WRITING CHALLENGE: See It, Write It – PLUS! A Special Announcement About My First Word Weaver WRITING CONTEST

Your humble host.
your humble host

This week’s writing challenge looks kinda hard, so a LOT of you are not gonna wanna do it, but you’re ALL gonna wanna hear about the SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT.

First, the writing challenge. Hey, no pain, no gain.

Here is a road rage scene from the movie Marathon Man. Watch it…

Okay, NOW what I want you to do is one of three things. (Extra points for number three)


  1. Describe the place where dramatic irony occurs. Can you introduce that in a written scene? How would you do it? (Don’t know what dramatic irony is? Join the club.) OR
  2. Describe the action in the chase scene between the Mercedes Driver (The Nazi) and the Caprice driver (The Jewish Guy). Can you write that scene? Why or why not? OR
  3. The place where the nanny is crossing the street and the little girl almost gets run over – HOW would you set that up in a written story so we jump when we read it?*

Okay, you got me – I really just wanna know about #3.

Arrrggghhh!! I can’t figure it out!!

See, in a movie, they can cut away and cut back and you are surprised at what’s there when you see it.

They can jump out of a closet and say, “Boo!” and scare a viewer.


How do you get the kid there and also scare a reader with the surprise of almost getting run over?

*Have you seen that done in a book? (Feel free to cite examples. That will count.)

Honestly, I’d be happy with some references and a discussion on what might work as much as somebody actually writing any of the three points above.

What do you think?

How would you do it, or have you seen it in writing someplace?


Okay, now…

Drumroll, please

Announcing the Word Weaver Writing Contest!

Word Weaver logi FINAL

On the first Friday of April, I will announce the rules for our first quarterly writing contest. We will do three this year.

There will be prizes!

Right now I’m talking to people about

  • $50, $25 and $10 Amazon gift cards (I will provide those)
  • signed paperbacks, by me and other authors/sponsors (you could be one of those)
  • book covers from real cover designers,
  • editing services
  • on and on.

YOU will have the month of April to enter an amazing piece of your own writing to our contest.

But I’m not telling you all the details now, because it starts in April. Don’t worry; as a friend of the blog, you’ll have an advantage. Probably.

Are you excited? I am.

On Friday April 7, 2017, you’ll learn all about the contest.

Oh, and you might wanna make an attempt at this week’s challenge, too. Just sayin’.

DO YOU NEED PUBLICITY for your book or website? Be a SPONSOR of the Word Weaver Writing Contest.

It’s cheap and easy!

We all hate marketing. Make it easy on yourself.

This contest will be seen by THOUSANDS of people. (Hey, YOU saw it, right?)

I have over 2,000 blog followers, over 13,000 Twitter followers, over 1,000 Facebook Author Page followers, and I will be advertising this contest in lots of places.

YOU will get LOTS of exposure as a sponsor – and it’s cheap!

Sure, I want big sponsors, but I don’t need that right away, and maybe not at all. I have lots of friends – you, for example – that need to get publicity for a book or service. Keep it in the family, I say.

We will use paperback copies of your book to be awarded, or a session of your editing, your cover design service – anything writing related! Who edited your book? Ask them to donate a service in exchange for getting their name under the noses of a bunch of people who need it! Who was your book cover designer? Give me their name. Use the contact me button to let me know. Let’s talk!

This is really gonna be fun, and after a few quarterly contests we’re gonna be swamped with entries, so be sure to tell your friends to get in early! (You should probably reblog this right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.)

The more sponsors, the more prizes.

The more prizes, the more interest.

The more interest, the more exposure to your book or service – and YOU, if you enter the contest!

As a friend of the blog, you’ll get priority. Donating 5 eBooks costs you almost nothing, but you might get a much needed review out of it. Mailing 5 copies of your signed paperback costs about $20 (here’s info on using the post office’s inexpensive media mail). WHERE CAN YOU GET AN AD FOR TWENTY BUCKS???

Well, here. In this contest. Otherwise, not a lot of places. And I’ll be telling winners to review your book.

And I’ll be advertising the contest, too, so you’ll get that added exposure.

Does this sound fun?

Writer stuff usually is.

A real writing contest with prizes.

A chance to be a sponsor and get new people aware of your book (hello, reviews) or service.


Get ready. I think April is gonna be a blast.

And take a whack at that scene from Marathon Man, would ya? It’s driving me nuts.


We need a LOT of publicity for this thing!!

Your humble host.


REBLOG me! And please SHARE this post on Facebook and Twitter! See those little buttons down below? Put on your glasses. There they are. Click them. The FOLLOW button is now in the lower right hand corner.

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” 

Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Also available in paperback and audio book.






What Do YOU Think?

Don’t forget: BIG announcement tomorrow!!

Be sure to check back!

(Are you excited to see what it is? I am.)

I’m interested in getting your thoughts about stuff I see and hear, quotes I read, stuff that passes as knowledge – and starting an authorey conversation.


It really is, isn’t it?

Putting your stuff out there for people to possibly laugh at or ridicule…that’s big.

Faith is an understatement, but it’s a pretty good word, and it means you’re brave for doing this stuff. Remember that.

What are YOUR thoughts on this idea?

MORE Early Praise For Poggi!


Your humble host.
your humble host

This is just a sample of the positive feedback Poggibonsi: An Italian Misadventure is receiving.

Not ALL the feedback is positive, but most of it is – and I’m grateful for all of it. You need honest, candid input from your beta readers!


A typo here, a misplaced word there – stuff we need to fix!

And… it’s nice to bask in the glow of compliments, too, and see you did some stuff right.

Check it out!


“Just finished this and really like the story. Very fun to read!

I love the characters. These are fab people I want to hang with.”

– Beta Reader

Oh, and this one, from another beta:

“I laughed through most of the book, I mean I laughed out loud with tears and all.” – Beta Reader

That’s always good in a comedy.
You can see from these comments that Poggi is delivering on what it says: funny and sexy. Honestly, it’s the funniest book I’ve written.
Find out for yourself. Pre-orders start soon!

Wanna Get Interviewed – BY ME?

Your humble host.
your humble host

It’s almost time to publish Poggibponsi, and that can only mean one thing.

I hafta do some marketing.

And so do you. Because we all need to, all the time.


how about I interview you for this site and you interview me for yours?

Or I’ll just let you interview me for yours. I’m easy that way.

But if you want to do an author interview or author profile where I ask you questions and you answer them, it’s EASY!

(Authors interviews will usually be with people who have books for sale, but profiles can be of anyone, published or not, and other than that they’re about the same. So bloggers and newbie authors, you aren’t being left behind.)


available for preorder soon! stay tuned.

A brief explanation of what’s involved:

First, pick 10-20 questions from the list below that you like and want you to answer, plus one or two bonus questions, along with a few of your own that you want readers to know but I didn’t ask. Skim over the list, we’ll be adding to it all the time.


Send the questions with your witty, interesting answers to me at my email address or use the CONTACT ME button

 Even easier!

Then I’ll go over them and ask my follow ups, or we can use it as is! I like getting on Facebook chat and being silly, so we may do some of that.

 Why didn’t we do this before?

Calm down. Include your website, blog links, Amazon link, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter handle, etc, a picture or two of you, one of the book, or anything else you think is relevant.

Not your cat. No cats. You in a hammock, fine. You with the cat, NOT FINE! What part of “no cats” don’t you get???

Bikini pics optional, especially if you’re a big hairy dude. I’m not saying no, but use restraint. If you’re a paddleboarder and you wanna show that side of you, which we’ve done, it’s relevant. Throw it in. Too many pics = use separate emails to send them. Or direct me to your Facebook site and we’ll pick a few together. I won’t sandbag you with embarrassing personal pics. Probably.


Maybe not that relaxed.
maybe not that relaxed

Be yourself in your answers; be relaxed, be funny or be serious, but have fun with it. It’s for entertainment purposes. Let readers inside the real you a little. Search “interview” on my blog for some of the silly examples of fun interviews we’ve already done. 

Then, on the release day of the interview, post and re-blog and ask your friends to reblog and tweet the link and post it on Facebook – so the whole world sees you being YOU!

 Skip around; don’t everybody start at the top.

(Although DO answer question #1)

As you might guess, I will get lots and lots of requests, so act now and send yours in today!


  1. What is the working title of your next book?
  1. Where did the idea come from for the book?
  2. a. What kind of Chinese food do you order all the time?
  1. b. Which is the more important of these two: write drunk, edit sober?
  1. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
  1. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
  1. Which living author or blogger would you buy drinks for?
    Ooh, there are drinks?
    Ooh, there are drinks?
  1. What makes you so damn interesting anyway?
  1. What is the best part about being an indie (or traditional) author for you?
  1. What’s something most readers would never guess about you?
  1. Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?
  1. Why do some authors sell well and others don’t? (Indie or otherwise, but indie if possible)
  1. What’s the strangest place you’ve gotten a great story idea? Describe in detail. Inquiring minds want to know!
  1. What’s the oddest or most awkward or embarrassing research you’ve had to do?
  1. How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?
  1. Can you wash light and dark clothes together? Have you even turned a bunch of stuff pink in the washer?
  1. What “person” do you like to write in? First Person, Third Person, etc. – and why?
  1. I hear you have some very exciting news! Can you share it with us?
  1. If you have a blog, how did that start?
  1. How do you decide on a title for your book?
  1. What do you d of or cover art? Do you do it yourself, hire an artist (you can name names if you liked them), or purchase premade?
  1. How has you experience with editors been (you can name names if you liked you editor)?
  1. What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?
  1. Plotter? Or Pantser? And prepare to defend your position!
    Outline??? Where's the creativity?
    Outline??? Where’s the creativity?
  1. What’s the most fun part of writing a novel or short story? What’s the least fun part?
  1. What was your road to publication like?
  1. What advice can you give new authors?
  1. Who or what helped you the most getting started?
  1. What’s a good writing secret or time management secret?
  1. Where in the process do you create the story’s title? Do start with it? Do you know it before you begin? Before you end? Elsewhere?
  1. What inspires you?
  1. What time of day do you prefer to do your writing?
  1. Coffee addict? Name your poison.
    I must have structure!
    I must have structure!
  1. What’s your favorite food?
  1. Have you ever been recognized by a fan in public for your writing, or when was the first time a fan came up to you in public (not an author event or signing)?
  1. What’s your favorite social media?
  1. Which project took you farthest out of your comfort zone?
  1. What’s one thing that send you completely off the rails when you’re writing?
  1. How do you develop characters?
  1. Do you have author friends (in person or online you confide in and share ideas with? Feel free to name names.
  1. How much structure is in your story before you start writing it?
    I wing a lot of it!
    I wing a lot of it!
  1. How many story ideas are in your “good ideas” file? What are some of them?
  1. What is the single most important quality in a novel; what must an author do to win you over?
  1. If writing suddenly made you rich and famous, what would you do?
  1. Best book to movie you’ve seen?
  1. What are you three favorite books by other authors?
  1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
  1. Do you hate cats?
  1. In a story we are often asked to create images for the reader that we may not have experienced ourselves. When have you had to do that?
    Is this the best interview or what?
    Is this the best interview or what?
  1. Tell us about yourself. Who IS the real (your name)? And not typical the boring bio stuff. The dirt. Like, when was the last time you did laundry?
  1. What’s a favorite quote of anyone besides you, and one from you?
  2. Most writers are a bit shy. Is that how your friends would describe you (shy), or do you have your readers fooled?
  3. Did you ever have a job where they were strict about shined shoes and stuff?
  4. Is tea a big deal over in England like they make it seem in Downton Abbey? (My wife watches, not me.)
  5. How playful are you? Is your REAL Facebook page much more revealing about sides of you that people won’t know from your blog posts or books? Is there a double life thing going on?
  6. (If you are a traditionally published author) Was it a big exciting thing to get signed by your publisher? How did you celebrate?
  7. (If you are an indie author) How hard was it to hit that “Publish” button the first time and send your book into the world? Looking back, what can you tell new authors about that experience?
  8. Have you ever spent time with anyone famous? Was there any ransom involved?
  9. What was the most fun interview you’ve done and why?
  10. When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  11. Tell me about your first kiss. Did it make it into a book?
  12. Tell me about your first crush. Did he/she make it into one of your stories?
  13. Tell about your first date ever! – How old were you? What did you do?
  14. How many times have you been in love?
  15. How many times have you had your heartbroken?
  16. What kind of kid were you in high school?
  17. Who was your best friend in high school? Are you still in touch today? (No names)
  18. How did you rebel as a teenager?
  19. Did you get good grades in school?
  20. What was your favorite subject in school?
  21. Who were your role models when you were young?
  22. What traits of your own parents do you think you have inherited?
  23. What has been the happiest moment of your life so far? The saddest? The scariest?
  24. Have you made any big mistakes?
  25. Do you have any regrets?
  26. Have you ever kept a really big secret?
  27. What would you do if you won a million dollars?
  28. Which author, dead or alive, would you love to have lunch with?
  29. What’s the best book you have ever read?
  30. What’s the best movie you have ever seen?
  31. What’s your favorite season, and why?
  32. What’s your favorite meal?
  33. Where was the most memorable place you ever traveled to?
  34. If you could only listen to one type of music, what would you choose?
  35. How would you describe yourself in three words?
  36. What kind of friend are you?
  37. What is one thing you always wished you could change about yourself?
  38. What is one thing you have always loved about yourself?
  39. What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
  40. What causes and charities are most important to you?
  41. Have you ever broken a bone?
  42. Do you have any significant scars?
  43. What’s your favorite way to get exercise?
  44. What do you love most about your writing?
  45. Have you ever had a serious scare? What scares you?
  46. How did becoming a writer change you?
  47. What was the best part of being a parent?
  48. What is the hardest part of being a writer?
  49. What is your best piece of advice for a new writer?
  50. What is one thing you hoped to teach your children?
  51. Which of your family traditions is most important to you?
  52. If you could take your dream vacation this year, where would you go and what would you do?
  53. How do you want people to remember you after you are gone?


Remember, the more unique and personal the answers, the more interesting to readers, usually. If you’re all into quilting, maybe keep that to yourself, but that time in college you got drunk and skydived naked into a volcano? They’ll wanna hear about that. But naked skydiving or not, readers wanna know what makes you YOU, and that’s usually pretty interesting!

If you have a question you’d like an author to answer and you don’t see it here, ADD IT  in the comments section!