Month: February 2019

Be Prepared! (Writer’s Cruise Part One)

I was a Girl Scout until I was sixteen, so their motto of “Be prepared”, is ingrained in my head, and it’s a good thing it is. As you know, last week I attended a Writer’s Cruise with the idea of pitching the AMI Series to Hallmark and Netflix. I had my pitch down, my Onesheet made and was ready to WOW my books right onto TV. But there was a problem. The Hallmark representative, who I really, really wanted to meet with, didn’t come.

Robert Burns wrote a poem called To a Mouse and from it comes the often used adaptation, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” And go awry is exactly what happened to my plans. So now what?

The first night I spoke with an editor from Source Books and she told me I couldn’t pitch a Books series that’s from another publisher to a new publishing house, and asked if I was working on anything outside of AMI. As it happened I was. What that meant was I had two days to work up a new pitch and “be prepared” to sell my story and me, to a literary agent or editor.

I worked day and night on the new pitch, even taking a tablet with me to Nassau and making notes throughout the day. By Thursday I was feeling confident with what I had, it was memorized and I was good to go, right? Remember about what happens with best laid plans? They go awry, and mine did right out of the block!

I write romance. At least I always have, but after my first pitch to a literary agent with The Seymour Agency, I found out that it’s not romance if there’s a married woman and a man other than her husband involved. If that’s the case it’s called Women’s Fiction, and this particular agent didn’t represent Women’s Fiction. It was a Lordy Chicken moment if there ever was one!

The good news is I did pitch the new book to an editor of a well known publishing house and she wants me to send her the first twenty pages. I have no idea where it will lead but it’s exciting, don’t you think? And I did get to talk with the Netflix representative about the AMI Series, and she made a few notes and took my Onesheet, so all was not lost.

So where does my future as an author go? I hope up and up! I learned so much last week from the professionals and other authors, and I came home eager to get back to the business of writing. And just so I’m being totally transparent, I also drank a couple of Blue Moons and a few fruity island drinks while I was gone, but all in the spirit of fellowship with the other participants.😉

This is the tagline I was prepared to use to pitch Charlotte Luce to Hallmark. “A young woman searching for her forever, and the empowerment she finds in forgiveness.” Oh well, maybe someday!

Until we read again 📚…


Dana L❤️

The Art of Pitching (And no,not a tent or a baseball!)

When I worked for First Merchants one of the benefits they offered was continuous training, but I never expected to actually use it once I left banking. But here I am, thankful for our trainer, Jeff Curts, and what he taught us about the art of pitching because I now have an opportunity to pitch my book series to producers and publishers, and boy will that training come in handy!

A couple of weeks ago I was cleaning out my office and came across WINNERS DREAM, the last book Jeff trained on before I retired. I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, but it’s not in my DNA to get rid of a book, so I started looking through it and guess what I found? Not only good information from the book’s author, Bill McDermott, but lots of notes and material on an elevator pitch, the exact thing I needed for my upcoming Writers’s Cruise.

One line from WINNERS DREAM that really stood out for me was “It’s all about execution”. All of the notes I made centered around making my dream a reality, and if the AMI Series never makes it to the big screen or TV, my dream came true the minute I held the first copy of Lottie Loser in my hands. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t enlarge my dream, it just means I need to look for other avenues of execution.

Which brings us to the elevator pitch. We had to write one for Jeff, using our own dream as the theme, so of course, mine was on writing. I had an idea in my head about an article titled “When Grandma is a CEO..Chief Everything Officer”, and I wanted to pitch it to O Magazine. I felt like there were other women in my age group who had a demanding career, but also kids and grandkids, vying for her time and attention.

Jeff was the “make believe” editor from O, whom I met on an elevator, and this was my pitch to him.

Mr. Curts, my name is Dana Brown, and my dream is to be a published author. I’m a banker, a wife, a mother and a grandmother who struggles to find time for myself while staying involved in the lives of my family. I’ve written an article titled “When Grandma is CEO” and I think it’s something your readers can relate to. If you will agree to reading this draft, and sharing your insight, you’ll help me be one step closer to realizing my dream. I appreciate your time.

Well, what do you think? I’d like to say that my pitches are stronger now, but I guess time will tell. I’m not sharing the pitch I have for the Writer’s Cruise, because I want it to be fresh when I present it, and you never know who might read this blog!

Is there a moral to this story? Of course there is! The first is to never discount what you’re being taught as something irrelevant, or not important to your life, and the second is to never get rid of a book! There is a wealth of information in each and everyone, and you never know when you’re going to need it.

To Jeff Curts, who taught me so much about myself, and how to be the best that I can be, I want to say Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because of you I was a better leader, and banker, and now, a better author.

And to the producers, agents and publishers I’m going to meet while cruising the Bahamas? Watch out! There’s a CEO headed your way.😉

Until we read again📚…


Dana L.❤️

Book Review of Lisbeth… A Novel by Marina Brown

How do you forge the past with the present? How do you take interesting characters from 1930 and make them jump off the page in the year 1984? Marina Brown ( no relation to me) certainly knows how, and her novel, Lisbeth, is a beautifully written example of just how it should be done.

Claire Elliston is the granddaughter of a Big Daddy Charlie Elliston. Richer than dirt, and founder of the Farmers’ and Businessmen’s National Bank, he has allowed Claire to be the bank’s manager, but has no real relationship with his only living relative. And that suits Claire just fine.

As Claire struggles to rebuild a property left to her by her mother Lisbeth Elliston, daughter of Charlie, the past comes alive as Claire’s mother reaches from her grave for redemption. What evil lurks on Buena Vista, and to what cost is Claire willing to go to find out about her mother Lisbeth’s life and death?

Lisbeth is filed with naughty Southern humor, and provocative situations as it takes you from the era of the Jim Crow South, to the families trying to deal with the implications of interracial love and commitment.

Lisbeth is funny and sexy, warm and poignant, and definitely thought provoking. From Big Daddy Charlie’s hatred, to the love in the afternoon at the B & B, Lisbeth will keep you on the edge of your seat as you turn from one delightful page to the next!

Until we read again 📚…


Dana L ❤️