A Writers Here & Now

Write Here, Write Now

Be in the present. Let go of the past. Live in today. All those are quotes from meditation teachers who help us let go of our egos and confusion so we can become enlightened. I’m a writer; a Tibetan Buddhist, and I’m working hard at getting my novel published. Is that the same?

Writers used to write great books, submit them to agents hoping to get representation. Or, they would send the manuscript to 50 publishers just to get turned down. J.K.Rowlings the author of the Harry Potter miracle was reportedly turned down by 250 publishers. What if none of them had bought her novel? What if she had given up? And why did so many reject her stories? There is a disconnect in the writers writing what is in their hearts which is often very different; and the publishers being willing to publish only something that is proven to be sellable; and the public wanting something that IS different.

Today, J.K. Rawlings would have probably self-published her novel, not very many would have sold, and the world would have been a completely different place. Her stories have deeply affected the young peoples market, which before almost didn’t even exist. It changed how adults read because they are no longer afraid to pick up a novel for young people and enjoy it.

Or maybe she would have been a best selling e-book. Maybe she would have had a blog and not given up. Maybe she would have stuck with it and written Daily Prompts on WordPress.

Wait, am I J.K. Rawlings? Are you? Aren’t we all just trying to get our stories heard? I love the premise, storyline, characters and outcome of my novel. I love that the main couple are Buddhists that use meditation as a tool to overcome stress and fear. I love that no one else has done what I’ve done; written an adventure novel with romance, murder mystery, history and creativity all in one. It’s a damn good novel, a good read (after the last edit is done of course).

And I’m certain all others who have written novels, or blogs, or poetry feel the same way. Is there room in the world for every thing that is being written today? God, I don’t know. I just know that I’m out there with everyone else trying to offer a great story so they can share in my enthusiastic connection with Arizona, Native American culture and mystery, and romantic adventure with a Raiders of the Lost Ark twist.

And I won’t give up. I am J.K. Rawlings in that way. Write here, write now: and don’t give up.


Blue Moon Bench in Print

Good news. I’ve successfully uploaded and set up Blue Moon Bench to be published in print! I’ve just received my first printed copy for proofing, and I can tell you I had tears in my eyes which was a surprise. I think seeing all the hard work in print was such a relief, confirmation that it was really going forward, and the excitement to see the outcome of years of work. It’s not possible, at least for this writer, not to tear up a little.

I’ll post on here where it’s available to order, and hope to see sales soar! I’m confident (ok, that was a pep-talk for myself to not get discouraged).

As I’m doing the last proof read, knowing this is ‘it’, I’m elated and nervous at the same time (is that possible?). The plan is to get the last version to press, I buy a number of copies, and then begin finding local independent book stores to pick up the novel and promote it.

I really believe others will enjoy learning about the story of “What happened that night on Blue Moon Bench.”

Me? I just want to see others enjoy reading it so they review it, and recommend it, and copies sell, and the temple (Kunzang Palyul Choling) benefits from that sale.

Don’t want to wait? Download the e-version on Kindle, iBookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Just search for Blue Moon Bench Blanchard.

Happy reading!

Tony Hillerman Prize

I’ve worked so hard on this novel, and it took so long to get it just right, but sadly I haven’t had the time to promote or find ways to market it because I work fulltime as a UX/UI Designer for the government.  I just learned about the Tony Hillerman Prize which is a competition for mystery novels set in the American southwest, written by a first-time author in the mystery genre. A perfect fit for Blue Moon Bench. So off it goes!!

St. Martin's PressThis novel was in inspiration that came from my love of the southwest, its culture, and its beauty. Now that I’m living on the east coast I often look back at when I was writing it while living in Tucson, Arizona, and it brings great joy to think it might actually find an audience that loves the southwest and romantic fiction like I do.

I’m very excited about sending my novel off to the competition, and hope you will all wish me well. This is my first attempt since self publishing it (besides this site, and my book trailer) at trying to get this novel off the shelf and into the hands of the readers!

Murder Mystery Book Trailer

I created this book trailer for my murder mystery novel “Blue Moon Bench”. The real meaning of ‘mystery’ is suspense and expectation; reminiscent of the Hitchcock/du Maurier’s thriller ‘Rebecca’. This trailer will reveal  (To view full screen: Click on the four-arrow graphic to the left of the word ‘Vimeo” hit escape to return).


Staged in the rugged beauty of the southwest, this story unravels as illustrator Jessica needs to solve the murder of her new husbands first wife to save their marriage, or possibly her own life. Is she married to a murderer?

Jessica married what she thought was the perfect man after a passionate three-month liaison. Now, as the wife of a wealthy Anthropologist and ranch owner living in Arizona, meditating and living her dream of comfort in all things, her days were perfect. That is, until the mysterious death of Rachel, Alex’s first wife, begins to interfere.

The Rachel had been stunningly beautiful, accomplished and well loved, but her dead body was found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon only a year before, and no one wanted to talk to Jessica about just what happened that night on Blue Moon Bench. The Chindi (Navajo spirits of the dead) may be involved, but the Dine'(Navajo) do not speak of this to strangers, and to them Jessica is definitely a stranger.

Download the book and find out what happened.

Plus download from your iBook, Nook and Kindle book stores. Just search for Blue Moon Bench Blanchard.

Thanks. I hope you really enjoy it, and please come back and post a comment.

Best Summer Novel Ever!

BMBCoverKindleAre you looking for a great summer novel? An escape, an unexpected story that you can lose yourself in? Stop looking, and download Blue Moon Bench!

Every woman’s dream is to find the perfect soul mate, the man who has everything. Jessica meets her handsome husband, a wealthy ranch owner, intelligent, tall, dark and loving, and knows this is what every woman dreams.  They marry after knowing each other only three months, and she leaves her career in San Francisco to move into his amazing ranch house built by his family a generation before. He even renovated the old ranch house into an art studio so she can continue to do illustration with every detail down to the beehive fireplace in the corner. How could any woman resist?

Then one day, while visiting the Hopi reservation, her husbands best friend takes her aside and says, “Did you know his alibi the night his wife died is a lie? I’m worried about you. I’m here if you need a friend.” Did she marry a murderer? How well did she really know this new husband of hers and could she trust him? Hurt and determined Jessica begins the journey of finding out just what happened that night out on Blue Moon Bench, a vast and beautiful area of the Navajo Reservation on the Grand Canyon’s edge. Rachel’s car was found deserted; her dead body at the bottom of the canyon. Jessica knew if it was murder, her new life on the ranch was about to get very complicated.

Amazon, iBook or Barnes & Noble. Thanks for reading my novel!

Author Dawn L. Blanchard hiking in the New Mexico desert
Author Dawn Blanchard enjoys hiking in the southwest, pictured here in New Mexico’s northern desert.

What Happened on Blue Moon Bench?

The ebook on different readers over the desertBlue Moon Bench, a mystery novel of the southwest, has now been published! It can be downloaded through most major ebook distributors such as iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

The cover art has gone through many stages, but has now come to it’s final version. Illustrator Ashby North went through several iterations before author and illustrator arrived at the final artwork with it’s vibrant and engaging image. You can visit Ashby’s illustration website at  – northartist.com to see other examples of his work.

Please visit “Buy the Book” page and come back often to see the progress of Blue Moon Bench publication.

Blue Moon Bench Editing Completed

Finally the first publication of BMB is finally edited and ready to go to press as an e-book. We hope to take it to Smashwords this month, so you will see it available in all their ebook formats soon.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to contact us so we can send you a notification when it’s available, or make sure to bookmark this site for the latest news.

Oh boy! Almost there!

The Story of the Story

Author D. L.  Blanchard was living in Northern Arizona, working as a public relation specialist for a major utility company when she married and had to move to the southern part of the state because of her husband’s job.  While living there she missed the culture and color of northern Arizona so much she decided to write a novel that could take her back to the area of the world she loved so much.

“When I first wanted to write the novel, I had no idea where to start, until one day I was watching one of my favorite classic black and white movies – Alfred Hitchock’s ‘Rebecca’.”  The movie is a story about a young, naive woman who meets an older, wealthy man in Monte Carlo and falls in love. They immediately marry and move  to his large estate in England, and her life seems picture-perfect until the story of his dead first wife begins to surface.

“I decided to use ‘Rebecca’ as inspiration for the novel, immersing myself as I wrote it in the beauty, drama and rich culture of northern Arizona that I missed so much. I wanted to use the setting of the southwest as the foundation for the story, with the characters and drama’s rising up out of it.”

While living in northern Arizona, Blanchard worked on the ski patrol while hiking in her spare time into remote canyons to study Native American petroglyphs and pictographs. She wrote a paper title “Shaman’s and Master Artists: Understanding the Parallels in Rock Art”  which was published in 1997 in the American Rockart Research Association’s publication “American Indian Rock Art – Volume 23”. Wanting to gain more credibility in writing to help get the novel published, she wrote several articles for local magazines and newspapers, as well as a national artists publication, Southwest Art Magazine. 

Having made a twelve year career of her design talent as a web/print graphic designer, Dawn has finally decided to self-publish the novel so she could offer it to the public, hoping they could appreciate and love the same things she still finds mesmerizing about the southwest and all it’s layered dimensions.