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Transforming a Villainess into a Heroine

Brenda FisherI’m working on edits for my second book in my Trouble with Men Series The Trouble with Scarecrows. And one of the biggest challenges I’ve had with this book is my female protagonist, Brenda Fisher. If you’ve read Book 1, The Trouble with Snowmen, then you know she is the antagonist in that story. So I’ve been working with this character since early 2012.

I’ve created some pretty mean, selfish, female characters over the years, but Brenda started out as one of the most self-centered personalities I’ve ever imagined. Which made her tons of fun to write! When I started writing Book 2, I thought I had to stick to her true nasty nature in the beginning and then give her a fabulous massive character arc – like in the story, A Christmas Carol, she would be my Scrooge!

But as Book 2 progressed (I finished the rough draft February 2013) and critique partners started reading and commenting, I found I had a major problem. Brenda made people angry – they hated her. Lol. Not good for the heroine. Even if she does redeem herself by the end of the book, it was too late.

Since then, Brenda has gone through a lot of changes. She still has an edge, but I feel she also has heart. And although she has been through the ringer (My editor read Book 2 first and said I’d better make some changes in Book 1 if she was going to become a heroine – so I even had to make changes for her there.) it molded her into a dynamic woman with many layers. And after everything, I can easily say that Brenda Fisher (Fishlips) is my favorite character I have ever created.

Love and Laughter,


The Trouble with Snowmen (Book 1 Trouble with Men) Available now in eBook – Print coming soon.

The Trouble with Scarecrows (Book 2 Trouble with Men) April 2016

Free: Jaclyn’s Ghost eBook Tuesday – Saturday

Jaclyn's Ghost by Dorlana Vann

Jaclyn’s Ghost by Dorlana Vann

Happy Halloween Everyone! I am giving away my romantic comedy/ghost story October 27, 2015 – October 31, 2015.

Jaclyn’s Ghost  

Ghosts, Mystery, and Fashion. Can this diva solve her own murder, or will she be stuck in limbo forever?

After recovering from the shock of seeing her own dead body, (still dressed to kill from last night’s party) fashion model, Jaclyn Jade, discovers she’s a ghost with a choice. She can either immediately go back to Hell, do nothing and stay in limbo, or find the reason she fell short of grace and advance to Heaven.

Because she was murdered, Jaclyn hopes that finding her killer will unravel this mystery. With the help of a timid closet-psychic who can speak to the dead, and a handsome, yet arrogant, ghost of a man from the roaring 20s, her search for answers initiates a quirky journey of self-discovery. Personalities, eras, and worlds collide as this mismatched trio race against time to solve the mystery of Jaclyn’s Ghost.

Here are some links:

US Amazon (Kindle) (Kindle)

Writing Diary #7 & a Short Story

Now that the first book in my Trouble with Men series has launched I can focus more on my other projects. I’ve been working on the edits I received from my editor for book 2, The Trouble with Scarecrows, and I’m also working on the 2nd draft of my YA fairy tale inspired novel –  So I don’t  have word count updates. I was going to try to keep up with hours spent, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. On the backburner for now is the rough draft of the 3rd book in the series. I want to get these edits back for book 2 first, and then I’ll work on book 3 while I wait on the next round of edits.

I’ve said it before, and just in case no one was listening, I’ll say it again: I would much rather work on edits/rewrites than a rough draft. (The rough draft is … hard lol.) I think the only bad part about rewriting is having to reread the story a thousand times. (You’d better like your story.) I was talking to my sister about this, and she asked me if I dreamed about my characters. I’d never thought about this before, but no, I don’t. Which is weird because I’m a big time dreamer.  Maybe I just use a different part of my brain. IDK

Now all this talk about dreams reminds me of one of my short stories in my collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. “If You Feed a Wolf” was inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. What I used from Wonderland was the way it reminded me of how I feel in dreams. So what I did was use some of my dreams from my dream journal as inspiration. So this story is a little fun, a little sad, and little out there. And I’m adding it to the end of this post.

Love, Laughter, and Fairy Tales,


If You Feed a Wolf

by Dorlana Vann

“But I don’t want to go among the mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the cat, “Or you wouldn’t have come here.”

From “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll


Nora ran, dodging trees and paying no mind to the twigs that scraped her bare arms and legs from shoulder to thigh. Once in awhile, the high afternoon sun shone through the density of the woods, and she knew she had better hurry.

When she reached the beach, she admired all her sisters who had gathered for the festivities. The continuous breeze carried the ocean’s scent as it waved through her long, bright hair. She felt powerful and had no doubt that she would be the victor.

“Gather around,” said Mother Mabel. Even without her ceremonial robes she stood with confidence, stripped down to her breast and bottom coverings. She was the oldest and wisest in their community, beautiful and flawless. “It’s time for the first race.”

Considering her competition’s bronzed, muscular legs and stomach, Nora found her to be an equal opponent. She couldn’t recall her name, only that they had known each other for a very long time. Nora smiled, and the woman smiled back, but with more self-assuredness—like it was clear she’d leave Nora in the dust.

“Go!” shouted Mother Mabel.

Nora took off. Her legs were strong and her mind clear. She wanted to win, although she didn’t want the race to end. Her sisters raised their red-ribbon-tied spears and cheered. The further Nora ran, the thicker the sand gathered on her feet, but it didn’t stop her from crossing the finish line first. She took small, effortless breaths as she looked behind her, but her opponent wasn’t there.

Where did she go? What did she look like? She wondered this as her sisters picked her up on their shoulders and paraded her around.

The moon, blazing orange, seemed to take the sun’s place in an instant. Everyone had gathered for the feast, eager and hungry for it to begin. The fire felt hot against Nora’s face and hands. She wasn’t hungry, but she couldn’t wait for the food. A bird with antlers flew down beside her and pecked the ground and then flew away again.

She watched as a wolf walked out of the forest. He stopped and then began to spin, around and around in circles. No one else seemed to notice him until he sat down beside the fire. He was hungry. Mother Mabel threw him a crumb and told him to leave. He growled out of the side of his mouth but ran back into the woods.

“Nora,” Mother Mabel said, the fire’s light dancing on her face. “If you feed a wolf, it will leave.” She took a puff from her brass pipe and passed it to the sister sitting next to her.

A storm started brewing, and the wind blew sand over the fire. All was black, except for the light of the pipe, and it seemed to float to Nora. She took it in her hands but hesitated until she heard Mother Mabel say, “I will come with you on your journey. I will always be with you.”

Nora put her lips to the cold pipe and inhaled, feeling the sweet smoke invade her mouth and then her lungs, heavily gratifying…

When awoken by a sudden light and an uneasy rustling, she couldn’t recall ever going to sleep. She was afraid to look, but curiosity forced her eyes to fly open. Where am I? Like lyrics to a forgotten song, but without the sweet melody, she vaguely recognized the room. She couldn’t breathe; the four white walls were stifling. Other people were there, but she didn’t know them.

What did Mother Mabel say to me? “Something about a journey,” Nora whispered.

“Nora? Nora?” asked a lady with silver, stringy hair, wrinkles, and sunken cheeks. “Can you see me? Can you hear me?”

Nora nodded.

The old lady sucked in her breath and put her hand over her mouth. “It’s me … Mabel. Mabel.”

Nora shook her head because the woman didn’t look anything like Mother Mabel. But there was a resemblance. A similarity. The green eyes, the way she opened her mouth when she smiled. I will come with you on your journey. “But why do you look so old?”

The lady laughed. “Why indeed.”

“What kind of journey is this?” Nora whispered. She tried to stand, but her legs held no strength, and she fell to the hard, cold floor.

“Oh,” Mabel said. “Are you hurt?” Mabel tried to help her, but Nora refused, thinking she didn’t need help.

Nora sat on the floor, legs in front of her, staring at unkempt yellowing toenails that stuck out of dirty, pink slippers. She pulled up the gown she wore, revealing pale, thin legs. “What happened to me? Why am I here?”

“I’m so glad you can talk.” It took her a couple a seconds, but Mabel got down on the floor and sat cross-legged like a little girl. “You are talking, aren’t you?”

“Is there a reason? Is this a lesson? Does this have to do with the wolf?”

Mabel eyes widened and in a raspy whisper she said, “How’d you know about the wolf?”

“It was by the fire, and you told me to feed it.”

Mabel inhaled and her hands jittered about wildly. “Right. I told you about the wolf. You did hear me. You could hear me the whole time. Why didn’t you say anything?”

“About what?” Nora asked.

“Right.” Mabel bit her nails.

“Oh, Miss Nora.” A man wearing white from head to toe stood over them. “Am I in trouble!” Without asking, he helped her up and back into her seat. “Here.” He handed her a small container. “I got distracted on my rounds and plum missed you. Woo wee, we wouldn’t want this to get out.”

“No,” Mabel said struggling to untangle her legs. “No, she can’t have those.”

“Miss Mabel, causing trouble again, I see. You know what happened last time Miss Nora was off her meds for too long. She bit you. Remember?”

“It’s fine.”

The man held his hand out, now helping Mabel stand up.

“See,” Mabel said as she stood. “I’m fine. Don’t you see? Nora told me about the stories. She heard my stories …”

He looked back at Nora and nodded. “Take them, Miss Nora, and you’ll feel a lot better. You’ll go right back to la la land.”

Mabel wiped her eyes. “But the fairy tales, she remembers. And I don’t have anyone to talk to.”

Nora looked at the two little pills in the bottom of the small clear cup.

“No, Nora,” Mabel pleaded. “Stay with me. Stay with me.”

Nora couldn’t see the value of her journey. She didn’t know why she had come to the colorless place where she had to be so weak and helpless and where her thoughts were foggy. “If you feed a wolf, it will leave.” As she looked down at the little white pills, the message the real Mother Mabel had given her became clear. In this strange place, she was the wolf. If she wanted to go back to be with her sisters and never leave the beach, she would have to feed the wolf the little white pills.

The End

Supernatural Fairy Tales

Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann

Story From Dorlana’s Paranormal short story collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales eBook .99 cents Amazon

The Trouble with Snowmen Release Celebration Giveaway

Giveaway Banner - Snowmen

To celebrate the release of my new romantic comedy “The Trouble with Snowmen” I have teamed up with two very talented people Jfay of Studio 3B and Don Vann of Vann Ink. I’m delighted to tell you about the fabulous unique one-of-a-kind prizes that the winner will walk away with!

  • melt my heart perfume picture1 bottle of Melt My Heart Perfume by Studio 3B

    Inspired by Dorlana Vann’s romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen. Cozy up with the aroma of warm spices, musky incense and exotic woods. This signature scent was hand blended by Jfay in a small batch to ensure the best quality and aromas. Only the finest perfume oils are used as well as a specialty blended artisan perfume base with antioxidants and perfume fixatives that allow the perfumes to stay longer upon your skin. The Perfume is not diluted with water, so you are receiving 100% fine artisan perfume at full strength. The perfumes are tested for quality (no animal testing), only upon our willing zombies ; )  $25 value

  • Snowmen Pen Prize3A Signature “The Trouble with Snowmen” hand-crafted Pen by Vann Ink

    This pen was created and hand-turned by Don Vann (yes, he’s my husband)  of Vann Ink. The title of the book is on one side, and my signature is on the other. Refillable. Chrome hardware. $40. value

  • a_generic_white_10_us_noto_email_us-main__CB339934400_A $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

    So you can purchase more books!

  • The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana Vann1 eBook Copy of Dorlana Vann’s romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen.

    The trouble with Snowmen is they never ever last forever.

Giveaway Runs September 1, 2015 – September 14, 2015

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents who are at least 18 years of age.


(More Terms and Conditions are at the bottom of this page.)

Enter The Giveaway Here

 What is the “Trouble with Snowmen” all about?

The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana VannA case of mistaken identity sets the stage for opposites to attract in my new contemporary romance. Add a large scoop of humor and a pinch of paranormal and you get:

The Trouble with Snowmen

by Dorlana Vann

Book 1: Trouble with Men Series

 Snowmen drift into your life like they were sent from above. The relationship is great, rolls right along and builds. Everything seems perfect … until a little heat is introduced. Then they melt, leaving only their hat, their scarf, something to remind their victims of what they’d lost.

Urban cowgirl Haley Monroe is told that the fabulously hot guy who just dumped her was a snowman. Her friend, Maximilian, convinces her that the only way she’ll ever stop being played by snowmen is to become one. It takes a lot of drinks to work up the nerve, but Haley gets her sexy on and goes on the prowl.

Famous horror author Larry White drops everything to attend a midnight séance at Maximilian’s apartment where he meets Haley. By the way she’s dressed—and just propositioned him—he assumes she’s a hooker. Larry can’t pass up the chance to get inside her head, especially since prostitution is the character’s occupation in his next book.

After spending the weekend together, unexpected sparks surprise both Haley and Larry. The trouble is Haley is dead-set on snowmanning the unkempt “starving artist” she met at the séance, and Larry doesn’t think he could have a real relationship with a woman with a past, so they go their separate ways.

The real fun begins when they meet again and find out neither one of them were who they thought they were. Can they reignite the flame? Or will they have a snowman’s chance in hell?

The Trouble with Snowmen eBook is available at Amazon (Paperback available soon) for only $2.99

Soul Mate Publishing

Enter The Giveaway Here

Here are the terms and conditions:

  • Giveaway is open to U.S. residents who are at least 18 years of age.
  • Dorlana Vann and sponsors (Studio 3B and Vann Ink) are offering one prize package to one randomly drawn individual who enters during the entry period.  Winners will be notified by Dorlana Vann within five (5) business days of the drawing.  The winner will be announced on,, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • The prize package will ship within two weeks of the drawing.
  • The odds of being selected as a winner depend on the number of entries received.
  • Sponsors and Dorlana Vann reserve the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time.
  • By entering the promotion you agree that Sponsors and Dorlana Vann will have no liability, and will be held harmless from and against any liability or loss, including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, for all matters related to your acceptance, possession, experience with, use or misuse of the prize or participation in the promotion.
  • Privacy Notice: All information submitted in connection with this promotion will not be used for any other purpose except for what is within the giveaway requirements.

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