Crime Writers’ Association Interviews Kristina Stanley

I had the honour of being interviewed by Kate White, Head of Press, at the Crime Writers’ Association about my experience having BLAZE shortlisted for the Debut Dagger in 2014. Here’s the kickoff to the interview.

If you’re just starting out and haven’t published yet, The Debut Dagger is a great way to garner interest in your novel. Be brave and submit. You just never know where it will lead.



3/02/2016 by The CWA 1

Prepare to be deeply jealous when you find out the circumstances in which Kristina Stanley penned her Debut Dagger shortlisted novel, Blaze. However, despite a deeply glamourous writing story, the Canadian newcomer faced the same struggle as all other would-be authors as she approached getting published. Here Kristina explains how getting on the Debut Dagger shortlist changed everything, and why she thinks it’s a brilliant gateway for writers to get their work noticed.

What made you decide to enter Blaze in for the 2014 Debut Dagger competition?

… For the complete interview see The Crime Writers Association Latest News.


If you’d like to check out DESCENT or BLAZE the links are below:

When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.

Instead of exchanging vows, Kalin Thompson spends her wedding day running from a forest fire near Stone Mountain Resort, and the pregnant friend trapped with her has just gone into labor. Meanwhile, Kalin’s fiancé, Ben Timlin, hangs from the rafters of a burning building, fighting for his life. Can the situation get any hotter?

Thanks for reading…

3 Month Anniversary of DESCENT

My Facebook launch party is set and the date is special to me. BLAZE will be published on the 3 month anniversary of DESCENT.

When: October 25th, 2-4 PM EST


A special group of authors will be giving away their books. All you need to do is join the party, be the first to answer a trivia question correctly, and you win. I’ll announce the author list closer to the date… Can’t give you all the information at one, now could I?

If you want information on how to host your own Facebook launch party, click here. And if you do host one, be sure to let me know. I love attending them.

Early praise for BLAZE is just a thrilling to me as the early praise DESCENT received. The first I received was from Phyllis Smallman.

“Evil in a beautiful landscape—Blaze is an inferno of action and tension. ‪Its sizzling plot will keep you guessing until the end.” —Phyllis Smallman, award-winning author of the Sherri Travis murder mysteries

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00072]

If you’re looking for something to read and you haven’t read DESCENT yet, now is your chance before BLAZE comes out. Find it at:

And if you have read DESCENT, I’d be very excited if you pre-ordered BLAZE.

Thanks for reading…

Descent’s First Official Review

DescentCoverEvery day, it seems like the publishing journey sends me a present. But before I tell you what today’s present is, let me talk about what I learned this week.

Imajin Books taught me reviews are important for the success of a novel. This includes online reviews which Amazon won’t allow until the book is released – a good thing since how can someone review a novel if they haven’t read the book. These reviews have to come later.

The other important aspect are reviews from professionals who publish on blogs, in magazines and in newspapers.

How do you get a review? Well, you honed your skills writing query letters, didn’t you? That’s the big ask. The first letter to an agent or a publisher is the hardest. The asking gets easier with time. If you’re self published you’ll still want reviews and still need to ask.

To write a letter to a reviewer I included:

  • What I was asking for
  • The back jacket description of DESCENT
  • Who my publisher is along with release date
  • What my credentials are (award wins and nominations)
  • Early praise for DESCENT
  • And finally, I asked if the reviewer would read an Advanced Reader Copy of DESCENT. I didn’t send a copy until the reviewer said yes.

So now you’ve waited patiently to see what my present is. It’s my first review. You can hear a drum roll, can’t you?

Don Graves is a long-time mystery and crime reviewer. For many years he wrote a column for the Hamilton Spectator and has won an award for his Spectator reviews of Canadian mystery novels. Heres what he had to say about DESCENT

Descent is the first in a series of Stone Mountain mysteries. It’s an action packed story. Testosterone, stress, dangerous corners and pain lead to murder on the slopes of this remote ski resort. Kalin Thompson, head of security is ordered to investigate by her boss. A growing list of suspects leads Kalin to wonder if the dead Olympic calibre skier got what he deserved.  Descent, a mystery that keeps you riding the lift for one last read and the killer’s identity. – Don Graves, Canadian Mystery Reviews

If you’d like to help me celebrate , Descent’s Facebook launch partyJuly 25th, 3-6 PM EST. You are invited and most welcome to join us to help celebrate. Come and win a book from one of the amazing authors donating their work! Click here to join.

DESCENT is now available for pre-order in eBook format. The paperback will follow shortly.

If you haven’t read my blog before, I’ve signed on with Imajin Books and will blog about my publishing adventure. I’ll share what I learn and hope it helps someone out there get their novel published.

Please feel free to share this post and help me get the word out.

Thanks for reading…

Thanks to HSW Literary Agency

Life as a writer is often spent behind closed doors working hard, but there are moments when a writer catches a glimpse of hope that her work may actually entered the world of the published.

Margaret Hart and Natalie St. Pierre at the HSW Literary Agency have been working hard behind the scene to help me get my novels published.

Their last post at HSW Literary Agency:News certainly made me smile, so here’s a shout out to say thanks.

Sometimes a girl just has to share her happiness.

Thanks for reading . . .

Here is what HSW wrote about me:

Persons Unknown? Crime Writer Kristina Stanley Makes Her Name

Author Kristina StanleyThe life of an author, quietly perfecting her craft, is often anonymous. But the efforts of crime writer Kristina Stanley are at last getting the attention they deserve: Stanley has three works up for separate crime writing awards!

Descent, the first book in Stanley’s Kalin Thompson series, is nominated for the Unhanged Arthur, the Arthur Ellis Award recognizing the year’s most promising piece of unpublished crime fiction. Over in the UK, the Crime Writers’ Association honours book two in the series, Burnt, with a nomination for their Debut Dagger. Finally, just in time for Short Story Month, Stanley’s “When a Friendship Fails” is nominated for the Capital Crime Writers‘ Audrey Jessup Short Story Award.

Congratulations, Kristina! We anxiously await the results!

Scapple and Writing

If you haven’t used Scapple, it’s a neat tool for organizing thoughts when editing or writing a novel.

I made bubble diagrams of each suspect in my novel, Avalanche.

Things I found that helped:

  • Connections between characters that could strengthen the readers belief that one of the characters was guilty.
  • Inconsistencies with clues.
  • Ideas for more clues.
  • At what point in the plot did the protagonist learn important details. Then I made sure I didn’t reference the information earlier.
  • Were the clues evenly balanced amongst the suspects?
The software is free flowing in the sense that you can draw what you like. Bubble diagrams, flow of information etc. It has a free 30 day trial so if you’re interested, you have nothing to lose.

It’s a fun and easy tool to work with, and I think has tightened my plot. See Literature and Latte for a better product description.

Here’s a shout out to Kirsten for pointing out Scapple to me. She always blogs about something interesting and useful.

Do you have any tools to help you write?

Thanks for reading . . .

Farley’s Friday: My Human Is Doing The Happy Dance

Farley here.

My human is singing “Debut Dagger Shortlist” and doing the happy dance. Sometimes Kristina looks really silly, but she’s so happy I won’t mention that to her.

I give her my confused look to ask her what’s going on. Seriously, she’s freaking me out.

Farley looking interested

She makes we wait until I settle down. Then she says, “My novel BURNT has been shortlisted for the Debut Dagger Award.”

“Huh,” I bark.

“It’s from the Crime Writers’ Association in the UK for unpublished authors.”

I decide I better do the happy dance too.

Farley Happy Dance

Then I bring her a present. Who doesn’t like an already chewed stick?

Farley With Stick


Well apparently Kristina. She won’t chew it, but she’s still dancing.


Woof Woof


See Mystery Fanfare: CWA Nominations