Q & A with D.G. Kaye, featuring Kathy Steinemann – The Writer’s Body Lexicon

Welcome to my Q and A where today I’m featuring author/blogger and grammar guru Kathy Steinemann  with her new release – Writer’s Lexicon series – The Writer’s Body Lexicon.


Author Kathy Steinemann


About Kathy:

Kathy Steinemann, author of the popular Writer’s Lexicon series, is a bird-loving grandma and retired ex-editor from the land of Atwood, Shatner, and Bieber. She loves words, especially when the words are frightening or futuristic or funny.




Ordinary writers describe the body in order to evoke images in readers’ minds. Extraordinary writers leverage it to add elements such as tension, intrigue, and humor.

The Writer’s Body Lexicon provides tools for both approaches.

Kathy Steinemann provides a boggling number of word choices and phrases for body parts, organized under similar sections in most chapters:

•Emotion Beats and Physical Manifestations
•Similes and Metaphors
•Colors and Variegations
•Verbs and Phrasal Verbs
•Clichés and Idioms

Sprinkled throughout, you’ll also find hundreds of story ideas. They pop up in similes, metaphors, word lists, and other nooks and crannies.

Readers don’t want every character to be a cardboard cutout with a perfect physique. They prefer real bodies with imperfections that drive character actions and reactions — bodies with believable skin, scents, and colors.

For instance, a well-dressed CEO whose infrequent smile exposes poorly maintained teeth might be on the verge of bankruptcy. A gorgeous cougar with decaying teeth, who tells her young admirer she’s rich, could spook her prey. Someone trying to hide a cigarette habit from a spouse might be foiled by nicotine stains.

Add depth to your writing. Rather than just describe the body, exploit it. Build on it. Mold it until it becomes an integral part of your narrative.

“… a timeless resource: You’ll find advice, prompts, ideas, vocabulary, humor, and everything in between. But more importantly, it will make your characters stand out from the crowd.” — Nada Sobhi


Review from Amazon.ca:

“Books 1 and 2 of The Writer’s Lexicon series already reside within easy reach as I write, and I’m pleased to say that book 3 has joined them as a ‘must have’ reference book. If you’re an author (new or veteran), pick up a copy of the series — you won’t be sorry.” ~ J. I. Rogers


My 5 Star review:


Reviewed in Canada on July 31, 2020

If you thought you knew words, you’re in for a big treat with this almost 500 pages of action-packed book full of alternative words and phrases to make your characters come alive and help readers create believable characters. How many ways can we express body parts, gestures, prompts and humor? Steinemann will arm you better than any thesaurus.

The author expanded her blog post of lessons for writers and created this absolute must-have resource guide, aiding in better descriptive writing in this 3rd and comprehensive book in her Lexicon series for writers. We’ll also find words that keep the action going as well as idea replacements for similes and metaphors that AREN’T cliche, with loads of examples under each body part heading. Steinemann helps writers to choose appropriate adjectives and verb tenses – eg: If you say your character has tanned arms while the setting takes place in winter, you’ve used the wrong adjective unless a reason is presented for the tanned arms. The author demonstrates how to eliminate unnecessary words with suggested word replacement. Plenty of prompts are also given as well as: opinion words explained, hyphen use, how to incorporate color, use of props for description, use of word variation pertaining to the character’s description – example: you may use the word ‘porky’ for a bully, but the word wouldn’t go over well if a husband were to refer to his wife with such word.

This book is a fantastic edition to describe all parts of the body from head to toe, also offering ideas to set up a character chart to list all attributes of characters, ie: shapes, appearance, flesh tone, etc. Each chapter begins with descriptions, examples of word usage. Steinemann also talks about caveats, eg: perception of the writer’s view needs to be made clear for readers. The writer may know what she means to relay being privy to the character’s thoughts, but make sure the reader is informed too.

The Writer’s Body Lexicon is succinctly written into sections for each body part, covering verbs, variegation of color, shapes, idioms, cliches, metaphors, similes, comparisons and more. A must-have resource guide for all writers!

Now that you’ve had a little sampling of Kathy and her amazing writer resources, let’s get to know more about Kathy and get her opinions on writing rules, self-publishing and more!


When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

The urge to write was always a part of my life.

As a child, I created stories and accompanied them with pictures.

In fifth grade, I won a contest sponsored by an agricultural college. I can still remember the opening sentence: “Calling all cars, calling all cars.” Vague recollections of how the police tracked down weeds come to mind, but the plot has disappeared after all this time. And no, I won’t say how many dec— years have passed since then.

During secondary school, I placed in a couple of speaking contests, wrote for the high school newspaper, and submitted a weekly high school news column to the local paper.

D.G. – Wow, to think you began with writing for the school newspaper. But so not surprised.

Do you agree with the general consensus that writers are loners?


It’s difficult to retain focus or get any writing done if a myriad of activities takes writers away from their writing cave.

However, savvy authors must interact with the world. How can they write about what it feels like to travel by air if they’ve never boarded a plane? How can they describe the scent of churros in the air at Disneyland if they’ve never been there?

But time away from writing is never truly time away. An active mind is always thinking about the next story idea, the subplot of a WIP, or a way to make X or Y happen.

D.G. – I totally agree Kathy. A writer’s mind never really sleeps.

What’s your opinion on self-publishing?

The good: Self-publishing provides unprecedented opportunities for writers who might otherwise be unable to find an agent or swing a book deal. In fact, some famous authors have switched to this platform or a hybrid model.

The bad: The ease and speed of the process often results in poorly written books with a surfeit of plot holes, typos, and formatting inconsistencies. This has given self-publishing an unsavory reputation.

Fortunately, most online sales outlets allow potential buyers to read the first part of a book before they order.

Tip: If you want to support brick-and-mortar sellers, evaluate books online first. You’ll know what you like and what to avoid before haphazard strolls through local book stores.

D.G. – I couldn’t agree with you more. Also, I think since the stigma of shoddy Indie work began, many want-to-be writers are learning how poorly shoddy work reflects on their work, and are taking in the advice.

Do you have any advice you can share for new writers?

Yes! Learn the rules. Understand why they exist before you make a conscious decision to break them.

Stephen King doesn’t like adverbs — but he uses them. Occasionally.

Mark Twain detested exclamation points — but they appear in his work. Often!

Kurt Vonnegut loathed semicolons; however, he used 41 per 100,000 words.

Stephen King’s opinion of adverbs: “If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day … fifty the day after that … and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions.”

Mark Twain’s take on italics and exclamation points: “But the teller of the comic story does not slur the nub; he shouts it at you — every time. And when he prints it … he italicizes it, puts some whooping exclamation-points after it … All of which is very depressing, and makes one want to renounce joking and lead a better life.”

Kurt Vonnegut on semicolons: “They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

There is one incontrovertible rule, however: Sloppy punctuation and grammar makes writing difficult to understand. Difficult to understand = lost readers.

D.G. – Loved all these quotes from some of the greats. I’m a firm believer in the first one: we must learn the rules before we can acceptably break them.


What are your writing goals for this year?

I released The Writer’s Body Lexicon at the beginning of July. Based on what readers found there, a couple of them have asked me to publish a color lexicon. Putting the cart before the horse, I designed the cover already. Now for the research.

I also have a sci-fi anthology in progress, and I’d like to write more short fiction and poetry for literary journals. My overarching problem is always lack of time. There never seem to be enough hours in a day to get through my to-do list. Maybe I should try to clone myself or discover a wayto survive without sleep.

Any inventors out there?

D.G. – Hello! I hear you loud and clear! I think all us writers could use a clone, lol. And fabulous you are already working on the next installment for the Lexicon series.


Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite author changes occasionally. Right now, it’s James Dashner, writer of The Maze Runner series. His narrative is imaginative and easy to read, without purple prose or excessive backstory. Short chapters and regular scene breaks make his books convenient to devour in spurts — a plus for anyone with a hectic lifestyle.

I finished the Maze Runner books first and then watched the movies, which weren’t as good as the books. Are they ever?

Diana Gabaldon is a close second with her Outlander novels. I prefer less sensory detail than she provides, but the storylines are riveting. And the writers of the Starz Outlander TV series deserve their own kudos.

D.G. – I’ve heard so much praise for Outlander series. In fact, I’ll be reviewing a book this Sunday that many reviewers tout reminded them of that same series! And I have to say, my favorite kind of reading is short chapters too.


If you weren’t a writer, what else do you think you would do?

I’d love to work as a CGI artist, to boldly go where no CGI artist has gone before, to create worlds for shows such as Star Trek, Game of Thrones, and Maze Runner. And what could be better than to travel to another planet, solar system, or galaxy for ideas? Impossible, at least for now, but a person can dream.

Second best: Create colorful word pictures that transport readers to new galaxies and realms of imagination. Earth is where I am, and where I’m likely to stay. It’s not a punishment, and I enjoy my hectic life as it is.

D.G. – Sounds ambitious. But I think you can sign up now for a trip to Mars? 🙂


Visit Kathy at her Social Sites:


A serial comma fan, she provides word lists, cheat sheets, how tos, and sometimes irreverent reviews of writing rules at:


Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/kathysteinemann

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathySteinemann

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathySteinemann

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KathySteinemann

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kathysteinemann



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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Guest Post – D.G. Kaye – Writing in Memoir | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I’m thrilled to be kicking off the new Christmas #Bookfair Series at Sally Cronin​’s Smorgasbord Invitation. Once again, the generous Sally is featuring her blog contributors where she’ll feature our books that are part of Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore shelves and invited us to write something about our writing. Naturally, I wrote about writing in  #Memoir.


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Guest Post – D.G. Kaye – Writing in Memoir



Delighted that author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) is kicking off the Christmas guest posts for this year’s book fair.

As someone who has read all her memoir and non-fiction books, I can think of no better person to share some very important aspect of memoir writing….how it can expose us to experiences that are painful to recall and the inclusion of real people in your life, who might not necessarily agree with your assessment of your relationship, or who might be offended.



Whether writing a novel or writing a memoir, the process is similar with different components. Some may think writing in memoir is easier than creating fictional stories, but the story must still be created, even though taken from our own experiences, facts still must be checked. There can also be added emotional stress when writing such stories as we are forced to relive, sometimes, painful memories.

The process of focusing on past painful events, writing about them, rereading them in revisions and edits can become emotionally draining and sometimes depressing at points. I liken the process of writing my memoirs to going to therapy sessions where I’m baring my raw self and soul to a specialist in search of resolution from the conflict. There can be dark moments when we go back to some unpleasant places in time. I find in those times; I need to step away from my work to distance myself from my story to decompose for awhile.

As memoir writers, it’s our job to tell the truth and convey our stories from our own truth, the way we experienced it. The truth is not made to be sugar-coated or exaggerated. Characters in our stories shouldn’t be adorned for more than who they were just to sensationalize. The purpose of our stories is to keep the readers engaged by allowing them to form their own emotion from what we deliver. The story isn’t a place for us to present ourselves as self-centered or heroic, nor is it to invoke sympathy from the reader, but rather to engage our readers into the stories we tell, allowing them as readers to develop their own emotion from the story, and hopefully gain some insight for themselves from the material they’ve read.

It takes a special blend of courage to be able to write in memoir, first by having to face some unpleasant memories, and then once published, exposing our most intimate stories to the world.

We must also pay attention to the real people who are our characters in our stories. Often, the people we write about are flawed. These people shouldn’t be taken by surprise when finding out they are in someone’s book, finding their flaws exploited publicly. It’s important to learn the infringement laws about libel, slander, defamation of character, and invasion of privacy to protect ourselves from potential lawsuits. If the people we write about concern us with these issues, it’s always best to get permissions from them in writing. Although this may sound like an awkward task, it’s well worth doing to avoid possible repercussions and lawsuits.

Two important things to keep in mind to help avoid potential lawsuits are . . .please continue reading at Sally’s blog.


Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Guest Post – D.G. Kaye – Writing in Memoir | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine


© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye


Guest author: D. G. Kaye – Aging and Changes: Maintaining the Privilege to Drive | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

life happens


I was elated to be invited over to Sue Vincent’s blog, The Daily Echo, to share a post I wrote about my husband’s experience and red tape we encountered when trying to reinstate his driver’s license.

Guest author: D. G. Kaye – Aging and Changes: Maintaining the Privilege to Drive


On May 10th my husband turned eighty years old. God bless him, he’s made of Teflon because he’s bounced back from many ongoing ailments, many times. Turning eighty in Canada also means, by law, that it’s time to get re-tested with an aptitude and vision test by the Ministry of Transportation, and every two years thereafter to maintain a driver’s license.

My husband is a good driver and has been driving since he’s eight years old! I kid you not! Eight? You may be wondering, but yes, he grew up in a small town outside the big city of Toronto, on a farm. My husband drove a tractor by age eight to help his dad on the farm and began hauling cattle by the age of fourteen, so no surprise he aced his license at sixteen.

At twenty-two, hubby moved to the city and began selling cars, and still does when his health permits him. So it should have been no big deal for him to pass the re-evaluation test, which he did . . . except there was an issue with his vision test – one I wasn’t aware of.

The agent handed him a form asking that it be completed by his eye doctor, filled out after testing him then submitted by fax back to the Ministry to re-instate his license. She told us she would enter the form with the passing grade in the computer system, awaiting the completed eye test confirmation to reinstate his license. Only it wasn’t that simple. . . continue reading


Source: Guest author: D. G. Kaye – Aging and Changes: Maintaining the Privilege to Drive | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – I Spy by author D. G. Kaye | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Reblog Share


I was delighted when the tireless blogger/author, Sally Cronin of Smorgasbord Invitation had asked me to write a post and fill in for her as ‘blogsitter’ while Sally took a RARE week off to visit her sisters and have a little reunion. I wrote the post and sent it off to Sal so she could pre-draft her sitter’s posts before I  took off. I’d written something similar a year or so ago and never published it, and thought it might be a fitting post for more current times.




“I am delighted to welcome author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) to the Blog Sitting team and Debby has been very much a part of Smorgasbord since I began posting in 2013. Hugely supportive of all those that she follows, her presence is a constant reminder that virtual friendships are as real as those that are face to face.”


I Spy – Is There Any Privacy Left Anywhere?


Remember that little game we used to play when we were kids in the car to keep us entertained on a long drive—I spy? Back in the day, it was a game. In today’s world, it’s not so much a game as it has become an invasion of privacy.

I spy, is all around us, from governments knowing every detail about us, down to the color of our underwear when going through airport security. Public places abound with cameras—our every move caught on tape. Be careful not to be caught picking your nose in public, for surely someone is watching.

All these cameras were initially intended for theft surveillance, but have been taken to some extremes to a point where there are no sacred private moments left, and that can be held as evidence somewhere—should the need arise. Continue Reading . . .


Source: Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – I Spy by author D. G. Kaye | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Who Has a New Book? Terri Webster Schrandt – Better #Blogging with #Photography

New book


Today’s guest is Terri Schrandt, blogger and author of her first book, Better Blogging with Photography. You can find Terri’s blog at SecondWindLeisure.com


Terri is a girl who loves the outdoors and likes to partake in many leisure sports and shares her lifestyle on her blog. She uses beautiful photos for her blog, which she takes from her own adventures and decided to write a book about the different ways to use photos for blogs, where to obtain them if you’re not using your own, and what to beware of when it comes to copyright issues when using photos from the internet.


About Terri:

Terri is a non-fiction writer and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. As a university lecturer teaching leisure education in the recreation and parks major, Terri takes leisure very seriously because it involves one-third of our lives…really!

Obtaining a Master’s Degree at age 50, Terri wrote her thesis on the Four Generations in the Workplace, sparking her love of writing at midlife. In addition to writing and blogging, she offers consultation services and conducts and presents workshops for a variety of organizations.

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is her blog about living a leisure lifestyle.

Terri has two successful adult daughters, one an aerospace engineer and the other a recreation therapist working at a state hospital. Her husband since 2013 was someone she knew in high school and found on Facebook in 2009. He introduced her to the crazy sport of windsurfing (at age 49) and is currently building a new deck for their recently remodeled house.

Her active lifestyle involves windsurfing, stand-up paddling, camping, reading, writing, walking the dogs, traveling, and…


Get this book Here on Amazon! 

Better Blogging by Terri Schrandt

The Blurb:

There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts?

Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts.
This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.

While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post.

What will you get out of this guide?
In each chapter I give easy but important tips for maximizing the use of images on your blog’s website and within each blog post.

Seven informative chapters walk you through–
-the importance of using images;
-the real dangers of using others’ copyrighted images;
-easy ways to edit your images using free programs and apps;
-building unending inspiration and content around your own images;
-attracting readers with images used in quotations, blog link-ups, and other tools;
-how social media sites link your images, and why you need them;
-a list of image resources available.

After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!


Thanks Terri. You’ve already offered a wealth of information here, now let’s go a little deeper getting to know more about you and your process of creating this book.


Can you tell us how you came up with the idea to write a book on how to blog with photos?

When I began consistently blogging over two years ago, I noticed that most blogs had an interesting photo to illustrate their post. After I participated in the WordPress Blogging University Photography 101 and learned some easy tricks, I immediately started adding my own photos to all my posts. I have a digital camera and Samsung phone and have over 5000 photos!

I wrote a few posts on how to use images to help get more readers, and these posts were well-read and shared. I got interested in the idea of writing a non-fiction eBook, and writing about “How to maximize your blog using images” seemed the easiest way to dip my toe into the world of self-publishing. This book started out as a short free PDF to give away to new subscribers, but morphed into the eBook you now see.


Do you plan to write more books about blogging?

I am still thinking of a couple of more blogging help books. However, there are a LOT of them out there! My next eBook, for which I have a decent outline started is “The Better Blogger’s Lifestyle” which will become the prequel to my current eBook. In this book I describe all the types of blogs out there and what it takes to write and maintain one. More ideas for the series will include short topics like “Getting Results with Social Media,” “Advanced Photography for Bloggers” and “Turning Your Posts into eBooks.” These topics may be my summer projects!


Are there any other genres you may be interested in writing about in the future?

I am glad you asked this! Another professor with whom I work suggested I write a non-fiction book on the subject of leisure education. I had never thought about writing any type of book, but that seed was firmly planted.

This book, tentatively titled “How Midlife Women Are Reclaiming Their Leisure Time” is based on my background as a leisure practitioner and educator, and includes case studies of real midlife women who struggle with finding time for their favorite leisure pastimes. It’s based on the premise that anyone can find 3 hours a week for leisure within a 168-hour week. This book will take some time to research and write which may feel like I’m writing a thesis all over again. But don’t worry, the book will be readable and enjoyable for anyone of any age who wishes to learn how to carve out more leisure time for themselves.

I had intended to write that book last summer, but the Better Blogging with Photography eBook needed to get written first. It was a great experience to go through the writing, editing, cover designing and publishing process, so no regrets!

I also am toying with the idea of writing a book on fitness and eventually a how-to book on the basics of stand-up paddling.


What types of articles do you like to post on your blog?

My blog originally focused on professional development but once I retired I did not want to discuss the work world anymore! I blog a lot about leisure experiences, and leisure education, using photography as a basis for inspiration. My favorite events include the WordPress weekly photo challenge and I rarely miss an opportunity to share a photo of that week’s theme! Amazing to see the creative photos others share! I also enjoy participating in Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors, and Part-time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share.


Can you share with us what avenues you’ve taken to promote your first book?

As Indies we’re always interested in learning what works best for some authors when it comes to promoting. After reading umpteen Kindle books on the subject as well as an endless number of blogs, I came up with the basic fact, that just reaching out to fellow bloggers and writers (such as you, Debby), and simply asking them to read and perhaps leave a review, was a good way to start.

When I was self-hosting my blog, I became stressed out trying to “lure” in more readers with subscriber incentives. I came up with some great ideas, but then…I asked myself why the he!! am I working so hard. I try to use social media to my advantage and simply continue my connections with my online friends.

I joined GoodReads and made quite a few connections there.

Am I going to get rich as a self-published author? I doubt it. But the thrill of writing and seeing my name as an author is unmatched!


Tell us a little about your new book, and what can readers and bloggers expect to learn from it.

Anyone who publishes on their own website, whether it is a simple blog, or a full-blown business website, should factor in how important images are in conveying information. After all, most of us are visual people and react to the images we see. A picture really is worth a thousand words, so the right image is critical to the message, whether it captures the reader’s imagination in a blog post, or is selling a product.  Too many people just grab an image off Google and plop it into their website which may unknowingly and innocently lead to a lawsuit. Images on the web are intellectual property, and knowing how to watermark your images is just one important and easy skill to learn and use.


Please share an excerpt from your book with us.

From Chapter Two “How to Curate and Use Your Own Images”

Putting Your Smart Phone or Digital Camera to Work

In this section I will describe the simple process for taking your own pictures using your smart phone and/or your digital camera.

Did you know digital cameras can be purchased for less than $100 now? That is cheaper than many of our mobile phones! Amazon.com and Target have basic “point and shoot” digital cameras that price for $80.

Before I started blogging, I had a digital camera. With my active, outdoor lifestyle, over the years, I have taken thousands of photos. My digital camera is currently lost, so I have relied on my Samsung Galaxy phone. Between these devices I have over 5000 digital images. Recently, I started the slow process of deleting the junk and have created files and folders for certain images.

But, you say, “Terri, I am just starting out and I have only a few photos.” Or, “all I have are old, hard copy pictures.”

Let me address those concerns.

Smart Phone

Perhaps you take terrible pictures or don’t own a good digital camera? Most of us have a smart phone with a camera. Use it. Since it likely goes everywhere you go, if you are inspired by something, shoot it…with the camera, that is! Digital photos from your phone are simple to upload a number of ways.

Shoeboxes of Pictures

I am old enough to have collected my fair share of old photos in my life. Literally shoe-boxes of them. Many have been transferred to photo boxes with lids that keep them neat and tidy, still in their envelopes. Since you need a digital copy, here are some ways to save these photos as digital images.

With a printer/scanner/copier, simply scan each photo (or sets of photos) and save on a flash drive. Some scanners are linked with computers so that the files load automatically onto a file on your desktop or laptop. Either way, you now have a digital copy of the photo. Now you can edit as needed.

Borrow from Friends

Do you have friends, colleagues or family who are photographers, or take lots of photos? Ask to use their photos. Simply e-mail them asking their permission to use their photos in your blog or website. I have never been turned down yet.

Borrow from the Pros

I have several friends who are professional photographers. One close friend allowed me to download as many of her photos as I wished and gave me written permission, as well as encouragement to do so.

The key to this is getting the permission in writing. Again, a simple e-mail message asking to use the photo works fine. Keep a file of the e-mails you get stating that you have permission to use their images. By doing this, you actually have documented their permission to do so.


Thanks for guest posting here today Terri. As you know, I’ve read your book. I love that it’s not a big book to have to sift through lots of pages. The information is concise, relevant, and clearly set out for readers.


Visit Terri’s author page at Amazon  


Find Terri on Social Media:






Guest Post with Author Dan Alatorre – The Navigators #Booklaunch

guest feature


Today I’d like to introduce author and blogger Dan Alatorre. For those of you who may not have had the pleasure of reading Dan’s blog, always filled with great authorly advice, and always entertaining in true Dan style, I highly recommend you take a moment and go visit him.


Dan is very inventive, always coming up with new ideas to keep his blogging friends busy and thinking. He often runs little projects for his readers to interact with, such as: reader participation on creating stories, sharing thoughts on everything writing he comes across, and recently he opened up a Youtube podcast, ‘Writers on task’ , where he interacts with other writers and again, shares great information with the added bonus, we get to listen to his humor in live action.


Besides all about Dan’s blogging, he is a successful and versatile author and humorist. Some of his books are based on funny stories about him being a dad to his little girl Savvy, some are children’s books, and Dan has also published a few cookbooks!


When I say versatile, I’m not kidding. Dan is also working on a book Poggibonsi, a hilarious Italian misadventure. But today, I’ve invited Dan here so we can all get to know a little more about him and I’m featuring his newest book launch The Navigators. This is Dan’s new sci-fi thriller. But before I go blabbing off more about Dan, why don’t we let Dan speak for himself below where he shares some interesting tidbits on his newest book, and some advice on writing.


Dan headshot bw (2)

The Navigators blurb:


A freak landslide at a remote Florida mine uncovers a strange machine to Barry’s group of paleontology students. Rumors spread about the discovery of a time machine, creating risks everywhere: a trusted classmate betrays them, and a corrupt school official tries to sell the machine to another university. When power company executives learn it may contain a unique fuel system that would put them out of business, possessing the machine becomes a matter of life and death. Now on the run, Barry’s team struggles to keep their amazing discovery – but using it has consequences more severe than anyone can predict.


TheNavigatorsFinal (2)


The Navigators is a time travel story. If you could travel through time, where would you go?

That’s the real questions isn’t it? And since everybody – every reader and every character in the story – would have a different answer, it immediately sets up conflict. What if there’s only enough fuel to take one trip? Who among your friends gets to go? How do you decide that? And since each character has a different motivation, they all want to do different things – so each general idea the readers might think up gets covered. Go back and buy stocks that do well and make money? Or go see a religion get started? Or maybe something more sinister. Power corrupts, and a time machine is pretty powerful tool. Or maybe something more emotional and tender. My daughter never met my mother. So a person who played such a huge influence in my life will have no direct impact on hers. That’s sad. But me, I’d go buy stocks and make a bunch of money. I’m pretty shallow that way.


Are you a fan of time machine stories?

Not usually, no. Oops, I shouldn’t have said that out loud; it can’t be good for sales. No, they tend to have the same tired setup, where somebody goes back in time, or forward in time, and they have an adventure there and then come back. This is verrrrry different. The Navigators is my unique take on a time travel story, and readers are loving it. These graduate students accidentally discover a time machine, they don’t really believe it would work, and they have no idea how to use it. So they have to figure everything out, but before they do, word leaks and everybody wants it. The school tries to take it to sell off, other students try to steal it, the electric company wants its power source – and the kids are suddenly running for their lives. They do take trips in it, though, and that’s where we get to have some real fun. Plus I have some greats terrific twists you will not see coming. It’s a fun read!


Who is your favorite character in The Navigators and why?

Melissa Mills is the eventual heroine of the story, and she’s modeled after my six year old daughter for when she’s 22 or so – “Missy’s” age in the story. Missy’s dad makes a cameo, and he’s a powerful, intimidating lawyer, but his obvious love for his daughter gets the better of him. Even when he’s supposed to be scolding her for getting into this terrible ordeal, as soon as he sees her he breaks out in a big grin and gives her a massive bear hug and asks if she ate breakfast yet. “We have bagels. Did you eat?” Typical dad, you know? Like me. My little girl can do no wrong. Readers love Mr. Mills. Most of my critique partners sensed a similarity between him and a certain writer they know… But Missy is definitely my favorite character in this story.


How long did it take to write?

Four months is what Stephen King says a first draft should take, so I did it in four months, but I was only halfway through so I had to get some more time allotted. No, The Navigators was written in four months. Just under, actually. It was great fun because I was so enthusiastic about the story, I was knocking out three chapters a week at times. My critique partners were giving such good feedback it was hard not to be excited and keep writing. I think that enthusiasm created a real page turner. Readers seem to think so.


How do you give your characters different personalities?

I know lots of writers and it seems like each one uses a different method. Some even have pictures taped to their computer and a character bio. All that is good. I don’t do that. I have very distinct characters in my head, and they talk different and act differently from each other. One might be funny, one might be timid, but they all have distinct traits that recur. In The Navigators, Barry bites his nails, and although he’s the smartest in the group, he’s a dolt when he gets nervous. Missy flips her hair a lot but she takes charge when Barry gets hurt and the team needs her to step up. So by knowing these characters in your head – or taped to your computer – you’ll be consistent. Barry bites his nails in chapter one and also in chapter ten and chapter thirty-six. He doesn’t develop a new tic halfway through unless he’s developing a nervous system disorder, and in The Navigators, he’s not.


What would you say is the most important lesson you’ve learned about writing?

Write an outline. Too many people get stuck at dead ends or get writers block, and I believe an outline helps eliminate that. If you have a place to steer your story, you’ll get it to the finish line. Pantsers – people who write by the seat of their pants, feel very restricted by an outline, like it stifles their creativity. They shouldn’t think that way. It’s your story; if you come up with a better place to take it, go there. If you think up a better ending, use it. But at least you have an ending if you write an outline. I’m trying to convert pantsers, one writer at a time. So far I’ve converted none. But I’m trying! Maybe some of your readers will see the light. Convert! Convert, I say! See the light! Use an outliiiiine! Okay that’s getting weird now.


Thank you Dan for dropping by here today to visit, and for sharing some of your hilarious wisdoms with us as well as telling us about your newest book. No doubt, it will be very successful!


Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers. His new novel, The Navigators, is a fast-paced sci fi thriller that breaks new ground in its fascinating characters and truly unique story.


Get a copy of Dan’s book by clicking the link below:

The Navigators (global link)


Visit Dan’s Amazon author page


Visit Dan’s blog




Guest blogger: D.G. Kaye | writerchristophfischer


Festisite Reblog

How exciting to be invited for interview with author/blogger, bookreviewer, Christoph Fischer! 


Christoph has begun a new series of interviews on #blogging. He has a series of questions he asks on how we began our blogs, and how we manage to keep up with them. Have a look below at my replies:


Today I have the special honour of welcoming a dear friend and an excellent writer and blogger: D.G. Kaye, the author of Conflicted Hearts, Meno-What? A Memoir, Words We Carry, and Have Bags, Will Travel. She is a nonfiction writer of memoirs about life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

How did you attract the audience?


“I noticed that my following was growing after I began to establish myself more on social media platforms. I also started following several blogs which interested me, and through visiting those blogs, I came across other blogs by introduction of guest posts, etc. I also interact on those blogs, not just by ‘liking’ posts, but also by sharing them on various social platforms and leaving comments. I noticed that my comments had led to forming many wonderful friendships with fellow bloggers. Before I knew it, I was . . .Continue Reading


Source: Guest blogger: D.G. Kaye | writerchristophfischer

Smorgasbord Open House – Meet Non-Fiction Author D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Reblog and featuring

Smorgasbord Open House

Writer, Blogger, Superwoman, Sally Cronin is hosting a variety of promotions this year on her blog Smorgasbord Invitation. Sally invites other writers, bloggers and artists to her site to promote their books and work in various categories.


The categories are: 5 Star Reviews and New Book Fanfare , Books that are Discounted or Free ,  The New Smorgasbord Sunday Show for 2016 – Sally Cronin Meets . . . , also known as The Sunday Open House and New Books in a Series .


This Sunday January 31, marks the first episode in Sally’s feature The Sunday Show, and I was honoured to be invited by Sally to kick off the season for this series.

Welcome to the new Smorgasbord Open House and who better to kick things off but the effervescent D.G. Kaye non-fiction author, blogger and epitome of commonsense about life in all its glory. That is except for retail therapy which it seems the lovely D.G (Debby Gies) has a penchant for. I offer into evidence a recent visit to a luxury car show where D.G needed little encouragement to find and test drive the most luxurious ride in the place.

12647374_10156479647390008_6445141193960196071_nThis stunning redhead is not just the life and soul of the party. D.G. regards all the various experiences and adventures that life throws at us with positivity and that spills into her interactions with others, her books and her blogging. Her generosity to the rest of us who inhabit her world is legendary and most of us would feel the week was not as bright as it should be if she was not in and out of our various online worlds. . .”  Please Continue Reading


Source: Smorgasbord Open House – Meet Non-Fiction Author D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life