad I’ve hooked you in. Stay tuned … putting up page 2 next week… See you tomorrow, Karen :))

  • Paula Beavan

    All I can say is “more please!” :))

  • Thanks Paula, Your request is music to my ears … I promise you there’ll be a whole lot more. Karen :))

  • Marjorie Sawyer

    Karen, I thought mentioning the police was a good idea because I was intrigued why they would be knocking on the door eg Did you kill someome, rob someone, or did they come to warn you? Not saying who it is means it could be hotel staff coming for their money (boring). This is just an opinion from a reader who loves mystery, I could be totally wrong. You have made me consider redoing my first chapter! Are we as writers ever happy with what we write!!!??? Cheers, Marjorie.

  • Thanks Marjorie, I’ll take your suggestion under consideration. There’s more about the Police to come. Keep your seat belt fastened. Glad I’ve inspired you to do a Rewrite. I’m forever rewriting mine. Cheers, Karen :))

  • Kelly Hart

    Karen, I love it. Can’t wait to read the whole story.

  • Thanks Kelly. I can’t wait to see my whole story in print!! >>> Karen :))

  • Karen, Great first page! One thing I would agree with is leaving the police included. As Marjorie mentioned it makes the reader want to know what you’ve done for them to be bashing at your door. Just a thought. Hope to see your work in print soon too. 🙂

  • Thanks Maggie, I’m in a quandry!! I changed it after advice from D.R. on FB. Check out his comments on my wall … Karen :))

  • Love the opening,and yes, it does make me want to read more.

  • Hi Jeannie, I’m so glad you said that. I’ll be putting up the next page in a few days time. It does get better. Cheers Karen :))

  • Very nice. Great situation for an intro, Karen. It sets up the story and draws the reader in. Well done! Joanna :))

  • Kathy

    Love it – yes I want to read more – I want the whole book ….NOW!!!

  • Thanks Joanna, When a friend and fellow writer likes your work, its one heck of a Giant stamp of of approval. Many Thanks, Karen :))

  • Thanks Kathy, Love your enthusiasm. I hope lots of Publishers are reading your comment. LOL … Karen :))

  • Laura

    I love it Aunty Karen 🙂 Can’t wait to read more. Will I get a signed copy? hehe xx

  • Hi Laura, What a surprise to see you here! Glad you like it! Next week putting up page 2. I can definitely arrange a signed copy for you … Has your mum read it yet? Karen :))

  • Wow! Yes, you got me going. I want to read more.

  • Hi Lexie, Your enthusiasm is oozing from the page. Thanks so much :))

  • Robin Thomas

    Hi Karen, If I read this first page of a book I picked up in a bookshop I would certainly turn the page. You have me intrigued with lots of questions running through my mind. Well done! :))

  • Thanks Robin, Glad you like my first page. I’ve redrafted it many times. Page two coming out later today … watch out for it. Cheers, Karen :))

  • Suzanne

    Excellent Karen – do not doubt your ability, great narrative style to your story.Tense and realistic. … And as one of the people who have had to turn up the other side of the door… this is an accurate portrayal and believable.I was able to identify with the scene immediately. More please.

  • Thanks Suzanne for dropping by and giving it the “thumbs up” for realism and accuracy. I really appreciate the support you’re giving from someone “behind the door”. Karen :))

  • Pam

    Never mind, Karen! As you can see, I found it, LOLOL!

  • Hi Pam, Glad you found it. Thanks for reading it . Cheers, Karen :))

  • Pam

    Please add me to your email list 😉 Thanks!

  • Thanks so much Pam. I will soon:))

  • Pam, I just checked my Email list. You’re already on it. Next newsletter coming out soon. :))

  • Hi Karen, I get a real sense of tension and excitement when I read the dialogue, “Samantha are you all right?”. Then I imagine the words ‘someone pounded hard on the front door of my motel room. Then I see the next line of dialogue “Samantha? That’s not my name.” I’m hooked at this point more than with the initial opening. Thanks for sharing this. You’ve got a great story to tell.

  • Great start, Karen,

    Definitely hooks the reader and has me wanting to read more.


  • Joanna Gaudry

    Well done, Karen. Vastly improved. I’d read on. It draws the reader in quickly. One thing though: there should be a comma after ‘soap’. I like your sharp writing and pace here.

  • Art Antonious

    Well done Karen. Great reading and very moving personal account. I can not wait to read the rest of your memoir ! Thanks for sharing this inspiring story.

  • Thank you Kaye for your quick response and you invaluable comments. Something for me to think about 🙂

  • Thanks Dee. I really appreciate you dropping by and giving your support. Love what you say about hooking the reader in. xx

  • Thanks Joanna, for your advice you gave me a year ago. And your fabulous comment now. ME AND HER is Ready!

  • Thanks Art for your fabulous feed back and all the support you’ve given me in the last few weeks 🙂

  • Wow Karen, thanks for sharing the revised opening. Reads like a cross between Psycho and Sybil for me. The tension and and confusion are immediately established admist the steam and heat of the bathroom. Look forward to more.

  • Thanks Dimity, Looks like I’ve hooked you in and you’ll be at my mercy until I post page 2. LOL.

  • This is a great opening page Karen.
    It draws the reader in and you warm to the main charactor enough so that combined with the action you are intrigued to read on.

    Great work!
    Rebecca x

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