Anthology Ideology: A Guest Post by J. A. Allen

Guest blog post by a co-author of The Box Under The Bed; my friend, critique partner, and co-host of the internet show Writers Off Task With Friends, J. A. Allen.

(Oh, and if the GIFs don’t work, it’s not because I hate them, it’s because I hate them AND don’t know how to post them.)


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J. A. Allen, real life published author

I’d like to start out by thanking Dan for inviting me to contribute to his site today.

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One thing that many people don’t know about Dan is that he hates GIFs.

Sorry Dan. This post is full of them.

Don’t worry, he’ll forgive me. (I think.)

Dan and I go back—way back—to when he had just begun work on Poggibonsi, and I was just about to complete Old Souls. That was about two years ago. Since that time Dan has released Poggi, The Navigators, An Angel on Her Shoulder, and Dan Alatorre’s All American Favorites: a cookbook written with the help of his lovely wife, Michele, who I had the privilege of meeting at the Florida Writer’s Conference last year.

And, also since that time, I have . . .

 . . . not . . .

 . . . released anything.

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*clears throat*

Ahem.

Well, that isn’t necessarily true . . . anymore.

As most of you already know, Dan’s new book, The Box Under the Bed, came out on Sunday. Dan invited me to contribute to the project a while ago and I was more than happy to hand over my apocalyptic short story, Cassie.

I’m delighted to share that currently, Dan’s anthology (AND my short story, by default) are sitting at number one on Amazon,

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under the category Newly Released Horror Anthologies.

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It’s a pretty neat feeling.

For readers, anthologies provide a diverse collection of concisely written short stories. They’re perfect for people with busy schedules, or as selections for book clubs.

But, participating in an anthology as a writer has a lot of benefits too.

I have always been wildly jealous of Dan’s writing abilities, in that he seems produce entire books with roughly the same speed that I produce chapters. It has been said (by Dan) that I might be (a lot) of an over-polisher when it comes to my work. It’s probably true. And, to be honest, the amount time I’ve taken to complete Old Souls has become incredibly frustrating, not just to Dan, but to ME.

Contributing Cassie to The Box Under the Bed has been nothing short of a FANTASTIC timeout.

Since the first time I met Dan, he’s pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’m outgoing in many ways, but

when it comes to writing and showing my work, I’m decidedly introverted.

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Participating in this anthology has helped take me out of that zone.

It’s given me a taste of what it’s like to be a part of a completed project, not to mention, rubbing elbows with TWENTY rising and established indie-authors is . . . pretty cool.

Thanks to Dan, I’ve come to see that anthologies are a terrific way to get your work out there.

If you get a chance to participate in a good anthology, DO IT.

It’s a great way to get a firsthand look publishing process. Watching Dan navigate the various steps has been an eye-opening experience that I’ll draw from when I (eventually) publish my own book.

So thanks, Dan.

And sorry for the GIFs.

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J. A. Allen is a freelance writer, blogger, and the author of the upcoming contemporary fantasy, Old Souls. Originally from Stonewall Manitoba she’s moved all over Canada, dipped down to Oz, and currently lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with her three hellions, two stepdaughters, husband, and beloved “Fishy,” who miraculously survived being unceremoniously dropped (thrice).


It’s always a bit awkward to be praised publicly by a friend, but Jenny has been a terrific writer, critique partner, co-host, AND friend for so long, what the heck. It comes with the territory once in a while. I feel like I’m hosting my own tribute show to myself.

Jenny’s writing is amazing, and you get samples of it on her equally amazing blog Scribbles On Cocktail Napkins where she utters stuff like “amaze balls” and other great Jennyisms.

Gang, it was a blast working with such amazing talents like J. A. Allen for this scary anthology.

Check out Jenny’s other works HERE,

and check out the Box Under The Bed right now!

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