Thanks, Chanel! I jumped ahead of myself a bit, as I'm not really close to querying. I'd heard so many worrisome whispers about writing the dreaded query, that I decided I wanted immediate "shock treatment". Thanks to you, queries don't have to be the stuff of nightmares. You provided great tips and excellent links. Plus, you were very patient with my questions. I appreciate that.
Kathy Otten has the patience of Job with all my questions. It comes down to the fact that openings and hooks are unique critters and require lots of practice. I suspect some authors wake up one day, write the perfect opening and hook and say, "By Jove, I've got it!" Jove and I are still huddling on mine. My favorite tip from Kathy was about ending sentences with power words. Too cool and way easier to accomplish (for me) than the opening and hook. Kathy, I must say, you've got me scanning books for opening hooks. I've found some golden nuggets, even sentences buried within the book that would make excellent hooks.I catch myself composing hooks for books I haven't even written! Thanks, Kathy!