Love at First Sight

Do you believe in love at first sight? I do, because it happened to me. Some time ago.

Drawing from Folio Shakespeare Society


It was my twenty-fifth birthday and I was at church and I hadn’t had anything to eat. Someone sat down alongside of me. The church was absolutely still because the minister was saying a prayer and, of course, my stomach started to growl. That was when the person next to me asked if he could take me to lunch after church. I looked into his eyes, and there you go. We’ve been married for 37 years. (We had better luck than Romeo and Juliet, pictured above.)

In my new mystery novel, Maggie Dove and the Lost Brides, two of my characters fall in love just like that, though I didn’t intend at all for that to happen. Originally I just thought they would meet and talk. The young woman is Maggie Dove’s niece. She’s from Indiana, a Latin scholar, recently jilted. Vulnerable. He’s a young man from Maggie’s small town. The Eeyore of the community. (When you live in a small town, for better or worse, you get a reputation and it’s hard to shake that.) He’s also suspected of being a murderer.

The scene was coming along fine, but it felt a little flat. I wanted to do something that would unsettle everybody and I thought: What if they fell in love? Just like that. Based on my own experience, I knew it was possible. Would it work? I think so. (I hope so.) It gave the whole novel, and me, a jolt. Love it when that happens.

How about you? Do you believe in love at first sight? Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Susan Breen is the author of the Maggie Dove mystery series. Her stories have been published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The MWA anthology, Crime Hits Home, in which she has a story, just won an Anthony Award. She teaches novel-writing at Gotham Writers and is on the staff of the New York Write to Pitch Conference.

One comment

  1. My husband claims to have fallen in love with me at first sight (blind date), but it took me a while longer 🙂 Having just finished reading an ARC of Maggie Dove and the Lost Brides, however, I can say I believe in sudden love. But the love I like best is between Maggie and Walter. He’s a keeper.

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