Writing Wednesday

Curious about the cover?


Fortunately, my new editor, Lourdes Venard, recommended Karen Phillips to do my covers.  Besides doing the cover for ‘Gone But Not Goodbye’, she updated the cover for ‘Gone But Not Missed’.

I was surprised to learn that many readers purchase a book based on its cover.  I never have.  I choose books based on recommendations by people I trust & if the book is written by an author I already like.  (This is a good time to remind you if you like my books – WRITE A REVIEW 🙂

I’ve taken the photos used for each cover (and for subsequent covers- I already have the photos ready for book three and five) and Karen did a great job taking my photo and my vision and making the covers cohesive to represent The Nathan Miccoli Series.

The cover for Gone But Not Missed is of the Long Beach, NY boardwalk, pre- Hurricane Sandy (when the story is set).


The cover for Gone But Not Goodbye is a picture of my Nana’s locket, which has been passed down to me, by my mother.  It plays into the story and I think represents the story well.


Tuesday Thanks

Prior to taking my first writing course, I had no idea what the term “beta-reader” meant, neither did my beta readers:)

I’m lucky to have a solid bunch of five readers who read my third drafts.  They are able to see past the typos to see a story.  Their feedback has been helpful in developing the novels.  Fortunately, each have found a way to tell me what didn’t work for them without making me cry (or making me angry:).  I remain friends with all of them.  They’ve all been recruited to read book three.

‘Gone But Not Goodbye’ was a struggle to write – I always liked the story I told, it just had some pacing issues.  Early reviews have been good 🙂 for a book no one but my editor read before its release two weeks ago.  The basic story is the same but it is significantly different than the one my beta readers first read.

Some beta readers are more specific than others – you need another scene with this character or I didn’t understand this.  When asked to add a particular scene or develop a character more, we’d talk about it.  Initially, I thought this was cheating.  But I felt better after reading Stephen King’s acknowledgments for ‘Doctor Sleep’.  His son, Owen King (no, not the son I have a crush on), told him how he needed a particular scene (I won’t tell you what it is because if you haven’t read the book, you need to. No spoilers on this blog).  I can’t imagine the book not having that scene.  So, if it’s OK for Stephen King, it’s OK for me.

So onto the Thank Yous to my five beta readers…

Mom – Thank you for always reading.

Jackie – The best beta reader a writer could ask for.  She truly gets it.  She knows I know lots of things about the characters that aren’t written on the page (and its FUN when she asks:).  Thank you for reading GBNG 3X!!!

Gina – Thank you for naming the book & for your constant support through Facebook Likes and Twitter Favorites.

Jodi – I hope you enjoy the new version.  Thank you for going with me to the self defense class for research.

Phil – I hope you like the fight scene.  I hope I listened well and conveyed an accurate scene.  As best selling authors often write in their acknowledgments pages, they say any error is by the author, not the source.  Thank you for giving me the idea for book five (Hurricane Sandy is headed for Lily and Nathan) and showing me The Nathan Miccoli Mystery Series would be liked by men, not just women.

Gone But Not Goodbye – now available in paperback and ebook.



The worries of an author

Last week, I self-published my second book, ‘Gone But Not Goodbye.’ – the sequel to ‘Gone But Not Missed.’  I only told close friends and family of the release, waiting to let everyone else know when the ebook was released.  I know several people purchased it immediately and had received their copies.  And that was the last I heard.

Was my neighbor avoiding me?  Was my friend not texting because he didn’t like it?  Was another friend ignoring my references to the book?  DO THEY NOT LIKE MY NEW BOOK???  Then I started to read it and was reminded it was a good story.

I was reminded all was right in the world when my friend plugged the book to a large group of co-workers and asked me to sign his copy.  (He hasn’t started it yet because he’s reading another book I recommended, The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King).  The other friend reminded me she needs to finish book three (tentatively called ‘Gone But Not Healed’ – she has named each book so I’m waiting to find out what the title will actually be:) before she can re-read book two.

My hairdresser reminded me I’m crazy (that’s why my stories are so fun) and laughed.

So, spend the weekend reading my book.  I’m waiting to hear what you think (as long as you like it).

As I tell my mother, after she sees her hairdresser sometimes, if I don’t have anything good to say, I won’t say anything at all.



‘Gone But Not Goodbye’ on sale now!

‘Gone But Not Goodbye’, the sequel to ‘Gone But Not Missed’, is on sale now!


At the end of “Gone But Not Missed,” we left Nathan and Lily on the boardwalk in Long Beach, New York. Weeks later we find them apart – physically by hundreds of miles and emotionally by very different views of their relationship.
Lily is haunted by the kidnapping, consumed by thoughts of him.  Nathan is burdened with an inept partner, who may ruin his career as an NYPD detective, just as it’s beginning.
Will Nathan be able to solve the mystery of why his partner’s family is harassing him?  And solve the last robbery case he may ever be assigned?
But the biggest mystery in his life is Lily.

Paperback and ebook versions available.

Don’t forget – once you read it & love it – write a review on Amazon.

Spread the news!


Writing Wednesday

Over the weekend, I attended a writing workshop led by Donald Maass, sponsored by the NY chapter of Sister in Crime.  It was illuminating!  He had some very interesting ways to edit, improve, and revise my work in progress.

My favorite part was he had us make 3 columns – in the first we were to list our characters, the middle the plot and subplots, and in the last the settings.  Next he instructed us to make connections between the three columns that are unexpected and write a scene.  I was hesitant.  My characters are where they should be in my work in progress, book three of the Nathan Miccoli Mystery Series (Gone But Not Healed).  But then I had some ideas – what would happen if Alfonso was in Long Beach? (Alfonso?, you ask.  Oh, just wait, he’s awesome.  You’ll love him, even though Nathan doesn’t).  And I wrote a great scene!

He also told us to look at the list of characters and kill one off.  “Or their dog,” he added.  I gasped.  No way!  Although….it did get me thinking.  All 5 of my beta readers have ‘Gone But Not Healed’ now and I’ve already made some a few changes!  (BTW, GBNH was loved by the first 2 beta readers:)

In other news, ‘Gone But Not Missed’ is in a Kindle Countdown Deal this week in anticipation of the ebook release of the sequel, ‘Gone But Not Goodbye.’  So, get reading!  And spread the news!

‘Gone But Not Goodbye’ will be on amazon.com/author/arkennedy tonight!

Typo Thursday

This goes in the file of “Nothing is easy”.

I clicked on the “Look Inside” button for my new novel, ‘Gone But Not Goodbye’ on amazon.com/author/arkennedy.  Just to check to see how it looks.  And there it was – what many writers fear – a typo – on page one.  I remained composed and wondered how I (and my editor) could have missed such a blatant error.  (Second paragraph reads ‘I flipped w the pages’; it should read “I flipped through the pages.”).

I pulled up my file – that I had sent to be formatted and there it was….The correct sentence.  So, not sure what happened and can’t get it fixed until tomorrow.  And I feel better about myself and my editor.

So, if you have a copy with the error, I’ll know you are a good friend – because you bought the book in the first four days of its release:)

(Yes, you know I’ll look:)



Writing Wednesday

“There’s something wrong with you.” Comment from beta reader after reading short story mentioned last week. (A ghost story inspired by my vacation in Northern Ireland.)

Most people would be insulted if someone uttered those words to them.  Me?  I considered it high praise!  I was thrilled my first ghost story (one of many I’ll write, I’m sure.  Please, I took a week long course at Christ Church College in Oxford, England on ghost stories!) creeped the reader out and she wondered (briefly?) on my sanity.

Writers…we’re a different breed.

(In other news, if you want to read a good new mystery novel…a real book, not an ebook…go to amazon.com/author/arkennedy.  The ebook version of “Gone But Not Goodbye” will be available next week!  If you haven’t read ‘Gone But Not Missed’ yet, what are you waiting for?  Read the first book in The Nathan Miccoli Series now!)