Stephen King, eat your heart out!

My Writing Blog

Great news! Our book, The Box Under the Bed, is ranking higher than Stephen King on Amazon!! Wow!

pic of ranking on Amazon

If you haven’t had a look at it here is the link – twenty authors, twenty styles, something for everyone (and I’m in it too!) 😉 – oh and if you read it, PLEASE post a short review!

Thank you x

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Happy October! Time for Halloween costumes, trick-or-treating, vampires, ghouls, goblins and . . . The Box Under The Bed!

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

WW Author
author Anne Marie Andrus

Hi, I’m Anne Marie and I want to thank Dan for helping me become a published writer!

During this past year, two of my stories have won second place in Dan’s Word Weaver Writing Contest. The October 11th release of my own novel has been planned for a while, and Chapter 2 of that novel is The Crescent from the April Word Weaver Contest.

Talk about a confidence boost when I really needed one!

Word Weaver was the first writing contest I’ve entered, so winning a prize was a “pinch-me” moment!

Even better than winning (or almost), was Dan’s great critique style.

  • He caught things that nobody had ever commented on before.

  • For example, “Why are your characters always squinting? Is there something wrong with their eyes?” Oh my, no, their eyes are fine and squinting isn’t the right word. Well, it was once when Cobalt Point’s leading lady, Holly Hannon, couldn’t read a faded sign, but other than that—squinting is out.

As if the prizes and fun of winning aren’t enough reward, the best perk of participating in Word Weaver is the talented network of authors I’ve been so lucky to meet.


I’m honored to have two of my stories included in the new scary story anthology, The Box Under The Bed.

I love October!

Secret fact about me: I have custom made fangs and I’m not afraid to wear them.

Congratulations to all the authors of The Box Under The Bed!

Thank you, Anne Marie, for such high praise! It’s not a coincidence your writing has done so well in my contests. Talent rises to the top.

Gang, it was an absolute blast working with such amazing talents like Anne Marie Andrus on this scary anthology.

Check out Anne Marie’s works HERE,

and check out the Box Under The Bed right now!




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.)

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.

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.

*clears throat*


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,


under the category Newly Released Horror Anthologies.

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.

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.


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!

We’re Getting The Band Back Together!


A year ago Jenny, Allison and I attended the Florida Writer’s Association conference as audience members, with the intent of impressing the promoters and being invited back as presenters.

In January, our applications were accepted, and

on starting October 18th – JUST 2 DAYS FROM NOW – you’ll be able to meet and greet with us LIVE in person in Orlando, Florida!


We’ll be at Epcot for the food and wine festival, and the Altamonte Springs Hilton giving presentations  all weekend

Click HERE to check it out

and be sure to stop by and say hi. We’ll even let you buy us drinks!

Should we have ANOTHER Word Weaver Writing Contest THIS YEAR? Like Maybe In NOVEMBER??? READ THIS!

71HEiaG7AaL._UX250_.jpgThere’s been talk about another Word Weaver writing contest, maybe in November.

Maybe with a broad theme like  “relationships.”

I’m not saying we will do one,

but if we did

This one might be different.

This one might be offering publication for the winner and possibly the 3 top place winners.

I expect we will publish another anthology in 2018, combining bestselling authors and established writers with first timers again. The first place winner of this contest would be guaranteed a spot in that.



The big enchilada.

Word Weaver logi FINAL trimmed 2

If the winning story is part of a book, then I will personally steer the book towards publication. A PUBLICATION PACKAGE: critique process, content edit, book cover, get beta readers, the whole nine yards. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PUBLISH YOUR BOOK, DIRECTLY FROM ME AND WITH MY HANDS-ON GUIDANCE. I’ll have to iron out some details, but I really think we should start aiming for publication to be the goal of these contests. But I’m open to suggestions, too.

You’d have the whole month of November to create your masterpiece, OR EVEN BETTER – USE AN EXISTING STORY.

Of course, the first 20 entries will receive my custom critique of their story – as usual.

And lately you’ve been reading how helpful THAT is.

Winners of prior contests have gone on to publish their books after being in my Word Weaver Writing Contest. Many participants who wrote stories were later INVITED to be in the anthology we published October 1st.



Getting the information, the encouragement, the support, and the hands-on guidance you need to GET PUBLISHED.

Almost everyone who was in the last anthology has expressed an interest in doing it again. That puts you in there with bestselling authors and other published authors. That’s kind of a big deal.



What should the entry fee be?

  • $10?

  • $20?

  • Buy one of my books?

  • Something else?


What do other contests charge?

Does anyone else offer publication as prize? Or hands-on guidance?

Should we have a limit to how many people can enter?


I’m thinking the prizes for the contest this time will be primarily from me. Whether its publication as first prize, or awarding a six month membership in my private critique group for a different prize, a custom book cover from our David Duanes Designs (they created the my covers for The Box Under The Bed, An Angel On Her Shoulder, Night Of The Colonoscopy, The Grandfather Tree, All American Favorites, and Poggibonsi, as well covers for other authors) or getting you published, I’m not probably going to go for outside vendors for the top prizes – but I will allow some of my author friends to offer their books or other things like gift cards as sponsored door prizes.



With all that said…


Would this be more in line with the type of writing contest you’re looking for?

Or less in line?

Give me your thoughts below.