Exclusive content from the desk of Gill McKnight

Every author has a different way of approaching the start of their next project. I am often asked what my methods are. Personally, I prefer to begin with high-level note-taking, then do research based on my notes, and finally I begin the first draft.

Below I have attached my initial notes for Ambereye, but the process is similar for most of my books. These notes are a little sketchy as they are only an overview, but those of you familiar with the book will see the basic plot points already appearing.

Ambereye - 1st draft notes from September 2009


Jolie Garoul huffed and puffed onto the office floor. It looked cleaner around her office door. She didn’t care, she was unimpressed by everything. Everything except her wolf’s head pinkie ring. It was her class ring from Werewolf College. She’d been in the Omega-Omega sorority—all by herself. No one liked Jolie but that was all right cos she didn’t like them either.

Hope comes in next, she is lively and upbeat with an invisible illness…or maybe a partially invisible illness, or a partially visible illness? (not sure). Anyway she has a glass eye. Everyone liked Hope cos she was efficient and jolly and brought doughnuts (US spelling, fer feck’s sake!).

Andre is Jolie’s twin brother. He is suave and gay and outgoing and not like Jolie at all. It’s a ying-yang twin thang. He wants Hope to go work for Jolie and Hope’s like, Oh no! and everyone’s like, Oh no! But Hope does it anyway cos Hope’s a trooper.

Office shenanigans for about 5k word count.

Great idea—have a dog. A Doberman! No, a Great Dane called Lupin (no, save that for another book). Think of a smaller dog, maybe Chiwawa (check spelling).

Chiwawa and Jolie vie for Hope’s attention.

Forget dog, maybe just have a chair (you can spell chair).

Nope! Have a chair and a dog. (Wait! Can’t take chair on holiday to Little Dip, dog works better).

Go to Little Dip (think of some stupid reason to get them there) Garouls think Hope is Jolie’s gf. They’re all “Thank God! We never thought she’d pull.” Hope is in the dark about being Jolie’s gf so everything she says and does is hysterically funny. (Think of hysterically funny things).


Maybe do a comedy of errors sort of thing. (Read Comedy of Errors). (Too long! Get audible version).


In Little Dip, have the librarian try to eat Hope. (No. Too much like Goldenseal, think of something else).

Make Andre an evil twin (No, he’s better being suavely gay, keep evil twin idea for next book).

The chiwawa gets lost! (great idea, knew dog was better than a chair). Jolie saves him/her/it. Jolie is hero! Hope loves her for saving chiwawa. HEA! The End. Yay!

Garoul update, April 2017


Ambereye is the second book in the Garoul series. Book five, Little Dip, is to be published this summer by Dirt Road Books.

Lupin the Great Dane does appear in the upcoming novel, Sisters of the 13th Moon: Borage, though he had to wait a bit to be birthed.


Andre stayed the sweet twin and Luc from Indigo Moon and Silver Collar got to be the evil twin – except she turned out to be not so evil after all. (Lied on her resume, typical werewolf).


That’s it from my writing desk for now!