• Annie Wood

Spotlight on author, Diana Wagman

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

#author #books #writers #amwriting #writing #sailing #boating #fiction

For this episodes I'm spotlighting author, Diana Wagman and her book, Life #6.

I just discovered Diana and I'm happy that I did! I'm currently enjoying reading this book and I look forward to checking out her other ones.

Enjoy this blurb and excerpt.

Short Blurb:

19 year old Fiona and her heroin addicted boyf

a hurricane. The boat breaks down piece by piece.

Intercut with this is adult Fiona, lying to her husband and going to see Luc for the first time in more than 25 years. Luc is the one she cannot forget.



The wind roared. The boat slammed from side to side. The dark was endless, the night permanent. It had been a very long time since Fiona had seen the sun. The rain had stopped for about an hour and she had thought the weather was changing. That the sun would be up soon. She was wrong. The clouds were just preparing, filling for a deluge. The heavens opened—as her mother used to say—and it poured. Icy rain pummeled her shoulders, the top of her head. A thousand tiny needles pricked whatever bare skin she couldn’t help but reveal. With the wind and the tossing of the boat her foul-weather gear was almost useless. The water went inside the hood and down her neck, up her sleeves and through the fasteners until she was soaked inside and out. The only good thing about the rain gear was its yellow color, a bright spot visible in the relentless gloom.

Her arms ached from holding her position at the top of the ladder, waiting for instructions from Doug at the helm. Her shoulders were bruised from banging into the open hatch with each rock of the boat.

“What time is it?” She called down to Nathan.

“Stop asking.”

She felt like a child in the back of the car, miserable, carsick, desperate to get out.

Nathan turned back to Joren and banged the tall desk. The charts were spread out in front of them and they were arguing. Luc was in the aft cabin manning the rudder. She looked out the hatch at Doug, strapped in and holding on. He was watching her—always watching her—and he stared into her eyes before giving her a thumbs-up. His headache was better. Nathan had given him a pill from his doctor’s bag and he said it had helped. She had asked for one too, but Nathan said he had nothing for her. He told her to eat, but that was impossible. Drink water, but she only threw it up.

“We’re on course,” Nathan was insisting.

“Obviously not.” Joren pointed at the compass.

“That thing? It’s a piece of shit. How can that be north?”

“You knew this? Why not make the replacement at port?”

“We’re on course now.”

“The wind it is against us.”

“It was. No. Now we’re headed in the right direction.”

What direction was that? She hoped it was back to Newport or whatever was the closest shore. They must have traveled some miles—nautical miles—but south or east, she had no idea. Still, a right turn should get them back to land. Bermuda was way below them. Somewhere.

“We need the engine,” Joren said. “We can motor through the waves.”

“Fine.” Nathan obviously disagreed, but pushed his hair back and belched. “Fine.”

Joren went to the engine controls and turned it on. She heard the motor sputter into life. Chug, chug, chug. A comforting grumble of civilization. Now they would get somewhere, she thought. Now they would drive like a car flat and straight through the rain with the windshield wipers going. If it got too bad, they could wait it out under an overpass, watch the rain plummet in curtains around them, turn on the radio and sing along to old songs.

“Starboard,” Doug shouted from up on deck. Fiona shouted to Nathan and Joren. Joren shouted to Luc.

The boat moved more gently than usual. They were going forward. They were under power. Now if the sun would rise all would be well.

“What time is it?” she asked Joren. Nathan threw up his hands.

“Almost eight-thirty.”

“What? It’s morning?”

It couldn’t be. The sky seemed no lighter than it had four hours before. Day Two. Worse than Day One. She looked up and got a face full of rain, the dark sky beyond. She had to see something else. She had to. She crawled into the cockpit. Doug reached out a hand to help her and his face was pale, his open mouth a black rectangle, his eyes like holes in his head. The face of a skull. Fiona looked away, up at the clouds, into the distance. She couldn’t breathe.

“Where’s the sun? Where? Where?” She begged him. “Have you seen it? Where is the sun?”

What if it never rose? What if they were in some kind of Twilight Zone where the sun would never shine again? She couldn’t stand it. She was beginning to panic, panting, sweating inside her awful rubber suit. Doug squeezed her hand. He pointed the other way. She looked, right into the rain and wind, and there, far away, very far away, was a small patch of lighter sky and pale gray clouds. There it was. The storm was not everywhere.

She stepped around the wheel and hugged him. She wiped the rain from his face. He leaned in and kissed her. He tried to. She pushed him away.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “We’re going to die on this boat. I know it.”

She shook her head. She wasn’t listening to this. He pulled her down beside him and whispered in her ear. “Down, down to Davy Jones’ Locker. We’re all going down.”

“The engine is on. Hear it?” They couldn’t hear anything over the wind and rain. “Joren turned it on. We’re going.” Where she didn’t know, but not down. Not down.

He pressed his hands on either side of his head as if trying to keep it from coming apart. “Nathan lied. I feel the tumor gr…gr…growing.”

She put the back of her hand on his forehead as if to check his temperature.

He held it there, closed his eyes. “Your little hand. Mother. Mom.”

Maybe the pill was making him hallucinate. Why else think these terrible things? They were moving now. “Stop worrying,” she said. “When the rain stops we’ll be fine.”

“Were sinking.” Doug opened his eyes. “Even he will be dead. I’m only sorry for you. You don’t deserve this.”

He put his arms around her. He tried to kiss her again.

“Stop,” she said. “Cut it out.”

But she wanted to be nice. It wasn’t his fault the medicine was making him crazy. She patted his back. One. Two. Tried to be comforting.

“Don’t,” he said. “Don’t pat me like that. That’s not what I want.”

She shook her head. “I have to get back to my post.”

“Luc ran off and got drugs. You can do whatever you want.” He paused. “You can kiss me. You know I’m right.”

Now she was angry. She pushed him away. It was none of his business. He grabbed her hands again, kept her close. She shook her head but couldn’t get free.

“Fiona,” he said. “Do you know about the nevers? All the nevers? The nevers are passing before me. Never, never, never.”

“What are you talking about?”

He spoke plainly, without stuttering. She heard his teacher voice. “All the things I will never do. I’m never going to spend the day in bed with a girl. I’m never going to have sex in the shower. I’m never going to get married. Never show my wife the house where I grew up. Never be a father. Never see a West Indian Whistling Duck. I’ve never been in love—until now.”

Her wet hair whipped into her mouth. He pulled it away with his fingers. She put her hand on his. “No. No.” But she leaned toward him. His love—delusion that it might be—was warm and dry.

“Starboard!” he screamed.

A wave, 10 or 15 feet high, rolled straight toward them.

“Starboard!” She wailed as she crawled to the top of the ladder. “Starboard!” she shouted down into the hold.

The boat seemed to lurch and the wave came under the boat’s tail and lifted it, pushing the front down. The sea exploded over the bow. Doug was strapped in, but she was not. Somehow he slid toward her and grabbed her as the wave surged upward and over them. She felt the water try to tug her away, but he held on. He held on. The ocean tried to take her, but he held on. The water receded and she gasped for breath. She was still in his arms, both of them coughing, choking, drenched, but still there.

Click the book cover below to view the book on Amazon!

Thanks for reading! If you read Diana's book and enjoyed it, please don't forget to review it. Reviews are super important for writers.

See you in a few weeks with another spotlight. In the meantime, check out my FREE course on Skillshare, "Zen and the Art of Creating." It's a fun video course I created. 6 videos, 22 minutes total. It's about dealing with rejection, fear and self doubt and having more fun with your creativity!

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