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In the Spotlight with the #Digital360Chat

Bernie - Today, we are super excited to be chatting with Dana Lemaster (@DanaLemaster) about her career & putting her InTheSpotlight with the #Digital360Chat - joined by @B2The7

We will be asking 7 career questions - Follow along and enjoy!

Bernie  - What is your current profession and what was the path you took to get there?

Dana - Current profession: Independent screenwriter and novelist. Writing is my first love but second career. My first (CPA) put my husband through school. I supported him in his dream; now he supports me in mine.

A few years into my new career, I was in a car accident that caused fibromyalgia and chronic neck pain. It took six years to get a diagnosis & a pain management plan. I try not to let it run my life.

Currently, I'm in the 3rd draft of a novel. It's fiction but with roots in actual tragedy (the rape & murder of a teenage girl I knew). I'm donating from the proceeds to organizations that help rape survivors.

Bernie - Would this be your first novel that you have written?

Dana - I did two novel drafts earlier but decided against trying to publish either.

Bernie - How did you make the jump and adjustment from being a CPA to freelance writing and then a screenwriter? How did you prepare?

Dana - I wrote during my accounting career as time allowed. Once I left accounting, I took courses for freelancing & novels. I wrote a couple of novel drafts to learn the form. Screenwriting happened when a friend suggested I come to her writing group.

Bernie - How did you know when you were ready to make the jump from CPA to screenwriting?

Dana - I didn't! My friend was the one who thought I should try it. But with my love of film, it was a fit right from the start.

Bernie - What is your style or types of topics you enjoy writing about? How does social help?

Dana - When I started screenwriting, we were still fine-tuning my pain management program. I found it helped to look on the lighter side, so my screenplays are comedies. But there's always more than meets the eye. I'm a voracious reader and curious by nature.

I've written film reviews on my site Thinking Cinema (thinkingcinema.com). My novels are historical fiction. Basically, I let the story dictate the form. Social is great for me, as my health issues don't allow me to do networking in the traditional sense. 

Bernie - Your career has seen the rise of digital and social media, how has it impacted writers and Cinema in general?

Dana - Digital makes the physical acts of writing & sharing work easier, ditto research. Social media increases opportunities for contacts & marketing. Digital has also greatly expanded options for filmmakers to create worlds & tell their stories.

Bernie - Do you have a social channel that you prefer and why? I love Twitter and Linkedln is a close second.

Dana - Twitter, and I can't tell you how much that surprises me. I only made the account to help a friend who was starting a chat. The chat is long gone, but I'm still here. There are also some great writing & screenwriting forums on Facebook.

Bernie - One thing you are proud of that you have accomplished?

Dana - I'm proud of passing the CPA exam. It's a difficult exam, & I've always had terrible test anxiety. I took it under the old format, 20 hours of testing & no calculators. Later, when something looked tough, I'd think, 'You got through the exam. You can do this.'

Bernie - Any advice for others just getting started?

Dana - Make your dreams a priority, and seek to learn from the best. Pay forward whenever you can. Cherish the journey.

Bernie - Dana…thank you so much for being a guest today and share more about your career and yourself!!! This has been lots of fun and keep your hometown city in your thoughts and prayers this weekend.

Dana - Thanks so much, Bernie! Great chat! But, I have to admit, preparation was a little difficult, as Louisville has not been far from my mind.