Posted in Uncategorized

Fear of Writing: Guest Blogging, Face your Fears

I had the honor of guest blogging today over at Author Christopher Kelly’s blog.  Since he was kind enough to get me access to the reclusive serial killer protagonist of his A Shadow over Vegas story, Malcolm Penn, I figured I should reciprocate.  What better to write about, than Fear.  Fear of Writing.  You can find the blog post, on his Author Meanderings Page.

To meet the reclusive Malcolm Penn, see CH’s page… if you dare.

If you missed Malcolm’s interview, you can find it on my blog at Malcolm’s Interview

In the meantime, here’s the copy of the guest blog piece for your enjoyment.

Fear of Writing

Meraki. (V) Greek.

To do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work.

This is true of many a creative type, but in my opinion, WRITER is another synonym for MERAKI.

A writer puts many hours of themselves into everything they write: blood, sweat, tears, coffee; their hopes, dreams, and fears.

Author Susan Kaye Quinn had these powerful words on the subject

“So much of writing is secretive by nature: an intimate struggle between writer and words; an internal swelling and falling of emotions, both characters alive in our minds and our own turmoil in response.

It’s no wonder that writers hold fast to each other, seeking comrades in arms against which to test our words, and to help gird for the day when those private words become public.

Publishing is an act of courage, and I applaud anyone who does it, no matter the route.”

Fear. Face your fears. Writers face them on a daily basis. Is it good enough? What happens if no one reads it (past your spouse or mom)? Does your fear dissipate if you have the confidence in writing what you wanted?

It doesn’t matter if your genre is romance, children’s or books with a serial killer protagonist (Malcolm Penn, anyone?) What matters is that you write. Every day. Good or bad put words on a page. Napkin. Matchbooks (do they even have those anymore?) Computer screen. Tablet. Laptop. WRITE. What you love. WRITE. Through your fears.

Then… Put it away. For a week. For a month. Let it marinate. Take it out again. Face your fears. Meraki.

Hand it to a neutral third party. All writing needs a second pair of eyes. An editor you trust. What’s that Malcolm? Trust no one?

Write without fear. Edit without mercy.

Until next time,

Dara Rochlin- Book Doctor

Susan Kaye Quinn, speculative fiction author, is the author of the bestselling young adult SF Mindjack Trilogy. The Dharian Affairs trilogy is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial for ages 17+ called The Debt Collector and a middle grade fantasy called Faery Swap. She can be found at: or on Twitter at

Dara Rochlin Book Doctor, {Editor. Proofreader. Wordsmith.} wields her red pen and can be found at, on twitter at @bookdoctordara or via email at . But you knew this already since you are here!

Oh, and while  we are talking about FEAR… be sure to check out the anthology I edited with 22 authors.   SHADES OF FEAR- a charity anthology.  You won’t want to miss their fears. Stories are fears you tell yourself. You never know what might haunt you, or help you.  All proceeds go to benefit pediatric cancer research and patient care.  A worthy cause.  Kindle version out now, paperback out soon!  I promise. Buy the  KINDLE VERSION


Posted in Character Interviews

Character Interview No. 1 : Serial Killer Malcolm Penn from A Shadow Over Vegas

Interview with a Serial Killer: Malcolm Penn

After much reluctance, serial killer Malcolm Penn from CH Kelly’s novel A Shadow Over Vegas has acquiesced to my request for an interview.  I tracked him down as he was getting ready to leave Las Vegas for New Orleans.

Shadow over vegas. ch kelly

Dara Rochlin:  Thanks for joining me today, Malcolm. Your book is increasing in popularity and now you have a blog that is gaining readership, how do you feel about all of this?

Malcolm Penn: Uncertain would best describe my current emotional state.  For a person with my tastes, obscurity is the safest road.  My author is a little hurt as my blog has far outpaced his in popularity.

Dara:  Does the attention worry you?

Malcolm:  I am amused when the experts suggest those of my persuasion have no feelings.  I feel anger, frustration, excitement and even happiness.  There are a few emotions I do not quite have a clear understanding of.  Worry would be one of those.

Dara: What other emotions do you lack?

Malcolm: Empathy for one, seems like a rather useless emotion.  Although I have researched them, conscience and soul are very difficult concepts for me to grasp.  I know I am guilty of acts that blatantly go against the laws of the land, yet, how is guilt an emotion?

Dara: Do you ever fear getting caught?

Malcolm: That is between me and my author.  He played with the idea of posting my picture on his website and after we had a short meeting he reconsidered.

Dara: How long do you think you will continue your blog?

Malcolm: I do not really have a specific plan. As long as interested parties continue to keep my popularity ahead of my author’s.  I enjoy his suffering, but then I do cherish others’ pain.

Dara: Do you have any regrets?

Malcolm: I believe my actions in the past have led me to where I am now.  My present state is quite acceptable to me.

Dara: Speaking of the past, was there something that made you the way you are?

Malcolm: Dara, everyone is a product of their past experiences.  Whether they happened in childhood or later on in life, a trauma alters us.

Dara: I understand that Malcolm, but we have all heard the awful things that serial killers experienced when they were children.  Surely you had some similar tragedy when you were young.

Malcolm: That time of my life is not something I feel the need to share with others.

Dara: Come on Malcolm. Your readers want to know, your fans want to know.

Malcolm: Dara I know where you live.  Perhaps I should take a trip to sunny California, I always have enjoyed the Pacific Ocean!

Dara: Thank you Malcolm for your thoughts today.  For those of you who like Malcolm’s character read A Shadow Over Vegas, available in paperback on Amazon and to download in most formats at Smashwords.  You can also find his blog at under Mal’s blog.

Malcolm: You are welcome, Dara, it has been a pleasure.