The Day Job: One Year Later

Today is the one year that I’ve been working for athenahealth. More specifically, I work in an app they own called epocrates. It’s a medical app used by doctors and patients to look up drugs to find out information about dosage, prescription side effects, read up on medical news, and all that fun stuff. It’s a remote job that I currently work M-F 8:30-5:00. How is it going?

When I first started last year, I’ll be honest. I had NO idea what I was hired to do. I knew that it would involve HTLM coding (of which I had zero knowledge) but that was about it. Not only that, this life-long PC user needed to learn how to use a Mac and a whole slew of corporate tools like Teams and Sharepoint that I’d never used before. The learning curve was steep, to say the least. Because I was so green they knew that it would probably take two years before I was up to speed in my job.

And then, just a few months after I was hired, the woman training me got pregnant. At that moment, my training timetable escalated. When she left on maternity leave guess who was going to have to fill her role? Yep. Me. That meant I’d need to lead meetings, be the US point person for account managers, and push THE button to launch some of our products to the app. Oh, yeah, and learn how to code as well. So much for that two-year learning curve. Ha.

It’s now a year later and the maternity coverage will be over by the end of the month. And you know what… I’m doing okay. I know enough coding to do the tasks I need to do and will learn more once she’s back and can dive into more training. I’m handling launches, answering account manager emails, and leading calls. All while maintaining my book release plan, raising two teenagers as a single mom, and living with a chronic illness. I’m still a bit shocked at how far I’ve come in such a short window, honestly.

Work essentials: the Mac, my ergonomic mouse, my folder of notes, my work iPhone, my personal Android (which is taking the pic,) my coffee/tea warmer, and lip balm.

In April, I’ll be working a four 10-hour day work schedule which will likely throw my writing schedule off track until I get my groove back. The plan is to still try to do my power hour before I log into work, but that will mean basically writing the second I wake up, which will take some adjusting. It might be worth it though to have a weekday off. Working a 9-5 I never realized how hard it was to schedule simple things like an oil change or a doctor’s visit. (When you’re covering for maternity leave, getting time off is challenging.) Having a weekday off will be a great benefit to the work-life balance. Not just for errands, but for catching up on the writing stuff I might fall behind on.

So far, releases for this year are still on track. The first one is already out, and the second release (Vol. 5) is on target for May. The manuscript for my August release with City Owl Press is already in their hands. It’s just awaiting their final edits so that should be good. And my fourth release for this year is being polished off now. I tend to work about six months to a year in advance. That means I’m already working on projects for next year. That gives me breathing room and time to adjust to things that come up, like figuring out a new work schedule.

Speaking of writing, it’s time for me to get some words down!

Until next week, friends!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and anniversary maker


Mistakes were made…

By me. I’m an idiot.

What’s new there? If you got my newsletter over the weekend, you already know why I’m a moron. And I’m sure you concur with my assessment. For those of you who missed it, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. *a million points for knowing that reference.

I bought 500 bookmarks with all of my books to date on them. Signed them all even.

Then, my publisher decides we need to change the title of one of the books before it releases in April.

*head meet desk.

So… who wants a bookmark or two? Seriously. I need to offload these ha.

If you’re curious as to what title changed, it was for the Yonder platform release.

is now…

The marketing team wanted more searchable words in the title to get as many eyes on the story as possible. Which, I get. I just wish I had known that the name change was a possibility or else I wouldn’t have blown money on bookmarks. ha.

That’s what you get for assuming everyone. 500 useless bookmarks. ha. Grab yours today!

*snort but also take some!

Dani/Danielle Bannister author and collector of bookmarks that are wrong


New Release, New Contract!

A new contract in February was NOT on my 2023 writing BINGO card, but I’m here for it!

I just signed another contract with City Owl Press for a new project, making this my 4th contract with them. The first project I signed with them was their acquisition of Enigma which was retitled/recovered/re-edited to become Girl On Fire. They later acquired film/TV rights negotiation rights for my book The First 100 Kisses, followed by a contract late last year to sell A Single Step to the Yonder App. That title is aligning for an April 3 release, but stay tuned as that gets closer.

This new project that I just signed for was something I was going to pitch to them for their 2024-2025 lineup. Mostly because I knew their release schedule was pretty tight and I still hadn’t written the book at that time. They had wanted me to write another dark romance/suspense/thriller to jump off the success of Girl on Fire. Sure. Easy. No problem. *panics

Fast-forward to December 2022. I had a rough draft of the manuscript but I knew it was flawed. There were some problematic situations and I was dealing with a subject matter I wasn’t sure would be ‘fit-to-print’ given the taboo nature of what my crazy brain thought up as a story. (Seriously, WHERE did this idea come from????) I presented this conundrum to City Owl Press and they suggested assigning me a content editor of theirs to see if, together, we might figure out what things needed fixing to get it to a project I’d want to pitch to them. I took them up on the offer and was quickly assigned such an editor. They asked the content editor to have it finished by April so they could determine if it would be a good fit for their 2024-2025 lineup.

I’ve never worked with a content editor before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we had until April to figure out the issues, so I sent her the draft of what I had and went about my normal writing schedule, putting that project on the way back burner. It was in someone else’s care now. I had months to focus on other stuff while that draft was ripped to shreds. I gave them the draft on December 28, 2022.

Seven days later, the manuscript came back to me. The content editor devoured it. And had some great suggestions for where to improve the story, but overall, loved what she saw. Twisted as it was. Places I thought they’d ask me to tone down or remove, they said to leave in. She helped me see the places I’d been struggling, and offered up ways to smooth over the rough edges. We bounced back ideas and messages.

Suddenly, that backburner project was bubbling over and needed tending. Not wanting my current writing plans to go off the rails, I did my revisions on this project at night and on the weekends until I addressed all of the issues the content editor had. I sent my final revisions back to her and she, in turn, let City Owl Press know they needed to sign this book right now. An offer came the next day to publish it for August of THIS year.


Now what? Now, I come to terms with the fact that this book is going to see the light of day. *double gasp. I can count on one hand the number of people who have read this story. It is NOT a sweet romance. It is NOT a steamy romance. But there is romance. Just not where you might expect it. This one is dark. I’d say it’s darker than Girl on Fire… I honestly don’t know what genre to even call it. Is it dark romance? Is it a thriller? Horror? I’ll let the publisher decide. That will be their headache when they try to market this one. ha.


I’m not quite ready to say yet. I know that’s a lame answer but this one is going to take some time to carefully explain/promote/discuss. As of now, I only have a draft of a blurb, no cover, and no marketing materials. Just a finished content edit of the book and a signed contract for an August release. I’m not even ready to say the title as it might not end up being that and if it does end up with that title, it will give a big clue as to what the book is about so…

In the meantime, I have to write the second book for it. Currently, this story arc is outlined as a duet. And I’d like to have the second book ready to go shortly after the first book is live because I hate waiting for sequels to come out just as much as you do.

So how does this shift the 2023 release plan? Not much, actually. Vol. 4 of Where You Left Me came out last week and Vol. 5 is still on track for its May release. The Yonder project in April, which is done except for promotion, then, this new project in August (which is done save for copy edits), and then MAYBE something in November. The bulk of my writing for 2023 is done. I’m working on projects for 2024 because, despite my constant releases, I am a pretty slow writer. It only seems fast because I write my books well in advance of my release dates.

For now, I’m busy promoting Vol. 4 and trying my luck with Facebook ads (it’s so confusing. ha.) *shameless self-promotion to follow:

WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 1 (0.99 Cents)
WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 5 (Pre-Order)

Until then, I have some writing to do. 🙂 See ya next week!

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and signer of contracts


In One Week: Release Time-Again!

It feels like only yesterday I was talking about the release day of Waiting in the Wings. And now here I am again talking about a different release! Insanity.

Gulp. In one week (02.07.2023) Vol. 4 of the Where You Left Me series comes out. Vol. 5 is shortly thereafter with a May release. My first series… Nuts!

The tricky thing with a series is trying to promote the books after book 1 until the series is done. If readers haven’t read the first book they aren’t going to care about your subsequent releases. They might perk up once the series is finished but until then, you are basically putting out books a lot of people aren’t reading. It’s a long game and one that can be hard for authors to handle financially. There are still cover and editing costs not to mention marketing expenses, for each release. If readers aren’t picking up those middle books, a lot of authors won’t be able to afford to finish the series.

But there again, that’s the long game for you. Once the series is finished, I will do a bigger market push. For now, I’m just working as fast as I can to get the series done. And your support of these middle ‘Jan’ books is so appreciated. (A million points if you got the Jan reference.)

Haven’t started the series, but want to, and not sure where to begin?

There are TWO places you could start the series. The FREE start is by checking out the prequel chapter that I wrote from the guy’s POV as to how he ends up at the wedding in the first place. It’s not vital to the series, but it is a fun short read that gives you some insight into the character you might not get from the series…

Or you can start with Vol.1 which is only .99 cents. I’m going to be running some promotions on Vol. 1 to try to help get eyes on later volumes. If you see a promo, let me know! I’m curious if these new-to-me sites will be helpful!

WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 1 (.99 Cents)
WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 4 (02.07.23)
WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 5 (Pre-Order)

Well, that’s all from me for this week. I’ll be back next week with release news. Eeep! Until then, I need to get Vol. 5 polished so I can send that one to the editor. In the meantime, thanks for being awesome and supporting indie authors!

Dani/Danielle Bannister, author and release of all the books


Vol. 4 Edits Due Back Today!

Getting your manuscript back from your editor is both exciting and terrifying. On the one hand, you’re a step closer to release day, HUZZAH! On the other, the editor’s very job is to tear your book apart and highlight, in red, all of your mistakes. Which you then have to accept. Literally. I have to push a button to accept each and every correction. And there are always a lot. Like hundreds. Despite having read the manuscript backward and forwards. Despite having other sets of eyes on it to check for issues. The editor always finds an obscene amount of errors. Some, as you know, will even pass her careful eyes because…

Some authors will choose to hit the ‘accept all’ button in Word which will take all of the corrections and fix them at once. Not me. I’m a glutton for punishment. I want to know what I messed up. what word did I spell wrong this time, how badly did I screw up my commas this time? Will my editor pointing out my crutch words stop me from peppering every subsequent manuscript with them that she has to cut again? Probably not. Will I ever learn how to use a semicolon properly? Doubtful. Will I ever remember what traumatic past I gave my heroine? Unlikely. But the hope that I will retain the knowledge my poor editor is trying to convey is there. And so I look at each mistake one at a time.

Once those errors are all fixed, I’ll do the final format check for the ebook (I do the paperback upload on release day for marketing reasons) then I’ll upload it to all the platforms so it will be ready for its release day on Feb. 7, 2023. (Ack, that’s two weeks from now!)

Because I now have a pre-order link up for the last volume, I’m trying my hand at some paid promotions. Cause let’s face it, I’m not the world’s best marketing guru. And the competition for visibility in the contemporary romance market is no joke. Even with over twenty titles out, I am a drop of water in the ocean of romance books, so I’ll need all the help I can get!

In the meantime, if you haven’t picked up Vol. 1 and wanted to, it’s on sale for. 99 cents now. Or you can always read the prequel chapter for free right on my blog. It’s only 15 pages but it gives you some insight into what happens immediately before the series starts and gives you a sense of my writing voice.

WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 1 (.99 Cents)
WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 4 (02.07.23)
WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 5 (Pre-Order)

Now that Vol. 4 is basically finished, I will be starting my third draft of Vol. 5 in February to get that ready for its May release.

What am I working on until then? That’s a secret… for now. Hope to have some news to share on that soon. That’s all for now!

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and maker of typos


New Year. New Round of Giveaways!

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I like to do a few giveaways a year. Sometimes they are exclusive giveaways only to my newsletter subscribers, sometimes they are only on Facebook. I like to shake it up so I can make sure to reach where everyone is.

For 2023, I’m going to double the number of giveaways I do so that I can reach readers in the places they are! That means that no matter where you follow me, you’ll have a chance at the giveaway (and if you follow me in all four places, four times the chances!)

So, what am I giving away, and when? Great question.

Yes, I realize the seasonal order is off, but I made the book design before I made my giveaway plan. Yes, it makes me twitch, but I’m moving on. *twitch.

That means the next giveaway I’ll be doing will be the Spring Giveaway of my Romantic Comedy books. That will include signed paperback copies of:

  1. Doppelganger
  2. Must Love Coffee
  3. Taking Stalk
  4. The ABCs of Dee
  5. Waiting in the Wings

Now, when and where will this giveaway happen? Another fabulous question! I’ll do this giveaway in March (I KNOW that seems like forever away, but it will be here soon enough.) WHY March? Well, two reasons.

  • In January my focus will be on getting the word out about A Single Step: A Kaden’s Keepers Series on the Yonder App (release date coming soon.)
  • I have ANOTHER release in February (I know. The Yonder thing threw a wrench in my release plan but we’re making it work.) On February 7th, Vol. 4 of my Where You Left Me series launches.

WHERE YOU MET ME (Free prequel chapter)




WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 4 (02.07.23)

WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 5 (Pre-Order)

So, basically after each release month, I’ll do a giveaway as a thank you for putting up with me. 🙂

To recap:

MARCH-SPRING GIVEAWAYRight here on the blog!


SEPT-FALL GIVEAWAYOn my Facebook Group

DEC-WINTER GIVEAWAYOn my Author Page on Facebook

There you have it! If you want to make sure you’re in the loop on all of them, just make sure you’re following me in all four places. If now, you’ll still in the loop for one!

Until next week! I have words to edit!

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and year long giveaway artist


2023 Release Plan-Get the scoop!

Well, 2022 has been properly kicked to the curb! That means it’s time to ramp up the action for 2023.

Last year, I was able to maintain my goal of four releases in one year. They all happened to be under my pen name, oddly enough. I published Volumes 1-3 of my 5 novella series, Where You Left Me, then ended the year with my rom-com Waiting in the Wings. A lot of W titles for 2022. Totally not planned!

On January 1st, I got the cover image for the Yonder App serial story, A Single Step: A Kaden’s Keeper Series. As of this posting, I don’t have a release day for when it will go on the app, but I’m told early this year so… I’ll let you know!

After that first book, the second and third releases are close behind. The last two novellas in the Where You Left Me series will be out in 2023 as Vol. 4 is already up for pre-order for Feb. 7, 2023. Vol. 5 will release in May of 2023. 🙂 Then, the unrevealed title in August will be released by my publisher City Owl Press. As for the 5th release, on paper, it can be done, but in reality, it might not work out. Hence, why I write all my plans in pencil. Life happens. That’s what erasers are for.

With 2023 penciled out, do I already have tentative writing plans for 2024, 2025, and 2026? I sure do. Are any of those books written yet? Some have drafts going, other titles are only ideas at this point. But this is how I turn the ideas into reality. I give them a deadline by which they can realistically come to fruition. Then, using that deadline, make monthly goals, then daily goals. If you meet the daily goals, you reach the monthly goals, and if you meet the monthly goals, chances are, you’re going to meet your yearly goals. 🙂

Clearly, I have my work cut out for me this year, but I have a plan. And that is, after all, step one.

Until next week, I have a few words to write.

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and planner of all the words


And the winner is…

During Dec. 1-24, I ran a huge giveaway on my Facebook author page. 24 days with a new ‘gift’ each day. All gifts would go to one US winner. But just what was up for grabs?

  • A moody and broody swag bag
  • A signed copy of Short Shorts
  • A rom-com swag bag
  • A signed copy of The ABCs of Dee
  • A character’s name of the winner’s choosing in an upcoming book of mine
  • A signed copy of Pulled
  • A signed copy of Pulled Back
  • A signed copy of Pulled Back Again
  • A bookmark swag collection
  • A signed copy of The Lurkers Within
  • A signed copy of What Moons Do
  • A signed copy of Doppelganger
  • A signed copy of Must Love Coffee
  • A signed copy of Taking Stock
  • A 30 min Zoom call with me to talk about whatever
  • A sexy swag bag
  • A signed copy of The First 100 Kisses
  • A signed copy of The Second 100 Kisses
  • A signed copy of Where You Left Me, Vol. 1
  • A signed copy of Where You Left Me, Vol. 2
  • A signed copy of Where You Left Me, Vol. 3
  • A signed copy of Girl on Fire
  • A signed limited print run hardcover of the 10th Anniversary Edition of Pulled
  • A signed copy of Waiting in the Wings

And a partridge in a pear tree! Ha! Almost ALL of my books (except for the fantasy trilogy.) The rules were pretty simple. Each day, I’d post the daily gift and people could enter using a Google Form. The more days they entered, the more names their name was put in the ‘virtual’ hat. Then, I used Random.org to pick a winner from the list of entries.

And that winner was…

The winner has been notified and their package will be on the way this week. Fair warning, it’s gonna be a big and heavy box!

In 2023, I plan more giveaways on a variety of platforms, so be sure you’re following me in the places below to get in on all of them because sometimes I make the giveaways exclusive to the platform. I’m sneaky like that.

Places to Follow for Future Giveaways:

My Facebook Author Page (general release/book news): https://www.facebook.com/DanielleBannisterBooks

My Facebook Reader Page (behind the scenes look into my insanity): http://bit.ly/WriteAllTheWordsDanielle

My Newsletter (subscribers get monthly perks): http://bit.ly/DanielleBannisterNewsletter

This Blog (all the news and personal stuff too): http://daniellebannister.com/

Well, I think that about does it for 2022! Next week, you’ll get an update on what the 2023 releases are shaping up to be! Hope you all have a WONDERFUL New Year and catch you in 2023!

-Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and epic giveaway giver


So… How did the signing go?

Glad you asked! 😉 As I prepped for the First Annual Bangor Area Maine Author’s Book Fair, I wondered one, if anyone would come since it was the first year, and two, if they did come, would they want romance books?

In my experience, Maine readers tend to be looking for coastal covers, stories told on the ocean… lobsters and lighthouses. All of the things that I do NOT write. I went into this signing knowing I’d be the odd duck out but hoping for the best.

Upon set up, I quickly realized I might be a tad over the top for this event. In romance, your table HAS to be flashy because there is so much competition in the genre, but here, I kept looking around at the tables that just had books and a few bookmarks on an empty card table, and here I was setting up this elaborate display. I kept wondering if I was coming off as a showoff? Was my book display overt? Was the bedsheet I used as a tablecloth too obnoxious. Was my swag over the top? I was almost embarrassed by my table.

There wasn’t much time to fret though because once I had finished setting up, people were already coming in the door. And they kept coming. Steady from 11- to about 3:30. When the sun started to set, so too did the foot traffic. But in that time, I remained busy. I sold 22 books, which was way more than I thought I’d sell!

When things had died down, a few of the authors approached my table to inquire about where I got my stand, how I made my swag, and to just ask marketing questions in general. Me, the one who has felt like a fraud her whole writing life. Oh, irony. I happily answered their questions as best I could and I left the signing thinking, maybe I had learned a thing or two over the years. Baby steps. Even after 11 years at it.

Now, what will I do with the money earned? Replenish my stock for one thing, ha. And the rest will go into the account to pay for future edits/covers/swag/marketing etc. And maybe some Chinese takeout for the author. 😉

Until next week, friends!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and local signing seller


The GI Follow-Up & 2 Fun Things!

Here’s a post no one asked for. But this is a follow-up to The GI Update I posted a few months ago. Back in September, my GI doc informed me that my Ulcerative Colitis that I had been managing for 16 years on two different pills was no longer cutting it. After a colonoscopy, a stool sample, and special labs came back, it was determined: This course of treatment is not working. I was going to have to try a new med. I second tier drug, with higher risk factors. Great. I’d been avoiding having to make that switch for as long as I could but it was time to switch.

After a long battle with my insurance (because this type of drug is NOT cheap), I finally went in for my first treatment. It needs to be given via an IV at the hospital and takes about 3 hours to administer. They had to use a special light to find my veins which are, apparently deep, and why people have such trouble giving me an IV. This new light was like a road map. One jab and we were golden. I did feel silly asking for a footstool, but my feet didn’t touch the floor and I had no desire to sit for 3 hours with my feet dangling.

All and all it wasn’t bad. Long, but no discomfort from the meds during or after. I’ll have two more visits this year to finish my ‘loading’ doses’ and then I’ll be getting the treatment every 8 weeks if all goes well. In theory, I should start to see a pretty fast improvement. Which is odd, because I feel okay already. But here’s the thing. Maybe my ‘ok’ is just something I’ve learned to deal with over the last 16 years. Maybe in the coming days/weeks, I’ll realize that what I have been enduring has NOT been okay. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to the discomfort? Who knows, maybe this medicine is my manifestation of wanting my UC to be under control? I’ll keep you posted (even if you don’t want to be.)

Well, enough of the GI talk. (GROSS) Now, for the fun things!

  1. If you haven’t been on my Facebook author page lately, you should go! I’m hosting a 24-Days of Giving event! One winner is going to take it all so the more days you enter, the better your odds! Here are just the first few days posted so far!

If you don’t know if you’re following that page, you can check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/DanielleBannisterBooks

2. If you’re in the Bangor Maine Area, you should stop by this event and say hi! I’ll be there selling books, but so will a lot of other Maine authors. Books signed by the author make great gifts for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list! The event will take place at 120 Park Street (the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor Church) Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11-5PM!

Okay, that will do it for me for now. Talk to you next week!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and oversharer of info