Contemporary Fiction Author, Infrequent Blogger & Retired Clown

Killer Shine: Prologue

Five days in and my NaNoWriMo word count is at just over 6,000 words — and that’s just the prologue! 

I had a slight setback after day two — I read over what I’d written in the morning and wasn’t happy with the tone. This is my first book written in third person, and I felt like the perspective was taking away a lot of the color and humor that comes through in my natural voice.

Then it hit me — just because the narrator of the story isn’t an actual character doesn’t mean it has to be devoid of opinions and asides. Many great authors over time have given attitudes to their faceless narrators, it adds so much to the book.

So I went back and re-wrote about two-thirds of what I’d done so far.

It was a good decision though because it added another 1500 words to what I had and set the tone for what’s to come in exactly the fashion I’d hoped.

Well, what am I doing telling you about it when I should just show you…

Check out the start of Killer Shine, my 2012 NaNoWriMo project.


Fingertips of daylight, long and pink, reached over the pine tree skyline of Crab Island and the bay beyond, stretching until they brushed against the silver hull of a ’72 Airstream.

Inside, the six-foot-four, sweaty body of one Tucker Kowaliga (a sergeant of the Florida Highway Patrol) untwisted itself from a mess of bed sheets and grabbed the ringing cellphone on his dining room table, two feet away.


“I’ve got heartburn and it ain’t even seven-thirty.”

“Morning, Captain,” Tucker replied, “I take it the evacuation order was issued?”

“Just came down from the state,” said Captain Howey with a grunt.

“Alright, then.” Tucker sat up in bed.

“You’ll spread the word on the island?”

“I will, sir, but you know it won’t mean nothing.”

“Do they know the definition of mandatory over there?”

“I believe so. They also know a lot about the word stubborn.”

“Well, tell’em we’re closing the bridge at five, if they don’t leave they’ll be stuck out there ‘til the storm passes and we clear the road.”

“Yes, sir, I’ll pass the word along,” said Tucker.

“Do you think it’s possible to overdose on Tums?”

“No, sir, I don’t.”

“Good,” Tucker heard crunching come over the line. “The weather service says things will start getting bad in the late afternoon. Storm should be coming ashore around midnight, somewhere between your island and the state line.”

“That’s a small window.”

“They’ve got computers, I guess it’s accurate.”

“Okay, Captain,” Tucker said. “I’ll get to work.”

“One more thing,” Captain Howey cleared his throat. “Do you know a girl named Jacqueline Ryan?”

Tucker ran the name through his memory banks and came up empty. “Don’t think so,” he said.

“Well, I got a lawman from New York up my tail about her. She’s involved in some domestic dispute, stole her husband’s car. Just be on the lookout for her, okay?”

“Why would she be on Crab Island?”

“She’s a local, grew up there,” said the captain. “They think she might be headed home. I’ll fax you the APB with all the details.”

“Captain, I may live in the sticks, but I don’t have a fax machine. Just email it to me.”

“How do I do that?”

“You put you badge to work and order the youngest patrolman in the office to do it for you.”

“Alright, Kowaliga. Stay safe. Don’t you ride this storm out in that trailer—get your ass in a concrete building by sundown.”

“Will do, sir.”

The line went dead and Tucker tossed the phone back on the table.

Moments later, the door of the Airstream nearly popped off his hinges as Tucker emerged from its confines and greeted the day. Standing in the weeds behind the Kwik Stop gas station, wearing only his uniform pants, tangles of dark hair brushing against his broad, brown shoulders, Tucker Kowaliga looked like he just ripped himself free of a romance novel cover.

And fell straight into the middle of nowhere, also known as Crab Island, Florida.

[ Download the PDF to continue reading…]

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