Monthly Archives: April 2012

This week’s Friday Freebie: Passage to Queen Mesentia

Passage to Queen Mesentia

Passage to Queen Mesentia by Dorlana Vann

I’m thrilled to be giving away my supernatural mystery, Passage to Queen Mesentia. It’s actually my favorite out of all my stories. It was the first book where I used my state of Texas as the setting and was able to embrace Texas slang in the dialogue instead of having to watch out for it.🙂 I’m a huge ancient Egypt fan, so it was a lot fun to travel back to that era through the eyes of the tormented immortal character, Ben, and then on a treasure hunt to modern day (2005) Egypt with a “princess” and a “cowboy.”

Since writing the rough draft in 2006, this novella has gone through a lot of changes. When Jaclyn’s Ghost was accepted by Tease Publisher LLC (2008) for their Dark Tarot series they ended up accepting Passage to Queen Mesentia (then titled Passage to Mesentia – and before that, Isabella’s Dark Knight) to include in my now out-of-print novel, Death. (Tarot meaning: Transformation, Passage, Change) To me, it was just kind of the flip side of a record. (Showing my age here). It was missing something for it to be a stand-alone story.

So when I received my rights back (2010) I decided to give it a major rewrite – I even ended up changing the main character’s name from Isabella/Bella which had been popularized by this other novel. (Bet you can guess which one.)  I started researching and writing and ended up with another 5,000 words or so. I also took another look at the main characters’ motivations and goals. This is also the second cover –third if you count Death. I’m proud of how this story has developed, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

You can check out Passage to Queen Mesentia Page for synopsis and chapter 1.

If you get a chance, go grab your free Kindle copy, Friday April 27, 2012. And I would love to hear what you think.

 Amazon U.S

Love and Laughter,


Frustration: a writer’s bff

A couple of weeks ago one of my writer friends found something that didn’t quite work in Ninja vs Pirates. I thought I was in the edit phase so this threw me off a little. I had to go back and not only rewrite but recreate… which is frustrating… which is good.

What? Frustration is good?  You never think so while you’re going through it, but in order to achieve something unique you gotta go there.  If a plotline pops into your head without any effort, most likely it has been overdone.

So, if you’re faced with a surprise rewrite, think of it as a great opportunity to make the story better. It always turns out better. Or even writing your character into a corner can create fabulous, productive frustration. This is your chance to “figure” your way out. (That’s what I call it anyway- figuring) It’s an awesome thing if the solution is not right in front of you! That means it won’t be obvious to your readers either.

I do my figuring in several different ways:

  • On Paper: I use the computer to write. However, when it’s time to figure, I use a pen and paper. I jot down ideas and any thought that comes into my head. (I usually end up with lot of crazy doodles, too.)
  • In My Head: When it is completely quiet, like when I’m cooking or bathing, I think, think, think: What is the main characters goal at that moment? Did I let my character go through Emotion, Thought, Decision?
  • On The Internet: I don’t know how many times this has helped. I get stuck, stalled right in the middle of writing a scene, and so I go to a search engine and research anything that might have to do with the story. It could be the location, history, slang, depending on the story, just anything to get my brain moving from stop.
  • Out Loud: I brainstorm with my husband: “What if…” and “What do you think about…?” Sometimes he can say something that triggers something else and then other times just talking it out helps.

With this latest hiccup, I used the last method to come up with a new idea. Which my little boy (who I am writing the book for) loved and laughed and said he liked it better than before. “Yay!”

So next time you’re frustrated, be excited! This is where the good stuff comes from. Your story will be all the better for it!

Love and Laughter,


Friday Freebie – Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale

Hi Friends,


Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale by Dorlana Vann

This Friday’s (April 20) Free Kindle eBook is, “Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale.” And I have decided to run it for free for 2 days. So it will be available through April 21st.

More than 5 years ago I wrote the short story, Silverweed Muffins, which inspired the book. I have posted the short story on my blog,  People who have read the novel will see some similarities and where this world of muffins and superstitions was born. There is more about the book and the inspirations behind it here: Silverweed Page.

Don’t forget to grab your free copy! (BTW – Silverweed is also available in paperback ($6.99 Amazon.)

Amazon (Kindle) (Kindle) (Kindle)

Love and Laughter,


Video: Dean talks about children’s book, “Ninja vs Pirates”

So I’ve posted a few times about my upcoming children’s book, Ninja vs Pirates, which I wrote for my 8-year-old son, Dean.  The following is an excerpt from the acknowledgement page in the book that I think explains this project best:

I would like to thank my smart and witty, 8-year-old son, Dean. If he hadn’t requested this book, I wouldn’t have thought about writing a story about ninja and pirates with jokes and poop. It became an awesome project that I was able to share with him; Dean modeled for the cover and for PART I pictures (all of the costumes are his), he illustrated PART II and the map of Ninja Jolly Island at the beginning, he was my expert advisor on all things little boy, and critiqued the manuscript from draft 1 to the cover design. So thank you Dean for being such an awesome story buddy.

I asked Dean if he would like to do a video about the book and show a couple of his pictures.  He loved the idea, so we wrote down a couple of speaking points, and I said action, and he did the rest.  (He is such a natural and I’m such a proud mom:). Here is the video…


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