Friday, February 26, 2010

Saturday Writers Presents Dakota Banks on "Book Proposals that Sell"

Today in St. Peters, MO: Mostly sunny, high 40, but brrrr it's cold outside right now.

Members of Saturday Writers are in for a treat tomorrow when award-winning Mystery and thriller writer DAKOTA BANKS (aka SHIRLEY KENNETT) will talk at our monthly meeting about "BOOK PROPOSALS THAT SELL." The meeting is at the St. Peters Community and Arts Center, 1035 St. Peters-Howell Road. Visit the Saturday Writers website for directions.

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 (

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.

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.


  1. Sounds like an informaton packed meeting. I'm looking forward to it!

  2. Hi Pat,
    Same here. I plan to take lots of notes and next week post about what Dakota (aka Shirley) has to say.
    See ya there.

  3. Wow! Dakota gave an awesome presentation today at Saturday Writers. Next week I will blog about what I learned during the presentation. We had such a big crowd, Lou and I had to wrangle up about another dozen chairs so everyone would have a seat.

  4. I look forward to your re-cap. Sounds great!


Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...