Author Stevens, Serita

Born in Chicago, Serita (a registered nurse) came out to Los Angles when offered a teaching job at USC.  With her master’s in writing (with honors) from Antioch University in London, England, she went on to become well known in the romance and mystery field.   

Her first published book This Bitter Ecstasy, a historical romance from Pocket Books was her introduction to the film industry when she was asked if she could write a treatment of the book for possible adaptation.  She continued doing several historical romances including Tame the Wild Heart – a story of James II’s foray into Ireland; Daughters of Desire – about the daughter’s of the king in French Canada, Lightning and Fire – a dramatized biography of Judge Deborah, the prophet (Judges 4/5- now in script form and finalist in the Geller foundation competition for best Jewish writing and Karios for best Christian writing.)  She then Serita turned her attention to mystery and suspense – The Bloodstone Inheritance Unholy Alliance (a young adult mystery  nominated for Best Book for the Reluctant Reader from the American Library Association,) Deceptive Desire (best western romantic suspense from Romance Writers of America – now in script form as Logan’s Land,) Red Sea, Dead Sea and Bagels For Tea (the Fanny Zindel novels) and many more, including ghosting and adaptations.

Her book, Cagney and Lacey, is the prequel for the successful TV series.  Her award nominated  short story, The Unborn, about an unborn child who experiences her mother’s murder and vows revenge on the killer – her father, has been produced as a  short and now being written as a feature (An Unborn Witness.). In all, she has published more than 33 books and short stories.  Her newest book, based on years of teaching at universities, come s out from Motivational Press. It's The Ultimate Writer's Workbook for Books and Scripts. Written both for novice and established writers, it has exercises that have helped Serita through her many writings.

 As a nurse, her two non-fiction books are – The Book of Poisons – a how to book teaching writers on the art of killing off their victims correctly -- and The Forensic Nurse – how nurses help police solve crimes.  . The later book was optioned by Fox TV for as a TV drama.  Her publishers include Pocket Books, Fawcett, Zebra, Leisure, St Martin’s Press, Writer’s Digest, Oak Tree Press, Hard Shell,  Intrigue Press and others.    She just finishing  the feature version of the short Unborn Witness.  The trailer for this can be seen at www.internationalmovietrailerfestival.com/all-trailers/unborn15.  The short, itself, is available on iTunes for a minimal price of $2.99.  A % of proceeds will go to a domestic violence shelter.  

 Her first script was Murder Me Twice (a reincarnation thriller and winner at the Cinema City International Film Fest –CCIFF- as best script as well as other awards,) Mother In Law (a female driven buddy dramady with a supernatural twist – also a winner at CCIFF, finalist at Geller, and the Broad Humor Festival,) The Presence (a psychological horror), A Match Made in Heaven (a true romantic comedy – winner at the Broad Humor Festival and finalist at Geller), Guilty Prey (you always thought your attorney’s were blood suckers and now they are,) Simon Sez, (aka Angel Wings)  a kids adventure ala Spy Kid with a Chinese twist and  Chasing Ghosts, a NASCAR film.  She has a spec TV pilot Gangsta (Southland meets Precious), Golden Murders (The Nanny meets Murder She Wrote based in her Fanny Zindel mystery series)  and is working on Discovery of Evidence, a true crime, based on a case, which, she worked on as a forensic nurse. This will be both a book and a script. 

 She worked on the realty shows for rapper DMC, and for Christy Buss. Lightning and Fire, a story about Deborah the Prophetess, was a finalist at the Geller and Kairos competitions.  Recently she won the Writer's Boot Camp  fellowship scholarship as well as the Talentville contest for her pilot Gangsta. Her Hallmark story Saving Spirit, is in pre-production thereLogan's Land, her western based on her western suspense book Deceptive Desires has been optioned several times. 

Currently, she is working on several book/film deals -The Mark of the Dragon - for True North Publishing with Sean McNamara, directing the film, and The Heist: the Charles Allen Story. The later was ghostwritten from the notes of one of the perpetrators of the FBI's biggest art theft.   The two books were featured at the BEA - Book Expo America - in May 2015. 

She has also just  written a historical true drama The Master's Will about three pre-Civil War slaves who inherit their master's plantation and must fight for their rights in the reconstructionist South, which is receiving major buzz and will soon be a book, as well.

 Serita is a past board member for Film Industry Network (FIN) and is an active member of Women In Film (WIF), the Caucus, and Alameda Writer’s Group (AWG.)  She has taught writing at USC, UCLA, Loyola, Santa Monica City College, University of Illinois and Roosevelt University, as well as private consulting and currently teaches and mentors at AWG.   She participated in the “Inside Out Writers Program,” writers teaching incarcerated gang members how to express themselves.

Her recent book, The Ultimate Writers Workbook For Books And Scripts  (Motivational Press) is based on her teaching at various universities and conferences.  She is a frequent speaker at conferences on the craft of writing and adaptations and continues to mentor writers and teach on various subjects like mystery writing and script vs book writing.

Against Her Will, a teenage drama based on Serita's experiences as a psychiatric nurse, was published with 'True North Press and the script is now being considered at Lifetime.

 The Unborn Witness, based on her award winning short story and short film, will soon be a book and feature.

 After adopting her Romanian daughter, she helped found the non-profit “Hearts for Romania,” supporting the Romanian orphans left behind.

 As a member of the WIF’s PSA team, she wrote the Emmy nominated public service announcement for St. Joseph’s Care Center, Santa Monica, California.  She mentors and teaches writing to independent students and does adaptations, both from her own material and others. As an RN trained in forensics, Serita also consults with writers and directors on their projects making sure they are medically and investigatively correct.

 She has worked as a judge for the SET awards - honoring films and shows with scientific correctness and has  judged for numerous other contests including  the Three Gates of the Dead filmmaking competition along with Michal Shane, Wendy Kram and others. 

 She enjoys mentoring other writers and helping them with medical and investigative questions.

 In addition, she is a regular freelance journalist for L A Splash Magazine (www.lasplash.com) covering film, theatre, entertainment industry events, health topics and travel. 

Film Credits

Saving Spirit, an original script for Larry Levinson/ Hallmark - in pre production

Champagne for Two Warner Home Video

Lilac Dreams - Warner Home Video

The Unborn  - Pupperazzi Productions (short)

Promises Maid  - Just Us Productions (short)

 

Awards

Dragon Seeds – Best screenplay the Cinema City International Film Fest

Murder Me Twice – Finalist ISA award, Best Screenplay Cinema City International Film Festival, official selection of SF Film                 Festival. PAGE semi finals, Circus Road Films - semi finalist

Mother in Law – Cinema City Film Fest; Best Dramady – Broad Humor Festival, Geller Festival Finalist

The Unborn – award nomination for short story; Talentville award for script; numerous festivals

Unholy Alliance –  Best book for the Reluctant Reader by the American Library Association.

Match Made in Heaven – Best Screenplay, Cinema City/ Best comedy Broad Humor Festival, Geller Festival finalist, Beverly              Hills  Film Festival Official selection.

Golden Murders - a TV spec dramady - based on her Fanny Zindel mystery series - Broad Humor Festival, Geller Festival

Lightning and Fire– Best Biblical Romance RWA (now a screenplay.); Geller Festival and Karios  finalist

Deceptive Desires – Best Western Romantic Suspense (now Logan’s Land screenplay.)

Promises Maid - finalist at the 168 Film Festival written for JustUs Productions

Unholy Orders – McCavity and Anthony Awards

Red Sea, Dead Sea – nominated for Anthony Award (now a TV  pilot Golden Murders.)

Gangsta - Writers Boot Camp Fellowship Award, Talentville Best of the week

Flip Kids/ Simon Sez- finalist - International Family Film Festival

The Unborn Witness – semi-finalist – Page Awards, semi finalist Table Read My Screenplay

 

Award from University of Illinois College of Nursing for contributions to nursing with her book, The Forensic Nurse ( St. Martin's Press.)

 

 

Books

Forthcoming...
Heathen Heart
Forthcoming...
Deceptive Desires
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