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Lucky 7 – Seven Lines from New Works

I returned from my lovely trip to the South of France to find I’d been tagged by Jane Rusbridge in the Lucky 7 – Seven Lines from New Works.  Here are the rules if you’re not familiar with it:

Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript

  • · Go to line 7
  • · Post on your blog the next 7 lines, or sentences, as they are – no cheating
  • · Tag 7 other authors to do the same

I’d already come across this and have enjoyed reading other writers’ contributions, including of course the extract from Jane’s second novel, Rook, which will be published in the UK on 2 August and is one of my Fiction Hot Picks for 2012.


I was completely unprepared for the response to my last post A Real Character – Or in this Case, Me and delighted that it inspired so many other writers to do a #realcharacter sketch of themselves, so it seems appropriate that the 7 lines starting line 7, page 77 of my novel Nothing Happens for a Reason give a telling glimpse of my character Kath.  She grew up in Brooklyn but has spent the last 30 years living in Colorado; you discover a lot more here than you’d get out of her if you met – she doesn’t like to talk about the past.  At all.

“Not only was he seriously hot, but she liked his attitude in a way most women wouldn’t;  Milt didn’t promise anything other than a good time and that was fine by her.  When love had come her way she couldn’t handle it and 15 years later, she wondered if it would ever not hurt to think of Steve.  In fact, it was strange how since arriving in London she’d started thinking about him all the time.  But apart from him, it had been strictly no heartstrings attached.  Kath didn’t go after men belonging to other women, but at The Moose’s Hoof, the bar where she worked on weekends, she didn’t need to.”

I hope you are suitably tantalised…

Kath was my favourite character to write (in American English – you know how I relish a linguistic challenge!) and the one I most wish was a real person, so it was gratifying when some of my readers said the same thing.  Having spent over two years in the company of my first cast of characters, it’s going to be strange starting again from scratch, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do once the Easter holidays are over.  Actually, I’m not even sure I can wait until then – I know that once I get my teeth into it, the reward will be the incredible feeling that only comes from writing a novel.

So, who to tag?  I wish I could include all of the fascinating writers who’ve done #realcharacter, but I’m only allowed 7.  Some of them have already been tagged and maybe some of those below will tag fellow ‘characters’?

Tom Quigley  @TQuigley_Writer

Janet O’Kane @JanetOkane

Erin Brady Pike @EBPike

Kristin Celms @kristincelms

Monica Comas @MonicaRivCom

Nan Bovington @wildhyperbole

Cariad Martin @cariadmartin

I really hope they’ll be willing to give us a sneak peek at what they’re writing !


If you were thinking of writing your own Real Character blogpost but haven’t got round to it yet, there’s no time limit and you’ll be guaranteed plenty of eager readers.  Publicise using #realcharacter and we’ll put the word out.

Coming soon:  my review of Stephen May’s second novel Life! Death! Prizes! another of my Hot Picks for the year.

About Isabel Costello

Writer (novels: Paris Mon Amour 2017; Scent 2021).Host of the Literary Sofa blog. Co-founder of Resilience for Writers with Voula Tsoflias. Perfume lover and Francophile.


14 thoughts on “Lucky 7 – Seven Lines from New Works

  1. An intriguing excerpt Isabel. I want to know what happens next…

    Posted by Jane Isaac | April 10, 2012, 15:03
  2. Ooh, very interesting characters! Look forward to reading the book before too long!

    Posted by susan elliot wright | April 11, 2012, 19:32
  3. Thanks for tagging me Isabel! I most definitely will tag other #realcharacters. 🙂 But on to more important things, who is Kath? Where is the Moose’s Hoof! I want to go there!! I can already tell so much about your novel –I have no doubt the characters are vividly imagined and the scenes and settings are original. Too bad the Lucky 7 gives us so little…

    Good luck agent hunting! I’ll be rooting for you.

    Posted by Writerlious | April 12, 2012, 02:30
    • Thanks so much Erin, the prospect of American readers enjoying the novel is really exciting. I’m pleased this tiny piece aroused your curiosity so much, and thanks for the thumbs up with submissions. Look forward to your #Lucky7….

      Posted by Isabel Costello | April 12, 2012, 10:35
  4. Yes – suitably tantalised! Come back Steve! All the best with this, Isabel, and I hope you get the chance to fly back to Brooklyn to do some more research!

    Posted by Jackie Buxton | April 12, 2012, 06:24
    • Very pleased to hear it, Jackie, thanks! Your #Lucky7 from Glass Houses was very tense and engaging. And YES, I am going back to Brooklyn for a week in October, to do some research for #2 (which has a completely different angle) and to see all the friends I made writing Nothing Happens for a Reason!

      Posted by Isabel Costello | April 12, 2012, 10:40
  5. Isabel, thanks for the tag and an even bigger thanks for giving us a sneak peak into your WIP! Just from a handful of sentences I feel like I already know Kath and want to read more. Terrific stuff!

    Posted by Monica Rivituso Comas | April 12, 2012, 12:15
  6. Am tantalised. Pretty sure I got served a couple of triple margaritas by Kath at ‘The Moose’s Hoof’; always wondered what she was thinking. Now I know….but want more!

    Posted by misguidedwriter | April 14, 2012, 11:32
    • Ah, there must be some mistake. The Moose’s Hoof is frequented by truckers and loggers who wouldn’t know a triple margarita if someone threw one in their face, which might well happen there. I think you’d fit right in. Delighted at how Kath has caught everyone’s imagination, thanks for the encouragement!

      Posted by Isabel Costello | April 14, 2012, 12:10


  1. Pingback: Lucky 7 Meme – Seven Lines From a WIP « Writerlious - April 12, 2012

  2. Pingback: Following Links to Inspiration | Reading to Write - April 15, 2012

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