Storms at Sea! Research for A Novel.

One Week! That’s all I have to wait until Look The Other Way is published. Geez – this never gets old.

Look the Other Way started ages ago, and now it’s almost here.

I wrote the first draft during the summer of 2012, but long before that my life had already started to influence what I would write.

In the fall of 2009, my husband, Mathew, and I started our journey across the Gulf Stream from Florida to the Bahamas. We were aboard our catamaran, Mattina, feeling pretty good about the day…

But no matter how much you plan, the weather can sneak up on you.

We set out from the Florida coast at 11 at night in flat seas, low winds and a perfect weather forecast. Just enough wind to keep our sails up and the boat moving at 6 to 8 knots.

By the next morning, the wind and seas grew. You can see by the foul weather jacket Mathew is wearing that we knew a storm was coming.

Sailing in Storm Matt

Little did I know this day would be research for Look The Other Way.  Bigger seas, stronger winds. Too bad I’d put the camera away.

The bilge pump started – which it shouldn’t if the bilge is dry – and my adrenaline rose. Did we have a leak? Were we taking on water? Now, I can’t ruin the surprise, because I used this adventure in one of the scenes in Look The Other Way.

More to come on our sailing adventures.

Thanks for reading.

Look the Other Way Createspace 6x9 252pg

Mystery Mondays: Kim Knight on Writing Buddies!

Welcome to Mystery Mondays. Today we have author Kim Knight. She’s written 6 books and is here to share her advice on writing buddies.

I met Kim online, and we have since become mutual supporters and promoters. That’s part of the joy of Mystery Mondays for me. I keep getting to meet other writers! So over to Kim…

Why Every Writer Needs A Writing Buddy by Kim Knight

It never occurred to me that a writing buddy is a much needed thing in my life. Like an accessory I can’t leave the house without my mobile, a spray of perfume and a fresh coat of lipstick. I need my buddy and you dear writer friend, you need to find yourself one. I would recommend it to all writers out there, no matter what stage they are at in their career.

So how did this come about for me? And why am I urging you to find yours? Well over in the USA a fellow suspense author, Didi Oviatt found and read my romantic suspense novel, A Stranger in France. She read it, loved it and raved about it. I was so grateful that she parted with her money, as well as grateful for her readership and feedback. I thought nothing more of it after that. However, I was intrigued by her as an author in my genre.

My buddy is the complete opposite from me in every way from reading her bio. I’m a big city girl from London, she’s a small town girl from the USA. Curiosity got the better of me, I read her suspense novel and fell in love too. The one thing we do have in common is our love of writing suspense and thriller, and writing style. The latter is the key to a great buddy.

After some discussion and skype chats, we decided to practice our skills by writing a short story each week. The fun bit about this is writing prompts are selected by readers, one of us starts the story and the other finishes it. Two writers on one story. No discussion or pre- planning one starts and then sends it to the other to finish. Cool huh?

TSC-Pre-sale-Banner-Kim-and-DidiAfter around six weeks of writing short stories, and then blogging them for readers to enjoy, we had an anthology of stories to be very proud of. The feedback readers gave us really encouraged us to keep going. We took it a step further after feedback, we published the six stories with two never seen before bonus stories. The Suspenseful Collection Volume One.

It’s released on the 28th July 2017. This innocent creative writing practice has turned out to be a more long term commitment, I can’t believe my name is plastered all over a sexy book cover with hers! She is no longer competition as another writer in my genre, she’s my partner in crime to take our genre by storm with. I never ever imagined this from innocent writing and blogging our stories. Still not convinced you need one?

Dear fellow writer here is what a writing buddy can do for you.

  1. Like you already know feedback is valuable, it’s helpful to have not just from readers but. another writer. One who writes your genre is a massive bonus. They get you, understand your work and style of writing. Chances are they read a lot in the same genre too. Writers read with a writer’s hat on, we see things in a different light which can be great as feedback.
  2. You will be stretched beyond belief! You’ll develop yourself. One challenge with my writing buddy I’ve had personally is, she writes kick ass fantasy and sci-fi, all kinds of stuff that scares me to try. My talent is not creating new worlds or cool fantasy. It’s creating likeable bad boys, a great crime scene, sexy heroes, strong heroines and steamy sex scenes. I like my suspense and thrill, mixed up with romance or fast paced gritty crime. My buddy is not a romance writer. We’ve both wrote stories in genres we don’t even write, or considered writing. It was an amazing experience. Very developmental and challenging.
  3. You’ll learn new tricks. And your level of focus when writing will shift. I say this as my buddy is American, I’m British we spell differently naturally! I’ve become mindful of my English spelling, while trying to not give away to our readers who wrote what in our stories due to spellings. 😊
  4. You’ll naturally write better from all the practice together, and feedback from your buddy.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you need to do as I have done with my buddy, with two writers on one story, or even publish work together. This was not the aim of becoming buddies it was innocent practice. But I am saying find someone who you can relate to, talk to, and most of all you dig their writing style. Then practice together. Bounce ideas off each other, brainstorm, read each other’s work. Give critique and be critiqued by a trusted writer, not reader.

 How To Find A Writing Buddy And Kim’s Top Tips.

  1. Look on your list of blogs you follow. Most writers follow other writers. See what writer you enjoy interacting with. If you had to pick a book to read from an author on your list, who would you pick? Once you find one go and buy their book and read it. See who writes your genre also if you can. Who has a personality you think you can get along with, from reading their personal blogs? These are tips and questions to ask yourself when looking.


  1. Send them a message and see if they would like to be your buddy. Tell them what you’d like to do as buddies and why.


  1. If they say no, no problem keep looking.


  1. Don’t go with a writer who comes across as a know it all. Confident, but never arrogant. Chances are when you give feedback the over arrogant writer will not take it well, we don’t want any falls outs!


  1. Have fun together don’t make it all business.


  1. If you get on as people even more better. From across the Atlantic via email, and during the short skype chats my buddy and I try to fit in (with a seven hour time difference) when our kids are asleep, I can tell if I met my buddy in person we would have a ball! You should feel like this about your buddy.


  1. Whatever you plan to do during your writing buddy friendship, do it regularly. Make it a habit that’s hard to break.


  1. Support each other they are not your competition, help them out and be helped. I designed and produced my buddies next book cover, I took this task off her hands. I love to design stuff from clothing, to a whole make- range if I could one day.


Good luck in your new partnerships writers! Have fun.

The Suspenseful Collection Now Available for Pre-Order!

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 3.30.27 PM A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!




Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 3.32.04 PM Kim is thirty four (born in 1983), and from London in the UK. She’s a mother to a beautiful toddler and a proud author of six romance and thriller books. Kim started her journey as a traditionally published author, she scored a publishing contract with a USA based publisher. She was over the moon! However, it became clear to Kim that things were not as she expected. Therefore, she set out on her own journey, she dived head first into the world of self-publishing and republished two of her fictional stories, and became a proud self-published author also. Something great was unleashed, she’ll never look back in regret. 
As a reader she’s head over heels in love with romance, historical fiction, crime fiction, African- American, suspense and thriller genre books. At present Kim is writing a romantic thriller novel, and brainstorming steamy romance novella ideas. As a writer, Kim enjoys creating stories with a diverse and multi-cultural line up, within the romance, romantic suspense, general thriller and crime genres. When she’s not reading, or writing stories of her own her other passions include practising her French, fashion, drawing, make-up artistry, spending time at her sewing machine dressmaking, watching make up and beauty tutorials on YouTube, letter writing and being a mum.








Social Media Links


Follow me on Twitter                           @kimknightauthor

Like me on Facebook                           @kimknightauthoruk

Sign up for updates on my author site

Favourite me on Smashwords       

Amazon Author Page                               Amazon



Book Blurb: The Suspenseful Collection: Volume One by Kim Knight & Didi Oviatt


A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and loveable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”







Dedication and Acknowledgements In A Novel

Look the Other Way Createspace 6x9 252pgMany things go into creating a final version of a book and getting it published. An author usually writes a dedication and an acknowledgment, which come from the heart and are hard to write.

I get emotional writing these as the people listed made a major effort to help me get this book published.

The dedication is for my in-laws, who have given me a lifetime of love. It was the summer of 2012, and Mathew and I needed some time off Mattina, our sailboat. Shirley and Michael invited us into their home, and we lived there for 5 months. This is where I wrote the first draft of Look The Other Way. I was in Canada dreaming of life in the Bahamas, and Look the Other Way is the result of that dreaming.

For Michael and Shirley Stanley, whose house I lived in while I wrote this book. With Love.

The acknowledgements speak for themselves…


Mathew, the love of my life, eagle-eyed editor, and constant supporter is the person I need to thank first.

A heartfelt thank you goes to my friends for life who read, reread, commented and commented again: Liliana Conn, Sonya Conn, Janice Janczyn, Sue Kreiling, Debi Sarandrea, and Adrienne Stewart.

Thank you to Elinor Florence for helping with the blurb and Kat Flannery for beta reading.

And, of course, thank you to Cheryl Kaye Tardif and Imajin Books for believing in me.


Here is the first chapter of Look The Other Way (with permission from Imajin Books.)



“We’re letting you go.”

Shannon Payne inhaled deeply, but the breath didn’t ease the tightness gripping her throat.

“I thought I was getting a raise today.”

Veronica Smythe slid an envelope across the surface of her desk.

“I’m not sure why you’d think that.”

The dreaded envelope of doom sat inches from Shannon. Did she dare flick it back at her boss?

“Because that was part of my contract. I accepted the lower wage with the understanding I’d be given a bump in pay at the end of three months.”

Veronica reached across the desk and tapped her acrylic fingernails on Shannon’s name written in sloppy cursive across the center of the unsealed envelope.

“It’s all explained in there.”

“You can’t just let me go because my three-month probationary period ends tomorrow.” Shannon fidgeted with the jacket of her favorite pantsuit, pulling the front seams tight over her blouse. She jammed her stiletto heels into the plush carpet, subduing the tremor that had taken hold of her legs.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“We don’t have the budget to keep you on. It’s nothing personal.”

“Of course it’s personal. I quit a good job and took a risk on this upstart newspaper. You persuaded me to do that.” Shannon’s heart hammered in her chest, and she tried to focus her attention on Veronica, but there was Lance to think about, too. What the heck was she going to tell him? Hi honey, how was your day? By the way, we can’t afford the house we looked at last night.

“I didn’t persuade you to do anything.” Veronica walked to the window and rested her backside on the ledge. The skirt she wore was an inch too short and pinched her thighs. She crossed her arms and looked down her long nose at Shannon.

“When is this effective?”

“Immediately.” Veronica twisted a gold bracelet around her wrist, playing with the sculpted butterfly that connected the chain together. “Obviously, you knew about the probationary period.”

Shannon shoved her own bracelet underneath her sleeve. She’d rather hide the bracelet than let Veronica know they had the same taste in jewelry. On her last birthday, Lance had left the gift on her pillow, and knowing Veronica had an identical one diminished its sentimental value.

“How long have you known this?”

“I’m not sure how that’s relevant.”

Rain pelted the windows framing the corner office. The waves frothing across Lake Ontario matched the motion in Shannon’s stomach.

“You could have given me more time to find another job.”

“I suggest you start looking now for somewhere else to work.”

“Do I get a reference?”

“Yes.” Veronica nodded at the envelope. “It’s in there.”

Shannon didn’t understand the coldness of Veronica’s tone. The change in her behavior had started a month ago, but she couldn’t figure out what she’d done to offend the woman. Female competition in the workplace? Not likely. Otherwise, Veronica wouldn’t have hired her.

“Kingston is a small town. There aren’t many jobs available in our industry.”

“You’re a reporter. Do some investigating, and you’ll find something.”

Shannon dropped her gaze to The Kernel’s competing newspapers. The Whig Standard and The Herald were strewn across Veronica’s desk, highlighted and written on. Three months ago, Shannon left a secure job at The Whig to join The Kingston Kernel, thinking working for a new paper would be exciting. The Kingston Kernel targeted the online market, and Shannon mistakenly believed her career would soar if she was part of a company that embraced new technology. Now she needed to find a new job and fast.

Veronica twirled a pen between her thumb and forefinger, examining it as if it might do something interesting.

“You could move to a bigger city. That might be easier for you.”

What? Leaving the company wasn’t good enough. Veronica wanted her to leave Kingston, too.

“I can’t. My fiancé is doing his residency at the hospital.”


Shannon stood underneath the awning in front of The Kernel’s outer doors and buttoned her raincoat. The wind blew rain sideways, soaking her pants. Water streamed across the pavement and ruined her shoes.

She clicked the contacts icon on her cell, then clicked her aunt’s photo. She’d just been fired, but the image made her smile. Shannon looked more like her brown haired, brown eyed, forty-six-year-old aunt than she did her own mother. As she often did when she was upset, she wished for her mom. Her mom would be fifty-six if she were still alive. Shannon had been ten when her mom died at the age of twenty-six. Four years younger than Shannon was now.

“Aunt Debi, it’s me. Are you busy?”

“I’m faxing boat papers to my broker in Florida. Hang on a sec.”

Aunt Debi was actually going through with her plan. What a crazy idea. Going sailing as a single woman. Shannon backed closer to the building but staying dry in this weather was like trying to stay dry in the shower. Lake Ontario was only a mile away. In the summer, she would have taken off from here and headed straight to her sailboat. An afternoon sailing in brisk wind cured anything. Too bad she couldn’t do that now.

Shannon heard the fax machine emit a beep, and Aunt Debi came back on the phone.

“There. I now own a Lagoon 380 S2.”

“That’s wonderful. Congratulations. I was hoping you’d get that catamaran.” Shannon had watched her aunt and uncle scheme and plan as if they were school kids setting out on an adventure. Her uncle was to deliver their sailboat to the Caribbean. Her aunt would transfer her clients to her law partner, sell him her half of the business, and fly south to join Uncle Bobby in Puerto Rico. That had been the plan, anyway. “You must be excited.”

“And nervous. I’ve hired a captain. I’m meeting him in Florida on Monday.”

“Good for you. I wish I could go with you.”

“What’s wrong? You sound funny,” Aunt Debi said.

“I can’t hide anything from you.” Shannon wiped her eyes on her raincoat sleeve. “I was let go today.”

“Oh, Shannon. I’m sorry. What happened?”

“I don’t know. My boss said budget cuts.” Shannon heard barking and knew her aunt’s Cocker Spaniel was getting into mischief. “What’s Peanut doing?”

“There’s a bird on my balcony. Can they just do that? Let you go?”

“I haven’t worked there for three months yet, so they can do whatever they want.”

“I thought it was longer than that. Can you go back to The Whig?”

“No. I just got off the phone with them. They filled my position with someone they really like. They’ll call if something opens up.”

“What did Lance say?”

Good question. How would Lance react? Maybe he’d surprise her and take the news well. This wasn’t her fault. The door to the newspaper office opened, and Veronica stepped outside. Shannon wouldn’t shy away from her. She stared at her without breaking eye contact.

Veronica opened her umbrella and strode in Shannon’s direction.

Shannon took a step away from the wall, forcing Veronica onto the street. Too bad there wasn’t oncoming traffic or at least a car to hit a puddle and soak her. Veronica stayed on the road until she reached the corner and turned out of sight.

“Shannon? Are you still there?”

“I’m here. What did you say?”

“I asked what Lance said.”

Shannon knew Aunt Debi only cared what Lance thought because Shannon planned to marry him. Aunt Debi probably believed she hid her dislike, but she knew her aunt too well. Her polite, slightly stiff manner around Lance exposed her feelings.

“I haven’t told him yet. He’s on call till Monday.”

“In that case, why don’t you drive down here and spend my last weekend in the big city with me. It’ll make you feel better.”


Since Lance didn’t like personal messages left on his cell, Shannon wrote a note telling him she was headed to Toronto for the weekend. Occasionally, while he was on call, he could get home for a couple of hours. If he didn’t come home, he’d never notice she’d been gone. She placed the note on the front hall table of the one-bedroom condo they rented, then picked it up again. Sometimes she was so unromantic. She added three hearts after her name and signed the note with a lipstick kiss. Better.

She didn’t mention she’d been fired. He wanted to make an offer on the house they’d checked out last night, but without two salaries, they’d never get a mortgage. He was going to be pissed. Nothing wrong with a little procrastination on her part. Maybe she could find a new job before she told him the bad news. She dropped the note back on the table and left their apartment.

The rain hadn’t abated. She made a mad dash to her car, flipped the windshield wipers to high, and turned in the direction of the four-lane highway that would take her all the way to Toronto.

She shifted into fourth and accelerated from the onramp onto the 401. After an hour and a half of driving west on the highway and replaying the scene with her boss in her mind countless times, she needed a rest stop. Against her nature, she’d held back during the meeting with her boss because she wanted a reference. Imagining improvements to the witty remarks she’d never said, she drove too fast and swerved as she took the next exit. She slowed and pulled into the closest gas station.

A little relief, a little snack, a full tank, and she was back in her car with the defrost on high. Her cell rang.

“I’m sorry, but I’ve got to cancel for the weekend,” Aunt Debi said. “I’ve booked a flight for the morning. The captain I found is coming early. I’m going to meet him in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow afternoon.”

Shannon could continue to Toronto and stay at Aunt Debi’s apartment. She could do some shopping, except she shouldn’t be spending money when her income had just been cut off. Sitting alone in an empty apartment in Toronto might be better than facing Lance, but maybe it was better to get the bad news over with. She signaled left and headed toward Kingston.

She parked close to their apartment and ran to the front door, avoiding puddles and blinking against the blinding rain. She twisted the knob and stepped through the entrance. The unlocked door meant Lance was home. Maybe he’d surprise her and be sympathetic. Until he finished his residency in ophthalmology, he wouldn’t make much money. They’d been counting on her salary.

She heard him rummaging for something in the tiny kitchen and smiled. For a skinny guy, he sure ate a lot. She hung her rain soaked coat behind the front door, trying not to drip on the carpet. Two steps into the living room, she turned the corner and froze.

Veronica Smythe stood in the aging kitchen, clenching a glass of water. Odd enough, but her naked body, adorned only with the butterfly bracelet, shattered any pretense of normality. Apparently, Lance wasn’t original in his purchases.

Shannon’s stomach tightened. To think she’d liked Veronica when she’d first met her just because she had the same name as her mom.

“Hey, babe. What’s taking you so long?” Lance shouted from the bedroom. “I’ve got to get back to the hospital.”

When Veronica didn’t answer, Shannon said, “Why don’t you join us in the kitchen?”

Lance appeared, wearing boxer shorts that drooped below his protruding hip bones.


Shannon ignored him and stared at Veronica. “You fired me so you could sleep with Lance.” For the second time in one day, her throat tightened, and she choked back a sob.

Her boss—ex-boss she reminded herself—remained silent.

Shannon grit her teeth, stopping her chin from trembling, and took a deep breath through her nose. “I’ll be calling your boss on Monday. Maybe you’ll get fired for this.” Using her cell, Shannon photographed Veronica and held it up for her to see. “He’ll like this photo of you.”

“Shannon, please,” Lance said.

“Please what? Please don’t be mad you’re cheating on me? Please don’t be mad my ex-boss is standing naked in my kitchen?”

Lance stared at his bare feet. “I don’t know what to say.”

Shannon walked to Veronica, took the glass of water out of her hand, and gently placed it on the counter. She turned to Lance.

“Get out.”

“Be reasonable.” Lance took a hesitant step toward her. “Don’t do anything rash.”

“Rash? I hope you get one from her. Who knows what other trash she’s sleeping with. Both of you, get out.”

Veronica turned toward the bedroom. The cellulite on her ass jiggled as she walked away, giving Shannon a sliver of smug pleasure. Shannon’s ass was all muscle. Veronica had shown no spine. Had no witty remark. Maybe standing naked had sapped the courage out of her.

When they were gone, Shannon needed all of ten seconds to decide what to do.

“Aunt Debi, it’s me. I’m coming sailing.”

Shannon booked a morning flight to Fort Lauderdale. She emptied her half of the closet and two drawers, picked out boat clothes, and shoved them into a duffle bag. She packed her work clothes into a suitcase but didn’t know where she was going to leave the stuff and at the moment, didn’t care.

To call her brother, Charlie, or not? She missed him and wanted to reach out in the desperate hope he would forgive her. For what, she wasn’t sure. She dialed, got his voicemail, and left a message asking him to call her. She hadn’t spoken to him in nine months, since before Uncle Bobby died, and didn’t want to tell him in a voicemail she was leaving the country.

The adrenaline surging through her subsided, and she collapsed on the bed she shared with Lance, a bed she would no longer sleep in. She buried her head in her pillow. How could he do this to her? She loved him and didn’t want to leave him, but she couldn’t stay either. Putting some distance between herself and him was a good idea. Sailing with Aunt Debi would give her time to decide what to do about him, about a job, about her life. She couldn’t think with so much hurt consuming her. She needed to move. She thrust herself off the bed and stomped to the bathroom.

She wouldn’t bother writing Lance a note. The engagement ring and butterfly bracelet abandoned on top of the toilet seat should tell him all he needed to know.


If this grabbed you, you can pre-order here.

Thanks for reading…

Sailing and Writing in The Bahamas

With Look The Other Way now on Amazon for pre-order and being released August 1st, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at my life on Mattina, a Lagoon 380 S2.

Mattina was my muse for writing Look The Other Way.  The story takes place on a Lagoon 380, and Shannon, Jake, and Debi sail from Florida to George Town, Bahamas.

Below is a little look into my life on board a sailboat. We lived aboard from 2009 through 2013, so how could not I not turn this into a murder mystery.

You’ll notice Farley has a prime spot on Mattina.

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 2.48.14 PM

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 2.48.25 PM


If you like sailing or dream of spending time in the Bahamas, then let Look the Other Way take you there. Pre-order here and Look The Other Way will be delivered to your Kindle August 1st.

Look the Other Way Createspace 6x9 252pg

Thanks for reading,



Farley’s Friday: Cameo Roles For Dogs

Farley here,

Guess what? I have a cameo role in Kristina’s upcoming novel, Look the Other Way. It’s not a part about me, it’s me.

In my cameo, I’m on Sand Dollar Beach in the Bahamas. And here I am for real on the same beach.

Farley on Beach

In the book, two humans (that’s fictional humans) are arguing on the beach, and I run by them.

Kristina used my name in her second novel, Blaze, but it wasn’t really me. This time is it. I think I’ll be famous, and you’ll be saying, “I new Farley when…”  Ha Ha Ha

If you’d like to pre-order Look The Other Way it’s now on Amazon. All proceeds go to my dog food, dog treats, and dog toys.

Look the Other Way Createspace 6x9 252pg

Woof Woof

Learn How To Self-Edit #AuthorToolboxBlogHop Opening A Scene

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2Thank you, Raimey Gallant for organizing the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. Today is the fourth post of this new series!

This is a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, just hop on over to Ramey Gallant!

I’ll focus my entire series on self-editing. Here is what I’ve covered so far in the series:

Today’s topic is OPENING A SCENE.

Treat every scene like you would treat the opening scene in your novel. You’ve got to hook the readers so they put your book down. You want them to be so intrigued by your scene opening, that they HAVE to keep reading.

You can do this be evaluating the scene opening type,  the scene entry hook, and scene anchoring.

Scene Opening Type

Don’t Bore Your Reader With Repetitive Scene Opening Types. You have four choices for scene opening type:

  • Dialogue
  • Thought
  • Description
  • Action

Go through each scene of your novel and label the scenes with one of the above. Then check that you haven’t been repetitive. Do many scenes in a row starting with one type is tiresome.

Scene Entry Hook

Get The Reader’s Attention With A Great Scene Hook

When creating a scene entry hook, consider:

  • Starting in media res (opening in the middle of action)
  • Foreshadowing trouble
  • Using a strong line of dialogue
  • Raising a question
  • Not wasting words on extraneous description

After your first draft is complete, check each scene and list how you created a hook. As with the scene opening type, you want to vary the method you use. Variety will keep the reader engaged.

Scene Anchoring

Anchor Your Readers, And They Won’t Put Your Book Down

Anchor The Point Of View:

Check whether the reader will know who has the point of view within the first paragraph or at least within the first couple of paragraphs of each scene. If not, the reader might find this frustrating.

If you write your entire novel from one point of view, like many first-person novels, then you don’t need to worry about this.

Anchor The Setting:

You know where the character is because you wrote the scene, but does your reader? If the reader can’t figure out the setting within the first couple of paragraphs, you may lose them–the reader I mean and not the character.

There are exceptions to this. If your scene is about a character waking in a dark place and confused about where she is, then it’s okay for the reader to be confused about where she is, too. This will add to the tension. The reader does need to understand the lack of setting is done on purpose

Anchor The Timing:

 The timing of the scene can mean:

  • Time of day
  • Time passed since the previous scene
  • A particular date

Your readers will get disoriented if they can’t follow the timeline. Check each scene and make sure the timing is clear.

More Self-Editing Advice


If you’re looking for more help on self-editing download the free eBook, BIG-PICTURE Editing 15 Key Elements of Fiction To Make Your Story Work and learn how big-picture editing is all about evaluating the major components of your story. We call these components the Key Elements Of Fiction.

Our eBook shows you how to use the key elements of fiction to evaluate your story and become your own big-picture editor.


Interested In An Automated Approach To Big-Picture Self-Editing?


Feedback Innovations (which I happen to be the CEO of) created Fictionary, on online tool for writers.


Fictionary is the first web app to help fiction writers evaluate their own work with a focus on story, not words.

With Fictionary, you can focus on plot, character, and setting. You can evaluate on a scene-by-scene basis or on overall novel structure. Fictionary will show you the most important structural elements to work on first.

Fictionally will guide you through the rewriting process by asking you questions specific to your manuscript, enabling you to evaluate your own story.

Fictionally helps you visualize your manuscript. Forget about yellow stickies or white boards. Fictionary will draw character arcs, provide reports on scene evaluation, and show your rewriting progress.

Happy editing and thanks for reading…

Camp NanoWriMo: 75% Done! Fictionary Launched!

It’s been a big week for me. I finished 75% of my Camp Nanowrimo word count goal, launched Fictionary, and created a Fictionary explainer video. Exhausting but truly fun.

Great DaneThe novel I’m writing in the camp is called Evolution and is a challenge for me. The Stone Mountain Series and Look The Other Way are all written in third person point of view. Evolution is written in first person point of view. It’s quite different to write an entire novel from on character’s point of view.

Daisy, a Great Dane, has a key part in Evolution. The story is written from Jaz Cooper’s point of view, but Daisy has a “big” role. I’m having lots of fun with her character. Can you see the slobber?

I’d love to know if any of you have written from both first and third person point of view and what challenges you faced. Any tips are most appreciated.

Fictionary - Logo - 400What does Fictionary have to do with Camp Nanowrimo?

I’m going to use Fictionary to do a big-picture edit on Evolution. I created the online tool for writers because I wanted a tool to help me edit the structure, not the words. Now I’m happy to share that with other writers who want to create a great story readers love. You can try Fictionary for free!

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 7.02.30 PMNow back to Nanwrimo.

I reached 75% of my word goal. That’s 15,000 words. 5,000 more and I have my first draft of Evolution done. Anyone else doing Camp Nanowrimo? Let me know in the comments how it’s going.



Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 7.10.57 PM

My first ever video is now on Youtube. It explains what Fictionary does. Creating this was a learning experience for me. I made the video on Youtube, then edited it using iMovie, then uploaded it back to Youtube.

There always seems to be a new challenge, but wouldn’t life be boring without it? 🙂

Thanks for reading.