Dana Lemaster

I grew up in a family that loved stories and conversations. One usually led to the other, then back again. Those family gatherings inspired me to write stories of my own. I longed to share them with others.

Born in
Film Buff

But growing up in Kentucky, I heard people say girls should be ladies. Nobody thought I fit the bill. I was curious and talkative, with an outsized imagination; Writing served as a much-needed outlet. Several of my poems were published locally, the first when I was eight years old. Books and films gave added perspective, answering questions but also prompting me to ask new ones. I dreamed of exploring the world and having a career as a writer.

The chance to explore the world-or, at least, a new part of it-came at age fifteen, when my family moved to the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. It was a big change, but one that led to new opportunities for learning. I was chosen to be part of a team representing my new high school on a TV quiz show. The next year, I went back as the school’s first female team captain. In the fall of my senior year, I received an Achievement Award in Writing from the National Council of Teachers of English.

I didn’t pursue a writing career immediately after high school. For practical reasons, I majored in accounting at college and later became a CPA. My first career in business gave me a look at a very different world from academia. More viewpoints to consider, more experiences added to the mix.

These days, I focus on writing. I write novels, screenplays, and articles. The story dictates the form. My work has appeared in The Washington Post, and I’ve been in the quarterfinals of the screenwriting competition for the Austin Film Festival. All the lessons I’ve learned play a part in shaping my work; I intend to continue learning for the rest of my life.

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