Guest blog post by a co-author of The Box Under The Bed, Barbara Anne Helberg.

B1I80q0cwoS._UX250_“Free critique”, “writing contest”, and soon after, “scary anthology” were key phrases that captured my writer’s heart during July/August, 2017, on WordPress.

A WordPress blogger and Internet writer of over a thousand articles since 2007, I didn’t have a definite, or specific, commercial publishing goal in mind recently until those six words came in sight during a routine WordPress browsing session that led me to Dan and new possibilities.
Today, I have an Author Page at Amazon: Barbara Anne Helberg .

I entered Dan’s July writing contest and found someone who enjoys spreading his writing wings to the mutual benefit of other writers.

And I found someone who has fun leading even unpublished writers to bona fide authorship through self-publishing.
My story in “The Box Under the Bed” is “Interlock”. Although it’s part of a larger work, it became, through Dan’s anthology, my first commercially published story.
In today’s world of traditional publishing, it’s more and more difficult to “catch on”. So what is not to like about Dan’s method to help writers become published authors?

A bonus in this experience was meeting other writers who also shared their stories as incurable wordsmiths.


If writing’s in your blood, try your pen in one of Dan’s contests.

He can’t wait to find you!

And, by the way, my frosting on the cake was a roomful of relatives applauding me at a recent family gathering

– as though I’d just won the Nobel Prize for Literature 

when I shared with them my journey to first-time commercial publication.


  • Always believe in your writing;
  • always pursue your writing goals;
  • and never, ever throw away that 30-year-old birthday card your mother sent you that encouraged you to “follow your dreams”!

Thank you, Barbara, for such kind words. It’s been fun getting to know you, and your writing is terrific. That comment about your relatives applauding? That’s possibly the coolest authorey thing I’ve ever heard.

Gang, it was a blast working with such amazing talents like Barbara Anne Helberg on this scary anthology.

Check out Barbara’s other works HERE,

and check out the Box Under The Bed right now!




Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.


  1. Barbara Anne the applause from your family is awesome!! I’ve been wondering how that went. This has definitely been a fun and exciting experience, Dan’s enthusiasm is contagious!! I look forward to reading a completed novel from you one day. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Much appreciated, Carrie Ann!! My fam’s applause was completely a surprise! Even though everyone knew forever about my writing interests, their reception of my success was genuinely spontaneous and humbling and thrilling at the same time! Quite a moment to remember!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This post really captures what this whole experience has been about. I’ve not had the family applause, I’d really have to win a Nobel Prize for that, ( and has it happens do know a few scientists who have) but have had the neighbours popping in, and just this last Sunday one popped round with a friend, a poet who has a regular spot in a UK national newspaper and we immediately related, to everyone else in the room it was if we were talking in another language! The ‘Box Under The Bed’ did this, there is nothing quite like the buzz a writer gets from another writer.

    Liked by 3 people

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