About Me

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 or escape room 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 kicked out my kids (actually, they all started getting married and owning homes), became a grandma, and 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 customers for entertainment, and 2. Motivate all 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…

My love of haunted attractions took me to a trade show, where I fell in love with the escape game industry, so, I 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. The better news is that the company quickly gained in popularity, so I trademarked the name, trademarked the curriculum, and started offering affiliate roles to haunter friends across the nation who need something to do during Halloween’s interminable off season.

For more information on Schoolhouse Escapes, click HERE.

I write all the immersive stories for our escape games, which is about the only writing I am doing these days… EXCEPT that I also began writing rhyming children’s books, which I NEVER saw coming. “The Girls Who Saved Christmas” is now available on Amazon with a few more to follow this year.

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.

 

Publications

The Girls Who Saved Christmas — Available now on Amazon
The Halloween Granny — Available Nov. 2019 
Where Does Santa Go After Christmas?  — Available Dec. 2019
Papa Ate the Pumpkin Seed — Available Dec. 2019 
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

Education

  • 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

Experience

  • 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
Dana Martin Writing

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Helping improve the world, one written word at a time.