Hi! I’m Dana.
Here’s a few things you need to know about me if you’re going to trust me with your writing project. After that, I’ll tell you about who I really am. I graduated with honors from California State University Bakersfield with a bachelor’s degree in English, which bodes well for you if you plan to give me money to make you look amazing through the written word. After a long and celebrated career as a wife, mother of three, keeper of the home and cleaner of the litter box, I embarked on a profession in writing that didn’t necessitate footnotes or a works cited page. However, all that college stuff proved two things to me: 1. I can complete a massive project from start to finish, and 2. Research is fun. Once I decided to write full-time, I was never happier. But then…
Writing led me down an unexpected path: to haunted attractions and the scary actors who work in them. After interviewing the owner of a local haunted house, I quickly morphed from writer to “haunt mom” to hundreds of local teenagers, who found home and safety within the walls of the haunted houses in which they lovingly scared customers. And I found a true passion to 1. Scare the pants off of people, or, I mean, uh…to entertain them, and 2. Motivate people to be the best version of themselves.
After finding my niche, I still wrote sporadically but found even more joy in editing. Editing comes naturally and allowed me more more time to own two haunted attractions and mentor the actors who worked in them. I didn’t think I could ever be happier. But then…
With a new partner and using the experience I’d gained through working with haunted house actors, I began a high school program called S.C.R.E.A.M. — Students Creating Real Entrepreneurial Adventures & Mentors, a non-profit program to serve the same types of unique, creative, left-of-center teenagers I’d grown to love. Picked up instantaneously by the local high school district, S.C.R.E.A.M. now meets with students after school with the goal to teach them skills and build confidence to start their own businesses or create events from concept to completion. The students (often referred to as CEOs) must complete tasks on their own but are provided guidance and education. S.C.R.E.A.M. gives these “CEOs” a respectful place to be creative and express themselves, while learning valuable and marketable skills in an environment that interests them: scary stuff.
For more information on S.C.R.E.A.M., click HERE.
Next, my love of haunted attractions took me to a trade show, where I fell in love with the escape game industry, so, along with a very loyal, trustworthy, smart-cookie teacher named Robin, we decided to open Schoolhouse Escapes, a company that brings standards-based, grade level specific escape games to classrooms. The best part is that teachers have to do nothing; we bring the locks, props, and puzzles and the students have all the fun.
For more information on Schoolhouse Escapes, click HERE.
I’m an ever restless Gemini who has started saying “yes!” to new adventures. My next project is just a wee sparkle on the horizon but is sure to fill my cup that seems always just a little. too. empty.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Spirit of America –June 2016
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel –Oct. 2014
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life –May 2012
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas –Dec. 2010
Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Gift of Christmas –Dec. 2010
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners –July 2010
Chicken Soup for the Soul: –What I learned from the Cat Nov. 2009
Bakersfield Life, August 2010 to present
Bakersfield Life, June 2010
Bakersfield Life, May 2010
Bakersfield Life, April 2010
Bakersfield Life, March 2010
Bakersfield Life, February 2010
Bakersfield Life, January 2010
Bakersfield Life, December 2009
Bakersfield Life, November 2009
Bakersfield Life, October 2009
Bakersfield Life, August 2009
Bakersfield Life, July 2009
Bakersfield Life, June 2009
Bakersfield Life, May 2009
The Northwest Voice, Various articles between 2004 and 2008
Writers of Kern, Anthology III, Copyright 2008
Calliope, 2006 – Journal produced by California State University Bakersfield for publication of student literary criticism. Manuscripts accepted only on recommendation of professor.
Woman’s World Magazine, May 2008
Woman’s World Magazine, March 2007
Woman’s World Magazine, November 2004
Woman’s World Magazine, March 2004
Woman’s World Magazine, November 2003
Woman’s World Magazine, August 2003
Woman’s World Magazine, March 2003
League for Innovation National Publication, 2002
- B.A. English ~ California State University Bakersfield
- Magna Cum Laude honors, Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, Hawk Honors Program
- 3.90 GPA in English courses, 3.70 GPA overall
- A.A. English ~ Bakersfield College
- Writers of Kern, President 2009 to 2014
- Freelance writer for Bakersfield Life Magazine – 2009 to Present
- Editor of The Northwest Voice and The Southwest Voice – 2008
- Kern County substitute school teacher – 2004 to 2008
Awards & Recognition
- California Writers Club, Jack London Award (for service to writers) – July 2011
- American Association of University Women, Merit Scholarship – August 2003
- English Department Award recipient: Bakersfield College – May 2003
- National Award: League for Innovation Literary Competition – 2002, 3rd Place
- Kern Community College District Literary Competition – 2002, Bakersfield College, 1st Place
- Kern Community College District Literary Competition 2002, BakersfieldCollege, 2nd Place
- League for Innovation Literary Writing Competition – 2002, 3rd Place
- Kern Community College District Literary Competition – 2001,Bakersfield College, 1st Place
- League for Innovation Literary Writing Competition – 2001, 1st Place