Eeep! One more week! *faints

It’s hard to believe that an idea that began December 13, 2019, as a message to local Maine Playwright, Randy Hunt, to write a play to be included in my novel about actors rehearsing a play is almost a reality. In ONE WEEK (11.15.2022), Waiting in the Wings will hit retailers.

This one truly has been a labor of love requiring lots of collaboration, both on my novel, and helping Randy work on his play so it would work for my story, but also stand on its own as its own project.

But HOW did this collaboration come about? Great question, glad you asked. We did a video to explain it all!

At the end of the day, I wanted to write a novel about actors rehearsing a play, with a romance, of course, and because I’m no playwright, I asked my multi-talented friend, Randy, if he wouldn’t mind penning the script. And he agreed! We are both quite tickled with how this unique collaboration ended up turning out. You can learn more about both projects below!


In the world of theater, talent counts but chemistry is king.

Eva Shaw loves her job as an administrative assistant at The Red Curtain Theater Company. She spends her days daydreaming about playing pretend alongside the lead actor, Adam “Those-Abs-Are-To-Die-For” Rice. Adam is the envy of all as he commands the stage and his leading ladies.

Life is good for Eva as she watches the drama of the theater unfold from behind the safety of her admin desk…until she’s asked to star opposite Adam in their new production.

Thrust into the spotlight with the hottest actor around, Eva doesn’t know what to do. Sure, they have chemistry on stage, but her experience doesn’t hold a candle to the pros acting alongside her. And it shows.

Taking pity on Eva, the Stage Manager, Owen, helps her to get a handle on what it means to be a performer. He’s surprisingly supportive and completely adorkable. The more time they spend together, the less she’s thinking about how perfect an Adam and Eva love story would be. Should she forget about the man who used to get her all hot and bothered for the dorky, but lovable Owen?

Waiting in the Wings is the first stand-alone novel in The Red Curtain Romance series. If you like love triangles, forced proximity, and fish-out-of-water romances, then you’ll love Dani Bannister’s contemporary romance with a hint of heat.

Learn More: https://books2read.com/WITW


Inside Man: Nick Wells is being released from prison after serving 12 years for a DUI that resulted in manslaughter. Now 32 years old, Nick leaves behind his cellmate, Trent, to begin the process of acclimating back into society. Nick’s parents, Fox and Carol, give Nick a temporary place to live, though Fox isn’t happy about it due to their strained relationship. Nick’s sister, Janine, welcomes her big brother with open arms, thankful to have her ally and friend home once again. Janine’s best friend, Tina, literally joins the party as Nick returns home. Sparks fly between Nick and Tina, and they pursue a quickly budding romance. As the days go by, Nick struggles to find a job before Fox kicks him out of the house for good, while also trying to adapt to life after prison with his newfound freedom.

Learn more: https://www.randyhunt.info/writing/inside-man

Until release week, I’ll just be over here, Waiting in the Wings. (see what I did there?)

Dani/Danielle Bannister, author and one week to release fainter


So… When’s the next book coming?

Valid question. Very soon! I’ll be releasing a full-length contemporary romance this November! More details will follow, fret not, but this will be the book that I worked on with fellow Maine playwright/Actor, Randy Hunt. I wrote the novel, and he wrote the play that my characters are rehearsing in the novel. How meta! Stay tuned for interviews and more details about how this book came together in the coming weeks.

Title and Cover reveal also coming soon!

For those of you reading my Where You Left Me series, you might be saying, but what about Vol. 4 and 5 of that series? Is that still happening? YES. Vol. 4 has gone through 2 drafts and Vol. 5 is being written at this very moment.

There is a grand writing plan, that is written in pencil in my handy-dandy notebook (20 pts if you get that reference.) In fact, the next three years have been roughed out.

My precious

Now, even with this detailed writing plan, sneaky stories find their way in. This morning, for instance, I was supposed to be writing a post for my newsletter but instead, my fingers, of their own accord, opened up a blank word doc and typed out a chapter for a new suspense story that was not on the 3-year-plan. I write things down in pencil for a reason. I need to be flexible with this muse of mine. She has a mind of her own, and I want to know where she goes, I have to be willing to pivot. (You all yelled “Pivot!” didn’t you?)

Well, that’s it for now. In the meantime, know that I am hard at work on several projects at once and publish them as soon as I am able within the confines of a day job! Until next week!

Danielle/Dani Bannister


What comes next?

Soon you’ll see, you’ll remember you belong to me… wait, that’s Hamilton. My bad.

I meant what’s next for my release schedule! There’s always another story coming!

So far, in 2021, I’ve released four titles. The Hallowed Realms Boxed set in January, The Second 100 Kisses in April, the Twin Flames Trilogy rebrand covers in June, then a few days ago I put out my first episode on Kindle Vella with a story called Where You Left Me.

On Sept. 7, the book formerly know as Enigma, gets revamped and published by City Owl Press as Girl on Fire.

What is new, is that red mock cover in the bottom corner. Waiting in the Wings is set for a November release (edits willing.) It doesn’t have a cover yet because I haven’t met with my designer. Ha. That will happen later this summer. This novel is interesting because of the nature of how it came to be.

I set out to write a romance set in a theater because, as an actor, I see romances happening like this ALL THE TIME (not to me, mind you, but that’s not the point.) So, I figured with all my theater background it only made sense to set another story there (Pulled has a similar setting-an acting school.) Waiting in the Wings will follow the admin for The Red Curtain Theater and the actors as they rehearse a new play. The problem? I didn’t have a play for them to rehearse. I may be many things (writer, actor, Marvel mama) but a playwright I am not. I could have used a public domain work but I really wanted something original. Which meant, I needed a playwright.

This is where fellow actor AND playwright, Randy Hunt came in. While I’d never acted opposite Randy, I knew he had written a bunch of 10 minute plays and wondered if he had a full length kicking around. He didn’t. But he had always WANTED to write one. He asked me what the ideal script for my story would need. And boom. A collaboration was born. I told him what I love to have and he crafted an entire play around what scenes I needed my characters to be rehearsing! HOW CRAZY IS THAT?

Yesterday he gave me the 6th draft of his script for me to plug into my final personal edits before it goes to the editor in October. When I get the cover design back, I’ll certainly be sharing it with you, but at this point I’m working on a series set in this world. Hence, the subtitle, A Red Curtain Romance. Different stories that will somehow tie to The Red Curtain Theater as either a main player or a side one. I already have a second in the series in 3rd draft form and a third in the outline stages.

That’s not including the three other stories I’m working on for next year. 🙂

Oh, and I’ve also got a EXTREMELY LIMITED PRINT RUN 10th Anniversary edition of Pulled which is only available to order a few more weeks, so if you want in on that… NOW is the time.

Welp, it’s time to get writing. Until next time…

Danielle Bannister, author and teaser of titles


The New Norm

It’s day 40 since I’ve isolated myself and family because I’m immune-compromised (thanks, ulcerative colitis.) Thankfully, I’m an introvert so being at home isn’t as mentally straining as it is for my extroverted friends who I keep checking on. They are NOT okay. I am also fortunate that my day job allows me to work from home and that I am tech-savvy enough to find new ways of doing things. I know not everyone is, and that sense of isolation from the world must be horrific.

The hardest thing to accept is that life will not just magically return to normal when State restrictions are lifted. At least not for me. Because I take medicines to actually weaken my immune system (to make me better, ironically) I will be super cautious dipping my toe back into the social pool. That means my UPS delivery man is going to be making frequent stops at my house. My online ordering skills have been homed and primed if nothing else.

I’ll admit that for the first few weeks of isolation, I sat in a daze, trying to relearn how to do everything from the confines of my house. How do I get kids settled into online schooling, how do I get them fed? When do I get to do theatre again? (Midcoast Actors Studio has some fun Zoom projects I’ve been working on if you’re looking for some free entertainment.) Is the show I was in the middle of performing still going to go on? (Mental note, run those lines today, kay?) What about the end of the year ceremonies my kids were looking forward to. Summer camp? Summer theatre? So much is on hold that it makes it hard to get unstuck.

For a while, I couldn’t write either. Couldn’t edit the words my editor was waiting on. I couldn’t ever read the new books I’d purchase for this quarantine time. My muse had hidden under the covers, too afraid to show herself.

That’s when I turned to some old favorites in both films and books. Movies and books I’d read countless times. They provided a much-needed sense of comfort and predictability. There was no anxiety about how the stories would play out. The rhythm of storytelling was refreshed, and I was finally able to edit my words and pick up a new book to read. The creativity gates had been opened. My brain had finally accepted this was going to be a long road and that this unknown reality was now my new norm. Which means, no more stalling. Get back in the chair and write.

So, I am. No more fretting about what tomorrow brings. That’s tomorrow’s problem. Today, I’m diving back into the project with Randy Hunt which you can read about here. He’s finished the 2nd draft of his script so I have a good sense of where his play is going to land. That means my first draft of the novel around his play can begin. Yay for new words!

Stay tuned for news of an upcoming release in the next few months…Yeah, for real. And I’ve also sent off a Young Adult novel to my editor for a possible fall release. The back jacket blurb for this was actually selected as a finalist in the Maine Romance Writers Strut Your Stuff Contest, along with my Contemporary Romance Cover and Blurb for The First 100 Kisses. Readers can vote on the cover and blurb for the published books. The unpublished works, like my YA finalist, are being judged by a literary agent which is all kinds of cool.

If you’d like to cast your vote for Contemporary Romance Cover and Blurb, you can do so below. You can vote for a cover AND for a blurb by looking under the entry for a row of stars. They go from 1 star to 5. It’s a little confusing but even I was able to figure it out after a moment. Ha.

Can you see mine? This is all the genre covers. Mine is up against 5 others in my category.

Voting is open until MONDAY, MAY 11, 2020
The place to cast your vote is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VMW8J6S

In the meantime, I have some new words to write, and soon, some new words for you to read.

Danielle Bannister, author, and accepter of the new normhttp://bit.ly/DanielleBannister


Coming Soon…(ish)

It seems like it’s been forever since my last release, even though Taking Stock came out in September. Since then, I’ve been in revision hell. My least favorite part of writing. A necessary evil.


All that revision means there is a book about to be birthed. Book 3 of The Hallowed Realms Trilogy with Amy Miles is set to go to the editor on March 3. That means we are in the final read-through of the manuscript trying to get it as clean as we can before we send it her way. It’s a tedious process that requires lots of red pens. Not to worry. I buy them in bulk.

I’m also reading over the first draft of the script Randy Hunt is working on for our collaboration. This one will be super fun to start once we have a more finalized script to use as the backdrop of my next romance.

At the end of this month, I touch base with R.J. Keller to check the pulse of our collaboration, so, for now, that is a back-burner project. Excited to dive back into that one too! We’ll be back in March for some more Facebook LIVE videos too! You can check out the archives of that broadcast at, Between Two Couch Cushions.

I’m also in third draft revisions of a young adult novel, which is probably going to be a summer release? We shall see!

You can keep up with me on a daily basis over at my Facebook Group, Write All the Words, Danielle.

Okay, I guess I better get at it. Those words won’t edit themselves. I know, I’ve tried!

Danielle Bannister, author and reviser of all the words.


A lonely job…

The life of a writer can be quite dull. We sit at a desk or a couch and we pluck words onto a screen that no one will likely see for months or even years. Often, we write with no one in the room except the muse. You write, essentially, in the dark. You have no idea if what you are writing is any good or not because no one has seen it but you. But, that’s as it should be. You’re busy molding. It’s not ready for the outside world. So it stays with you, and you alone. It’s the nature of the work, the solitude. And as an introvert, I do enjoy it. Most of the time.

Still, there are times you want to talk with other writers. Pick their brains. See what trouble the two of you can create. That’s where collaboration comes in. When you are collaborating on a story like I’m currently doing with three other writers on three separate projects, Amy Miles, R.J. Keller, and Randy Hunt, you are forced, as a writer, to let them see the earliest drafts of your writing. The ideas, the outlines, the crap that never pans out. They get to see your process. Which, let me tell you, is different for everyone. Amy writes pretty clean first drafts. All her thoughts she wants to convey are there so her edit time is smoother. R.J. writes her first drafts in part story, part notes to herself about what she wants the character to be doing. She’s a second draft fixer. Plugging her ideas into the story in that second draft. I’ve only just begun to work with Randy, but his pre-writing is bulleted/outlined. Each methodology challenges me to be a better writer.

This week I’m working on the collaboration with Randy while Amy returns home from vacation and R.J. recovers from the flu. The collaboration with Randy, will likely be the most challenging. Because the serious play Randy will be writing needs to, in certain ways, mesh with the romantic book I’m writing, we have to know, roughly, what the other is writing so we don’t contradict each other. For instance, I can’t have them rehearsing a two-person play if Randy writes a play with a cast of fifty. We need to have some parallels if we want this to work.

That means, we have to share our early ideas/drafts. He’s shared with me his outline for each act, listed his characters, and notes for major plot points. With that information, I now know who is going to be in my book. Those actors will be playing a role in my book. It’s kinda trippy.

I, too, had to share what I was working on, so he had a sense of how his play might mesh with my novel. I sent him the first six chapters, which is always nerve-wracking. What if this didn’t work with what he was envisioning for the collaboration? What if the voice of my piece clashed with his vision of the collaboration? The project would be over before it had a chance to begin.

Fortunately, he liked what I’d come up with and was anxious to start his play. I, myself, am excited to join these two mediums, that will have two very different themes, into an experience that can be enjoyed solo, or in duet.

Maybe this is why I enjoy having a collaboration project on my yearly slate. It helps me, as a writer, to talk to other writers. I feed off their energy and creativity. It helps me get my butt in the chair. Even if those words won’t be seen by anyone else for another year.

I believe in each of these collaborations. In all of these amazing writers I have the privilege to create with. I thank each of them for letting me tag along with their brilliance!

Danielle Bannister, writer and mesher of all the worlds.


A New Year, a New Collaboration

One of the joys of acting (which I also do) is a collaboration with other creative people. Writing, generally, is a solitary sort of creativity, at least before it gets ready for publication. Which is why it’s fun to toss in some co-writing during a writing year. For instance, working with Amy Miles on the third book in The Hallowed Realms trilogy, or writing a new romantic novel with fellow Maine author, R.J. Keller.

Each collaboration teaches me more about myself as a writer and the unique ways every writer works. It’s a fun way for me to learn about the process (which, just as in my theatre work, is my favorite part.)

For my next first draft of 2020, I am opting to write a romance (cause that’s how I do) but also combining my love of theatre. The book will revolve around an actress and the show she is rehearsing. Which means…they need to be rehearsing something. In my first ever book, Pulled, I did something similar, but used a well-known show, Romeo & Juliet because that was sort of key to the story and only a small part of the narrative. This book, the ‘script’ they are working with will be a bit more center stage, which means … I need a play for them to rehearse.

I could have opted to pull another classical play and try to find something that might line up with my book’s theme (or the opposite of it.) Instead, I decided to see if there was a local Maine playwright who either had an existing script or wanted to write something new that would work for my plan.

This plan.

My first choice playwright, I assumed, would say no because let’s be honest, this is a sort of crazy premise. But fortunately for me, he is also sort of crazy (I have no doubt he would agree with this assessment.) So without further ado, it is my pleasure to announce that I’ll be working on this project within a project with the multi-talented, Randy Hunt.

Randy is an actor, writer, poet, director, and playwright among other things. While I’ve only met Randy a few times when he lived in the area, his work speaks for itself, as does his drive. I’m excited to work with an up and coming name in entertainment. You can read his post about the collaboration HERE.

2020 is looking like a fun-filled year!

Danielle Bannister, Author and collaborator of all the things