The First Lie: Writing a Short Story inspired by a Novel (Plus a Contest!)

The First LieThe First Lie, an e-original short story, is available today! It’s just 99Β’ in the United States and 99p in the United Kingdom. I had a blast writing it, though it was a challenge. I wasn’t sure I could “write short” after writing novels for so long.

I knew I wanted to come up with a story involving the characters from my upcoming September release Necessary Lies, but how to write it without giving too much away? How to grab my readers and leave them wanting more? I hope I’ve accomplished both those goals with The First Lie.

Necessary Lies, the novel, is set in 1960 rural North Carolina. I set The First Lie two years earlier in 1958 when my characters Ivy and Mary Ella Hart are just thirteen and fifteen. They live in poverty with their grandmother on a tobacco farm. Ivy is still more child than woman, but Mary Ella is pregnant, holding tight to the secret of her baby’s father. In the middle of Β a windy, eerie night, Mary Ella goes into labor. Ivy’s mystified as to why her grandmother tells her to call their social worker instead of their public health nurse for help. The answer to that question sets the stage for the story in Necessary Lies.

I can’t wait to hear what you all think of The First Lie. Feel free to share your comments here. I’ll randomly pick three comments (whether they’re about The First Lie or not) to win one of my newly minted audio books!


  1. Katt Olsen on June 4, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I ahve just downloaded ” The First Lie” I am going to read it as a treat for when I have studied! It is only 89p on πŸ™‚ Thanks Diane

  2. Olivia House on June 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I have just finished The First Lie. It was an amazing and interesting read. Great work, once again πŸ™‚ Thank you Diane. Looking forward to reading Necessary Lies.

  3. Peggy Detweiler on June 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I downloaded The First Lie. I know I will enjoy reading it as I do all of your books

  4. Karen Scarbro on June 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

    So excited to read this book. I have yet to read a bad one. Best Author Ever!!

  5. Debi on June 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Can’t wait to read this short story!!!

  6. Linda Linares on June 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I can’t wait to read these two books. I love the idea of a preview teaser. I hope to see you again soon, Diane.
    Have a great summer!

  7. susan powell on June 4, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I shall be downloading this after my current read. I can’t wait! Thanks Diane. Xx

  8. Elina Allen on June 4, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Thanks you again for blessing us with your literary work! I can’t wait to read it, you’re amazing!
    God bless πŸ™‚

  9. Chantal bonin on June 4, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Just ordered it for my IPad and can’t wait to read it while waiting for the big thing!!

  10. Michelle Dorazio on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Can’t wait to read both books!!! I am so hooked on your books!!

  11. Glynis Smy on June 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Love the sound of the books. I will treat myself.

  12. Amy Feld on June 4, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I was the first to review your story on amazon and goodreads. 5 stars, of course. I can’t wait for NECESSARY LIES.

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 4, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Thank you for taking the time to do that, Amy!

  13. Renee D Pellegrino on June 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I love the way you open up a story, it is always done with Elegance and pure brilliance.

  14. Martha Franks on June 4, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Oh yes! I’d love to win this audio book!

  15. Denise Craword on June 4, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I’ve read all your books to date and can’t wait to read (or listen to) and review this new one! The family dramas and characters are always interesting and still surprise me!

  16. Sherri Cunningham on June 4, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I love your books! I listen to audio books when I can at work instead of listening to the radio.
    Thanks for your wonderful writing!

  17. Shona Neil on June 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Got it, for 89p, and pre-ordered Necessary Lies while I was at it! Thank you for producing so many wonderful stories Diane. Keep them coming please!

  18. Lucy Kubash on June 4, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Sound like great stories. I’m off to download The First Lie!

  19. Barbara on June 4, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I just downloaded The First Lie from Netgalley. I can’t wait to read the book.

  20. Sue Gulley on June 4, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Diane, I am FINALLY reading one of your books…..The Midwife’ Confession, love it so far!!!
    Have a great day!

  21. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories on June 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I can’t wait to read The First Lie and Necessary Lies. I love the short story teaser you are doing this time. Cmon September! thanks for the chance to win an audiobook too!

  22. Jaye on June 4, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I’m really looking forward to both of these books!

  23. Summer Grinstead on June 4, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Of course I’m excited for the E book and short story. I love all your books!

  24. Barb on June 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

    So excited for the release of the book. Not a big fan of a short story… but a Diane Chamberlain book is a guaranteed a good read.

  25. Helen Page on June 4, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Can’t wait to read this, am off to buy it now!

  26. YVONNE RAHN on June 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Awesome, I forgot I preordered this one can’t wait to start it. I love all of your books and anxiously wait for new releases. Congratulations Diane

  27. Sharon on June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    .Can’t wait to read this! You are such a gifted writer. I have read all of your books and I am always anxious to read your new books! Love your books!

  28. Rhona on June 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I’m going to download it today. I have to finish The bay at midnight first. But then I will read it next. πŸ™‚

  29. Cindy Mathes on June 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Ha! I had rendered it and today got an email about my order…thinking to myself “I didn’t know Diane had a book out today.”. i was still asleep..later i got this sweet about your blog…Can’t wait to read it. “Too many tornadoes through Moore lately… We were without electricity all weekend. Finally back on again…Very blessed that my family is all safe.

  30. Cindy Mathes on June 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    That should say..Preordered …You never know what your going to say with your Smart Phone and auto

  31. Cathy on June 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Just downloaded. I love it when characters show up in multiple books. Thank you so much.

  32. Diane Chamberlain on June 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Cindy, love your typos. And very glad you’re safe.

  33. Paula Daigle on June 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Just finished reading The First Lie . AMAZING and how fitting were the last few lines. Anxiously awaiting Necessary Lies

  34. nova c. on June 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    cannot wait to read this!

  35. Rebecca Green Gasper on June 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Yay! Congrats on the release. I am soooo excited to read this short. Heading over to buy it now. What fun πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for Necessary Lies.

  36. Christine Reardon on June 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Wonderful !!! Just read The First Lie….. Loved it– no surprise Diane. Instantly enthralled– cant wait for Necessary Lies.Im sure it will be a fantastic read!! Thank You Diane!!!

  37. Em Lewis on June 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Congrats on the newest book! Love your writing!

    Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at

  38. Judy on June 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I can’t wait to read it and Necessary Lies. I have read your other books and loved them all and enjoyed talking with you through our book club πŸ™‚

  39. Joy Gunter on June 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Surprise! I just pop up everywhere!!!!!! I have now read 8 of your books! In ONLY 3 weeks. My house is a mess, my dogs think i dont love them, and I tell my husband it’s all your fault for being such a talented writer. :). You truly are addictive! Your books need a warning label stating that this may become addictive! Love your work SO much!

    South Carolina

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Joy, please apologize to your husband and dogs for me! I’m so happy you’re having fun with my books.

  40. Helen on June 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Loving it – you bring the characters to life so vividly I can almost see them in front of me as I read!

  41. Laurie on June 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I thought it was terrific! I was hooked on the characters from the first few pages and now I can’t wait for “Necessary Lies”.
    Have to wait til September?? OH NO!!! πŸ™‚

  42. Maudeen Wachsmith on June 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Now it’s even harder to wait for NECESSARY LIES. I loved THE FIRST LIE!!

  43. Beth Browne on June 5, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I *love* the title, but I don’t see how to download it. Must be missing something. Will keep looking. Keep up the good work!!

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Beth, all you have to do is go to wherever you usually buy your e-books and it should be there for purchase. Let me know if you continue to have trouble.

  44. Jennifer Woodward on June 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I received your email this morning about “The First Lie”. I promptly bought and downloaded it to my e-reader. I should have been starting laundry and making up the beds. Instead, I read it and LOVED IT! Can hardly wait to continue the story of Ivy and Mary Ella in “Necessary Lies.” You never disappoint, Ms. Chamberlain!

  45. Rachel C on June 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I’m definitely adding both of these stories to my “to-read” list!

  46. Ann on June 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Just added The First Lie to my kindle collection. Can’t wait to meet the characters that I will get to more about in Necessary Lies in September.

  47. Rebecca Leiter on June 6, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I can’t wait to read these!!

  48. Debbie on June 6, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Read ‘The Good Father’, Can’t wait to read more !

  49. Rebecca Leiter on June 6, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I can’t wait to read these!

  50. Wendy Franczak on June 6, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Oh pick me! pick me! πŸ™‚ thanks for the chance to win

  51. Melanie Dixon on June 6, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Hi Diane…i absolutely love your books…just downloaded The First Lie to my Kindle Fire as my first paid book…cant wait to get stuck in…Keep up the excellent work…looking forward to Necessary Lies xx

  52. Debbi on June 6, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I loved it and now can’t wait for “Necessary Lies”. What a tease this one was!

  53. Ginny Baughman on June 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I haven’t read First Lie yet, but I love everything Diane writes so I cant wait! I’m always excited when one of my favorite authors writes a new book!

  54. Debbie Hearne on June 6, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I read The First Lie yesterday and fell in love with Ivy. I am looking forward to reading more about her and the other characters when Necessary Lies comes out in September! Diane Chamberlain, you bring hours of enjoyment to so many people with your wonderful stories!

  55. Corri on June 6, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Just downloaded The First Lie! So looking forward to it and especially Necessary Lies!

    God Bless, Corri

  56. Beth Lewis on June 6, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Can’t wait to read this book!

  57. Raeanne Kauffman Knull on June 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I love your books!!!! The First Lie is next on my list to read. I am starting a collection….I feel like I am saving your old copies from just sitting around. LOVE how you write. Got me reading again! Thank you!

  58. Janette Matthews on June 6, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Eagerly awaiting Necessary Lies, Diane. I’ve read all your other books now and have loved them all. I think my favourite is Bay at Midnight. Please keep them coming – I will be taking Necessary Lies to Majorca in August for my holiday read!

  59. Tammy on June 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I think you definitely accomplished what you set out to do…I definitely want more! It was a fabulous read and I’m so excited for the September release !

  60. Priscilla Wild on June 6, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I purchased this right after reading a blurb about it on Mary Kay Andrew’s Facebook page.. I could not put it down until completed. It left me eagerly awaiting Necessary Lies to find more of the sister’s history. It was in fact more a proglogue than a novella and included a few pages of the new book. I can’t wait. Thanks

  61. Joyce Whitley on June 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I love, love, love your stories. I wish you could just pop them out one right after the other πŸ™‚

  62. Maggie on June 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I wish I had the right equipment on my computer to read this short story. Unfortuntately I don’t so I am going to have to wait for Necessary Lies to come out to read one of your lovely stories.

    • Diane Chamberlain on June 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Maggie, if you are interested, you can always download the “Kindle for PC” app.

  63. Phillipa on June 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Recently discovered you πŸ™‚ love your books, just reading Escape artist on my kindle. Loving every page but can’t wait to finish it as I’ve just downloaded the Keeper trilogy.

  64. Katie on June 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Love your books!

  65. Diane on June 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm books.

  66. Heather Parry on June 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I only have 3 of Diane’s books that I haven’t read, so I will save this to read before Necessary Lies when that is published in the UK.

  67. Justine Farmer on June 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Another one to add to the collection….always a great read x

  68. Donna Burfield on June 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Never had an audio book before. Would love to win !

  69. Hayley Coleman on June 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Have just discovered the world of audio books and would love to listen to one of yours as love reading them πŸ™‚

  70. Sarah Sturm on June 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I just downloaded “The First Lie” and finished reading
    it anywhere from 20-60 mins later. I lost total track of
    time – it was that good! But now I’m just frustrated that I
    have to wait soooooo long to read Necessary Lies!
    ::says in whiny,nasally voice:: “September! But I caaaan’t
    wait that loooooong!” ::stomps foot in frustration::
    Well at least it gives me something to look forward to!
    I love, love, love stories like this. I frequently ask for recommendations
    from my FB friends – and THIS is the type of story that will ALWAYS
    satisfy my thirst! Too bad this was only a sip! Can’t wait!

  71. Marcie Mabe on June 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I met you at Topsail Beach at Quarter Moon last year and you are a lovely and gracious person. I’m sure your new work is fabulous. I love your settings and characterization.

  72. Helen on June 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I have read every one of your books. Every book is a fantastic read and the First lie is no exception. It’s beautifully written and has left me in complete suspense for Necessary Lies. The 2 chapter taster also helped. I hope you continue to write many more books. September is so far away!! Xx

  73. Christina Ashworth on June 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Enjoy all your books Diane, if I am lucky enough to win I am going to give it
    to my friend who is just recovering from an operation, she is also a fan of your

  74. Carole Bishop on June 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I have never used an audiobook. I would love to try it with your wonderful work! Carole

  75. Carolyn Byrom on June 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    As I posted on your fb page, I can’t possibly contemplate reading this until Necessary Lies is ‘out’ as I won’t stand the suspense waiting!! All your books are just great reads, but my favourite was The Bay at Midnight, and The Lost Daughter, oh and The LIes We Told, keep up the brilliant writing!

  76. Kristie on June 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I love all of your books! I would love to read this as well!

  77. Jayna Lalli on June 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Cannot wait to read this!!! I’m teacher and on vacation in a couple of weeks!! What a great way to start the summer!!!

  78. Irene Blackburn on June 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Just got “The First Lie”. I can’t wait to start reading it!

  79. Diane Chamberlain on June 6, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for participating everyone! I loved your comments. My handy dandy random number generator picked three comments to win one of my audio books. Barbara Mattingly, Jennifer Woodward and Paula Daigle get to pick from The Good Father, The Midwife’s Confession and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. Hope you all enjoyed (or will enjoy) The First Lie!

  80. Jennifer Woodward on June 7, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Yippeeee Skippy!! Totally made my day to receive your email that I was one of the winners. Thank you, Thank you!

Leave a Comment