Save the date!

Barnes & Noble on North Dale Mabry, December 15th from 2 PM until 4 PM

Young authors club event!

• Author signing

• Book reading

• YAC member as greeter at the door

• Exclusive holiday anthology revealed

ALL purchases at B&N that day who use our special code will count toward our total, anywhere in the USA!

Please like and share!

And get ready to shop at Barnes & Noble on December 15

Dark Visions


I am so honoured to be in this spooky anthology. With contributions from authors who nail the spook genre, this anthology will have you jumping at every shadow. Breath a sigh of relief they are only shadows; or are they?

The following is an excerpt from my tale “Devil’s Hollow.” A cautionary tale, warning those who let curiosity lead them into dark places.

Benji had gone quiet with fright, but I held his hand and walked back the way we’d come but stopped. It was black as tar without a flashflight.

There was a sudden loud noise that made me jump and Benji wet himself.

You stupid idiot,” Doug shouted at his brother.

Lord, when they gave out brains Bart must’ve been absent that day.

He’d touched one skeleton and the damn head rolled onto the floor making an almighty racket.

It echoed around us and slid down those…

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A Lesson From Shakespeare In Love: Stammering Tension

AlatorreI like this movie a lot and I really couldn’t tell you why.

Okay, that’s not true.

There are LOTS of things to like about it. It was a commercial and critical success.

There are also story telling things to learn, which we’ll get to in a sec.

A few things I like LOVE:

  • I love that Shakespeare shrugs when the theater owners asks, “Where is my play?”
  • I love that Shakespeare is so completely overwhelmed and busy but keeps adding stuff to his schedule. (Sounds familiar.)
  • I love that he feels at times that he is a genius but he is very jealous of his more successful associate, Marlowe. I know that feeling.
  • There’s a franticness to the movie. We know it’s freaking Shakespeare and that he turns out successful, but at the time, he doesn’t know it will all turn out okay. He’s vulnerable and insecure and basically lost.
  • I love that the theater owner says plays are a mad scramble but somehow everything turns out all right:

Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.

Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?

Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.

Hugh Fennyman: How?

Philip Henslowe: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

  • I LOVE HOW the playwrights struggle to come up with a title. We’ve all been there! “Romeo and Ethel, the Pirates Daughter?”

Okay, so there are fun things in the movie. There are tons of witty one-liners, which I probably like the most, and how the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. I like that, too.

But there’s a HUGE storytelling lesson, too.

And it comes at a remarkable time in the movie.

The success of the play is paramount. Everything depends on it. Everything.

As the story builds toward opening night, the pressure mounts. All will be lost if the play doesn’t do well.

And, like the opening lines of your book, the opening of the play will either grab the audience or turn it into an angry mob – so it HAS to open well in its opening lines!

So… it can’t, right?

Because tension drives stories.


Immediately before the curtain goes up, a man is standing back stage rehearsing his lines. He is the narrator of the play. He will voice the opening words that start the play. He is crucial.

He is backstage, and he is shaking and stammering.

The lines he needs to speak are: 

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny…

He’s not just nervous, but he stammers so badly with stage fright that he cannot get the words out! But it’s not stage fright. He stammers all the time anyway.

T-t-t-t… Tuh…Tuh… T-t-t-tuh… Two! T-two ho -ho-ho-house…h-holds…

This… is not a good sign.

But as stagecraft, it’s brilliant.

The director of the movie waits 20 seconds to let the man start to talk, and 40 seconds before he actually speaks without stammering.

That is a lifetime in a movie, and having recently been on stage with grade school kids trying to speak publicly, it’s a lifetime in real life, too.

How many of you would have the courage to do that in your writing? Five? Five seconds?

Five seconds and you would all be moving on.

20 seconds in a movie is an eternity. How long would you wait?

And what do you do for that looooong 40 seconds of nothing happening?

You show everything that is happening and everything that is NOT happening, from the point of view of that character:

Again, to start the play, a man with a terrible stammer must go on stage and announce the prologue.

He hesitates, stammering behind the curtain a bit, while Shakespeare and the producer discuss whether or not all is lost.

The trumpets sound; it is time.

The curtain rises.

The producer shoves the narrator onto the stage.

He turns and stares at the crowd. The crowd stares back in silence.

He gasps.

He takes a deep breath and slowly walks forward to the edge of the stage. The crowd murmurs, all eyes on him.

He looks around, biting his cheek, pursing his lips, his eyes wide.

Finally, he opens his mouth.

He attempts to say a word but stumbles on it.


The crowd looks and begins to giggle

He tries to speak again.


More giggles.

By now, your heart is sinking for this guy, and for the play, and for Shakespeare. All is lost.

The narrator tries again…

and finally spits it out.

“Two households!”

He… he might do it.

“…both alike in dignity…”

He’s doing it!

“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny…”

He did it!

And now he is in command.

Every eye is on him and every voice in the crowd is silent. They are enthralled with the powerful delivery of his words, as he says them majestically from the stage.

He owns the room.

The play will go on and be a success. All is not lost; all is triumphant.

A moment of sympathy, a mini hurdle for our characters to overcome, and a powerful display of drama and tension.

Learn from it, and put stuff like that in your stories. If your word count is a little light, think about what adding a mini hurdle would do for you. This was simply the start of the play. The curtain could have gone up without it; there was enough tension already. One more piece was a masterful addition.

But how many of us would even think to do it?

That’s the difference between a good story and one that readers can’t put down.

DandD w My Cover

“DOUBLE BLIND by Dan Alatorre is gritty, graphic and true edge-of-your-seat reading” 

Tome Tender Reviews


How to become instagram famous ? – tips and tricks

I have lots of followers, and each brings different ideas to the table. Here, #3 tells about an aspect of social media that more and more placed like Facebook and Twitter are using. Know the rules and exploit yourself accordingly:

“When you upload a new photo instagram will only show it to 10% of your instagram followers. Depending on how good is your audiences response in first crucial moments of its existence, instagram decides if they are gonna show it to the rest of your followers, too”

Thanks to Natalia for this valuable info!



Hey. I’ve been on instagram for a long time now so let me share with you my observations on how things work on there. I’m no professional so please don’t take this article as a manual on how to become instagram famous just as a tips that could help you reach your goal.

I assume that you already have instagram account so I’ll skip the part about signing up and basic introduction. Here are my tips and tricks on how to become instagram famous:


It doesn’t matter if you have millions of followers if you post crappy photos it won’t really matter and you will lose them. I would define crappy photos as low quality photos – small size, blurry (well this could be optional, if it fits your aesthetics then go for it) with bad angles, bad lightning, controversial subjects.

It’s better if you choose your theme. Who…

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The Importance of Character

Heather Kindt

If my husband had his will in my writing, I’d have a wall of plotting all over my office. It’s too bad for him that I’m the writer and he’s not. I’m not saying that I don’t plot and don’t think ahead in my story when I’m writing, but my style is more character-driven. The first story I wrote, The Weaver is about a college freshman named Laney Holden. A lot of Laney’s characteristics and reactions come from me. She’s an introvert, loves history, and is passionate about both her writing and her characters (well, maybe she’s a little more passionate about her characters than I am – you’ll understand when you read the book). It is also important to give characters flaws. Laney often lets others take advantage of her and is so introverted she’s almost scared to interact with others at times.


My WIP is The Ender

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‘Dark Visions’, influences when writing horror and my little ‘blue book’ [Dark Visions Blog Tour]

Nick Vossen - Author

It’s the end of October and Halloween is creeping nearer and nearer. With the successful release of the anthology Dark Visions we’ve started a blog-tour to get us all hyped up for this spookiest of holidays. That, and of course to share our own personal insights in all of the hard work we’ve put in to make this great book happen. So welcome one and all to my personal part of the Dark Visions blog tour! I will be taking a trip into my own past and meddle a bit with the question on how and why we like to write and read horror stories.

Now, let’s take a trip way back to 2011. It was my first year in university, majoring media- and culture studies. Grade-wise I was pretty much average, but I always knew that the one thing I loved was a good story. Whether it was TV…

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