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New Award. New Cover.

With the win of my third award, my publisher decided it was time for a fresh new cover on, The View From a Rusty Train Car. I absolutely love it? How about you guys?


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Win Books/Plays!!! For Real!

So my awesome publishers have come up with an amazing promo! Join in, share with family and friends, and WIN, WIN, WIN! I know the answer, but I am not going to share no matter what is offered.

Anyway, go here: http://www.writersamuseme.com/

Go to “New Slogan Conest”. Best of luck to all of you!!

Here’s the official Press Release.


Writers AMuse Me is thrilled to announce the opening of their US division, located in sunny, beautiful Bemidji, Minnesota! It’s a big step for us, to be in two countries, so we wanted to celebrate by showing off our incredibly talented authors and playwrights, and by giving away some free books.

To celebrate the growth of Writers AMuse Me, and the opening of our US location, we invite you to participate in the revealing of our new corporate slogan!

Visit all our authors’ websites and/or blogs and search for the blue letter hidden there. You will know them when you see them. When you have them all, unscramble the letters to form our new corporate slogan, send in your answer to darens@writersamuseme.com along with the WAMM book (1 book or 2 plays) you would like to read, in what digital format you would like and the address we can emailto. If you are one of the first one hundred to get the slogan correct, we will send you the free e-copy/copies. All correct entries will then be put in a draw to win an additional three novels and three plays of their choice, in the format of their choice, including print.

Be sure to use all the letters collected. Some are duplicated because they show up more than once in the answer.

Only one free book per person, other than for the Grand Prize winner.

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New Award and BEA 2014

It all still amazes me. When I started out as a writer the biggest accomplishment I could’ve ever hoped for was to be published. When that happened, it was one of the most amazing moments of my life.

Now two years later, the book has won awards. This past month it won its third. Completely out of nowhere. All the same feelings came back. It was just like I’d won the first. Its a feeling I can’t explain. It never gets old.

NIEA Award



Winning the awards gave me the opportunity to sign at the Book Expo of America 2014 in New York City. I still can’t find the words to explain the emotions. So instead, please enjoy my favorites from the BEA and from the trip to New York that I got to spend with my fiance, Steve, and one of my dearest friends, Vicki. Not to mention I FINALLY got to meet Paula (WAMM Editor) in person which was a thrill! I hope you enjoy.

BEA Signing 2 BEA Signing 3  BEA Signing Paula Bea Signing IMG_20140528_120741599 IMG_20140528_124420897 IMG_20140529_100918649 IMG_20140529_123301857_HDR IMG_20140529_194827868 IMG_20140529_210632099_HDR IMG_20140530_103119502 IMG_20140531_112920286


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And the Winners Are…

Thank you, everyone, for stoping by during the blog hop and for all of your wonderful comments!

And the winners are…

Lee Todd


Anastasia Vitsky!

Congratulations to you both!



Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia


I am honored once again to be part of this great and important blog hop. We, as GLBTQ people, have made some amazing strides on the national and state levels. I never guessed even a couple years ago that my state, the state of Minnesota, has marriage equality. It’s been an incredible ride and I get to celebrate by getting married this fall to my partner, Steve.

While there have been a lot accomplished we still have much to do. There are laws to change, attitudes to soften, and people to educate. Each of us do that on daily baisis whether we realize it or not by living a free and proud life. We have the chance to support each other and those who still live in fear by being an example or being there to listen. I am incredibly blessed to have been able to write a book, The View From a Rusty Train Car and a play, Once… and Again (Writers AMuse Me Publisto bring some attention to GLBTQ issues to the national stage in some small way. Everything we do counts.

Celebrate the wonderful diversity of our world and celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17th. http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/. As part of the celebration I’m giving away two digital copies of my book, The View From a Rusty Train Car. The winners will be picked randomly from whomever replies to this post. Contest ends May 27th, 2014. Winners will be announced June 2nd.

There are many places to visit and incredible people to meet on this hop! Please find the complete list here: http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com/.

Thank you so much for stopping by and keep up the great work on the path to equality and the destruction of homophobia and transphobia. Stay strong and always choose love!


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A New Chapter for Writers AMuse Me Publishing… and me.


It’s here! It’s here!

The fabulous people at WAMM are doing it again! Starting tomorrow (April 1st, 2014) they will begin publishing and representing plays! I’ve had the pleasure of reading all of them and I can tell you there is some amazing talent with some amazing works! I hope you can take the time to check them all out at the website!

Its a new chapter for me because my play is among them the ones coming out tomorrow! Here’s the cover with the blurb. Hope you get a chance to read it. If you’ve never read a play, you’re missing out! They are one of my favorite things to read!

ImageA Play in two acts from award winning writer, DeeJay Arens. Matthew Brendt wants Toby Gates to love him. Toby walks the walk, most of the time, behind closed doors – when he isn’t barking orders at Matthew. When Toby has to leave their get-away weekend early to tend to the demands of a very needy diva in his upcoming play, Matthew stays behind, promising to catch up with Toby the next day. When his former lover Travis, happens to stumble into the cabin, they discover a shared yearning for better relationships. Old feelings awaken, causing both men to ponder a new life together. Plans are laid to meet up again in six months in the same place. While the life Travis offers may come with more passion, Travis has a wife and children he won’t give up. Matthew would again be kept in the shadows, stealing moments, equally a ‘kept man’. Will he jump out of the frying pan and into the fire?

M-3, F-1    Two Acts


Thanks for stopping by and to my fellow playwrights, “Break a Leg” and much success!

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The Plays the Thing!

Once... and Again

Its almost time. I can hardly believe it. Next month my publisher, Writers AMuse Me Publishing, throws open the doors for their play publishing and mine is one among the first!

I am joined by some amazing and talented playwrights and I am honored to included with them. Have a sneak peek at the plays coming out next month here and click on the link for either Full Length or One Act. Musicals to come soon!

For a direct link to information about my play, visit the Once…and Again page!

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Attention Playwrights!


Looking for a place to submit your plays to be considered for publication?

I urge you to give my publisher, Writers AMuse Me, a look at your work. You won’t be sorry.

Here’s the info from their website:

Bearing in mind that artists like change about as much as a cat likes a bath, we are, nevertheless, looking at changing how the publishing of plays is done. You need to know this upfront, and be prepared to work with us if you submit your work to us.

With regard to scripts, they will be available in print (print on demand) and digitally, and royalties on all script sales, for production and perusal, will be paid to the playwright.

Artwork will be done for each full length play and musical work, and will be made available to the end user at a reasonable rate, for use on playbills and posters. The artist will provide their work in exchange for a percentage of royalties from the sale of the artwork.

Video rights will be offered for all plays. We know that people want to video tape them, so a licence will be sold with each production allowing the creation of 100 copies of the production. The end-user can distribute them, either free of charge or to generate revenue, but they will not exceed 100 copies, and they will not put the video recording on any social media or public outfit. The videos/recordings they produce are to be for home viewing only and not for public viewing or to generate further revenues.

We will accept plays that have no production history, but they will be sold at a reduced cost with the proviso that the production group who purchases one will provide us with a review and some photos for our use. Once that has been received, we will add the original production information to the script and charge the standard fees. This will help those playwrights who do not have access to a production company to test their work, and smaller organizations looking to test new work.

Further to this, we will attempt to create ‘promotional trailers’ for each of our plays. These will use a collection of still photos from the production of the play along with other graphics and images, a short script and music. If the play comes to us without a production history, and we receive photos of it from its initial production, we will include credit to the production company performing it. These trailers will be used by Writers AMuse Me and by the playwright to help promote the play in the social media.

At this time, we are accepting submissions for full length and one act plays only. WE WILL NOT BE PUBLISHING ANY 10-MINUTE PLAYS. We intend to expand to musicals down the road. At that point, we will further change the process, opting to sell the scores/librettos as opposed to renting them. There will be no rental costs incurred, hopefully making the work more appealing to smaller organizations looking to produce a musical.

Our rates are set standard rates for the purchase of scripts and production rights. The same rates will apply to all users for all playwrights’ works.

Submission Information:

If you made it through all that other stuff without being scared away, and you want to submit your play to us, please email us at playsubmissions(at)writersamuseme(dot)com (you know how this works… we just don’t want to get the email filled with garbage from bots). Include a cast list complete with character descriptions, a summary of the play, 10 sample pages (single spaced, consecutive, but from anywhere in the script), and the production history, all included in the body of the email. We will NOT open any attachments.


Best of luck everyone!

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A New Review

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here and updated. My apologies. Life, you know?

Anyway, I wanted to share a new review. It’s been awhile since I’d gotten one. This was, I thought, was really touching so I wanted to share it.

Mariah Wilson’s review

Oct 27, 13

5 of 5 starsRead in October, 2013

“This book is possibly one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. The story is so captivating I couldn’t put it down. Arens is an excellent writer and his style made it easy to get absorbed in this book. I was captivated from the beginning and at the end I found myself wanting more.

I don’t want to give anything away, but you have to read this book. It’s uplifting, it’s hopeful, it’s sad, it’s devastating even, but all of it is beautiful. The emotion in it is real and Arens makes you feel every last ounce of anger, hate, love, fear, hope, sadness, grief, disappointment (I could go on for hours) that his characters feel.

I highly recommend it.”

Mariah is a wonderful person who is so supportive of authors. She’s also asked me to do an interview for her blog. Stay tuned!
Check out her blog here:
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Somebody pinch me…

I get home Friday night and start to unwind. As usual I sit at my computer and check-out what I’ve missed all day on social media. What do I see???

Silver Medalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year: GLBT! https://botya.forewordreviews.com/winners/2012/gay-lesbian/

I am still in a bit of shock, but what a great way to end an incredible week!

Thank you everyone for your support! I can’t tell you what it means to me.

Love to all of you!