Dakota will talk us through a real-life query letter and synopsis that sold, and talk about an opening hook for your manuscript. She will have handouts and members can e-mail her after the presentation with any questions that weren't covered (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dakota Banks (aka Shirley Kennett) grew up in a converted turn-of-the-century funeral home, complete with blood gutters and multiple drains in the basement floor, and it probably warped her mind. She set aside all those macabre thoughts spawned by reading books in the basement at night with a flashlight and undertook a relatively normal life. Dakota published six books, all hard-edged suspense thrillers dealing with virtual reality, one of them set in a near-future world. Something was missing, though, and it took her 600,000 words to find out what. Although the thrillers extrapolated trends in forensic science, computer simulation, and virtual reality, they didn't go far enough.
She felt hemmed in by reality. She needed to get back into the basement with a flashlight and write from that perspective. Dark Time, the first book in the Mortal Path series, is a supernatural thriller/dark urban fantasy, with a little horror and romance thrown in for seasoning. Book two, Sacrifice, will be out in September 2010.
Dakota lives on the western fringe of St. Louis, Missouri with her husband. Her two sons, one adopted from Peru and the other from Ethiopia, are in college. She's a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America, American Crime Writers League, and a board member of International Thriller Writers. http://www.dakota-banks.com/
In addition to her talk, Dakota will have paperbacks to sell. Announcement of our winner of the Saturday Writers' February members-only contest about "Love" will also be announced.