Welcome to My Website!

Allow me to show you around! 

I’m Dana Lockhart, an aspiring author entering the publishing world.  I typically write urban fantasy novels with a little coming-of-age realism.  My first novel The Un-Life of William Moore has had over 300 hours hot and trending during its Kindle Scout campaign and is on its way to publication.

My website is primarily set up as a blog where I talk about writing and anything else that comes to mind.  I blog approximately once or twice a week.  Only about 10 blog posts show on the main page.  You can view older posts to the left under “archive.” 

Also to the left you will find all sorts of information from how to buy one of my books to a little bit about me.  “Home” will take you back to the main page. If you can't wait for more blog updates, you can check out my gaming articles on DVS Gaming, in which I post at least 4 a week ranging from new game press releases to editorials and reviews. 

You might have noticed a pop-up in the lower right corner askin…

Moving Up - Or At Least Around - in the World

I’m getting more and more serious about making writing my full time career, so I’m taking anything and everything that will help me achieve that dream. Which leads to three big announcements:

I am now a writer/game reviewer for SipReadRepeatI was accepted into the Medium publication “Curiosity Never Killed the Writer”I was officially voted in as the president of the Hannibal Writers Guild this month

My Growing Professional Gamer Status It was all well and good writing gaming articles for exposure with DVS. I really didn’t mind at all. I got a load of worthwhile experience and I came out the other end feeling like I got significantly better at writing journalism. I went from every article I wrote having problems - passive voice, high  Flesch-Kincaid reading scores (meaning my writing was too complicated), not enough transitions - to almost every first draft being in the green light with all these things. My writing was trained over time to be better just with simple practice.

But times c…

I’ve Never Won NaNoWriMo, And That’s Okay

National Novel Writing Month. It is both the bane of writers and the savior. Write the rough draft of a novel in one month, they said. It’s 100% possible, they said. It will be fun, they said. I don’t know who they are, but they’re a totally different type of person than I am.

After four years of participating, I’ve never won a single year of NaNoWriMo yet. And I’m perfectly okay with that. Sure, NaNo might have all these rules and expectations, but in the end, it’s your goals that matter, not theirs.

When Is the Best Time to Write? Write now!
My goal for NaNoWriMo has always just been to write. Almost always, NaNo has been my excuse to either finish a story I was already working on, or at least make a big dent in it. If I’d been unable to get a word down for months, November became the dedicated month to get over that.

Sure, I kept that 50k finish line in mind, too, but it was never my actual goal. NaNo and me, we don’t mix very well. The arguably biggest rule of NaNoWriMo is to …

A Closer, Spoiler-Free Look at Blood Knights

-The Story, The Legend, The Blood Knight-

I’m super duper excited by this, guys. The Blood Knights series, as I have said multiple times, is the most vivid world I’ve ever created. It’s so alive that I don’t quite feel like I’m in control of it. More than once a character has veered off on their own chosen path against what I had originally intended. Villains grew up to be heroes, heroes turned out to be villains. New characters I didn’t have in the original concept just popped out of nowhere demanding to be seen. It’s been a wild ride to see all the stories unfold.

The Blood Knight is the first in the intended trilogy. It centers on Archer Mathews, a vampire hunter that makes a grave mistake and is turned into the thing he hates most. The thing is, he should have died instead. Hunters are almost a breed of supernatural beings of their own, with fast reflexes and heightened senses tuned into finding evil, and something in their blood won’t let them be corrupted into monsters. The clash…

Traveling Back in Time to June 2019

-My Second and Final Gateway Con-

It is with a heavy heart that I write this, because the wonderful convention known as Gateway Con has officially been cancelled, probably forever. The three-day writing retreat I’d recommend first above all other writing conventions is being replaced with a one-day writing retreat, "Writers in the Park."

The situation is disappointing to say the least. Supposedly, it wasn’t making enough money to sustain itself. I’d argue that money isn’t the point, it’s inspiring and educating prospective writers, that the friendships we made along the way were worth more, but unfortunately it’s not my call. Goodbye, Gateway Con. I will miss you. You helped me become the writer I am today. Hopefully Writers in the Park will be half as fun.

But with bad news comes good, and here’s my trip back in time to Gateway Con 2019 and the events that transpired.

-Meeting Old Friends and Making New-

This year was different in so many ways. Gateway Con 2018, my first co…

Onward and Upward

I didn’t talk about it a lot because I was honestly terrified - but this year I lost my job at no fault of my own and was unemployed for 6 months.

At the same time, I was investing in my book, which was also scary. Like, what if I dump too much money into the book and then never see it turn around? As the days drug on without a steady income, I tried to stay positive and kept grinding no matter how dismal things looked. And eventually I came out of the other side.

-A New Job - A New Start-

As of mid-September, I am an administrative assistant at a not-for-profit that helps my local community. While the organization does many, many things (including but not limited to bill assistance and low-cost healthcare), I am based out of the weatherization department.

What is weatherization? I thought to myself when I saw the job opening. Basically it amounts to repairing homes so that they are more heating/cooling efficient. We also do things like replacing siding and roofing and mak…

Fun Facts About The Un-Life (Spoilers)

It's been a while! Hi! I've been busy with leading CampNaNoWriMo workshops and lots of book signings. But here I am today, ready to tell you a little more about my novel, The Un-Life of William Moore.

I highly suggest reading the novel before reading these "fun facts," as there are spoilers ahead. You can purchase the book at most all places you buy books, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local book store.

-Fun Facts About The Un-Life of William Moore-
1)The novel is approximately 63k words.When I first “finished” the story, it only had 35k. Being so short and condensed, the story's pace was way too fast.The additional word count helped to slow things down, develop characters, and make it a more standard sized novel.
2)  My first working title was “Billy the Vampire.” This title made it too obvious what the story was about, even though it conveyed the corny tone I wanted at the time.Later, I wanted to make it more subtle.I chose the official title (The …

Preparing for Gateway Con 2019

-My Second Year at Gateway to Publishing-

I had an amazing time last year at Gateway Con. I met some amazing people and also made a good friend (looking at you, android). I learned a lot and came home with pages of notes on how to improve my writing and my brand. After such an awesome experience, I couldn't wait for the next one to come around.

Though I pitched The Un-Life of William Moore to agents there, ultimately I decided to self-publish it. It's my first story, and as such it has the most of my heart and soul in it. While the changes some agents recommended weren't unreasonable, I wanted to remain as true as I could to what The Un-Life was to me.

Still, I applied what I had learned to the story. I connected with people that helped me improve it even further. I still came out of Gateway Con successful, in my mind.

This year I will also be having an author table/book signing, so if you're going to the Con, too, come see me! I'll be selling my paperback novel of…

Pre-Order or Get ARC Copies of "The Un-Life" Now!

-Get An ARC Copy Now!-

I'm excited to announce that you can get a free review copy of The Un-Life of William Moore while supplies last. I only have 15 more copies to give away, so first come first serve.

A review copy is just that, for review. It's a bit of an "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" sort of thing. You'll get a free copy of the ebook in exchange for your promise to review the book on Amazon and Smashwords. This copy is e-book only and can be redeemed on Booksprout. 

You'll have until June 13, 2019 to review the book, so about a month from this post date. If you happened to not be able to put it down and finish it by the release date, May 16, I would be eternally grateful for a review by that date. But that's entirely optional, as are reviewing it anywhere else (Barnes and Noble, BookBub, Kobo, etc, etc). If you finish your review early, just let me know and I'll make sure it gets up up.

To ask me for a review copy, mes…

Matte or Glossy, That is the Question

When I'm put in an unfavorable situation, I try to look on the bright side of things. More often than not, the bright side is always the same: a learning experience. Whether it's a bad breakup, a civil suit, or a risk like investing in my novel, there's always a learning experience. And I love learning.

I identify as a scholar, as a student, no matter if I'm enrolled in study or not. And this entire book adventure has been one heck of a learning experience. I always thought I was good at manipulating Microsoft Word, but I discovered new options and standards than what I knew before. Not to mention all the learning of how to write better to even get the book finished.

I received my first proof on April 16th for my novel The Un-Life of William Moore. Getting it proof-ready was a challenge in itself. I didn't embed fonts right the first time, had a bunch of hidden blank pages I had to deal with. But the first proof wasn't that bad. Needed some margin work, but oth…

The Un-Life of William Moore Cover Reveal

After over a year since I started this journey, The Un-Life of William Moore will soon be available to put on your bookshelf. I already had an e-book cover, but to be able to hold this book in your hands I went back and got a spine and back added to it. A week of waiting was well worth it! Here is the official book cover for The Un-Life of William Moore:

I am so ecstatic about this cover. Thank you, again, Zakaria Nada, for working with me on making this book come to life. I didn't have a single complaint on the background of the back cover and am still in awe of how amazing it looks. If you need a book cover done, I highly recommend Zak and her watercolor style book covers. She has great turn around time and great taste. She also designed the bookmark (coming soon) that will come with this book when you buy it at one of my book signings.

-Book Signing Times and Locations-

Speaking of signings, I already have three book signings on the schedule and a potential fourth in the works. …