It feels like there are some fundamental issues with spelling and punctuation and typos here, which don't create the best first impression. The piece is also infodumping. There's nothing wrong with introducing a washed-up ex-ghosthunter (although it doesn't seem clear whether he's a fraud or believes he's really seen supernatural things? he says the ghosts were real but also he photoshopped them? I'm trying to understand this contradiction. Does he mean that they were real except he never could prove it by catching one on camera? Or that they were real at the start but then he turned to faking them?). But showing an opening where he is looking through a pile of old memories specifically for the purpose of telling the reader about those memories is a bit cliche and could be more dynamic. It's more interesting to see a character going somewhere or doing something, if this is an opening, not just sitting in his house reminiscing about the past.
And it might be just me, but it seems hard to emphathize with this character at the moment. Some of us beleive that it's actually a great thing that a scientific worldview is spreading over a superstitious one, as it means people are less likely to hurt each other by believing things that aren't true (like accussing one another of witchcraft, for example). So take into account that a decent proportion of your readership may hold this view. They may not feel very sympathetic to an old fraud who admits to faking paranormal material to trick people, unless you can make him seem like a charming rogue with other likeable traits. This is genre-dependent, of course. You don't say which genre this is here, but of course if it is a paranormal horror piece then your readers are ok with assuming ghosts are real; if it is a different genre then there might be more variation in views.
Thank your for your reply. If its not clear (and its listed in the title of this page) the genre is horror/thriller. I know I struggle with information dumps so thank you for that criticism. I have shifted the beginning of the story to a little later in the first chapter.
An incessant, constant whirl to a phone number that shouldn’t even exist buzzed against my right year. If I had known I was being patched through to my eventual demise I would have destroyed my phone then and there. No one could have predicted the horror that lied on the other side of the connection.
My confidence was eviscerated. I choked as spittle dripped from lips.
“Oh hi, uhh yes. I’m calling to speaking with a Ms. Jessica Alberts?”
“Who is this?” Her tone was harsh and ripe with suspicion. I clenched as a small batch of stomach acid erupted into my mouth.
“My name is Wilfred Walters and I am an investigative journalist and I was hoping to speak with you about your town. I just have a few questions…”
“Investigation? Journalist? Cut your shit. Who are you?” she fired back.
I clenched the phone and fought through my anxiety. I took a slow breath and steadied my shaking hands. This had to go well.
“Ma’am I assure you my credentials are solid. I have published many novels and blog posts about various mysteries the public may find intriguing. I am across the name of your town earlier today and found the history of Small Brook to be fascinating. I would just like to ask a few questions. Obviously I will be respectful in nature…” I paused. Her breathing was rapturous on the other end of the line. I could feel her mind turning as my bullshit spilled from my mouth.
“What did you say your name was?” she barked.
“Wilfred Walters,” I repeated.
“And you said you were published?”
“Yes, that is correct.” I bit my lip. The tension was building. My false façade would come crashing down once she realized my true profession.
“Hmm, give my a second.” I heard shuffling in the background and then the clicking of computer keys. “Uh huh… I see. So you’re the real deal I guess. Chasing ghosts and bigfoots in hopes to make a quick buck, huh?”
My face turned dark red. My true identity was blown.
“I’m a journalist ma’am, I look into subjects other don’t…”
“Quit the bullshit. I see your ghost stories for sell on Amazon. Don’t fuck with me.”
“I’m just interested in your town’s history. I would just like to ask you some brief questions and I’ll happily make your answers anonymous…”
“Fuck it. Fuck all of it! You want a story? I’ll give you a story."