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Sisters in Crime meeting

Want to get out of the heat Sunday, September 8? Come hear me interview retired Capt. Paul Duryea at tomorrow’s Sisters in Crime meeting! Capt. Duryea spent twenty years in the Glendale Police Department in Vice/Narcotics, Robbery/Homicide, Intelligence and Internal Affairs. If you’re an aspiring mystery writer or just want to hear fascinating stories about the Hillside Strangler and Paul’s work as an undercover cop you’ll learn a lot during our interview.

The meeting starts at 2 pm (snacks will be served) at the Community Room in the South Pasadena Public Library, 1113 El Centro St,, South Pasadena. Attendance is free. For more information go on line at

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Killer Ratings Book Signing

I will be signing “Killer Ratings” at the L.A. Times Festival of Books on the USC campus on Saturday, April 20 from 10-12. Please look for me in the Sisters in Crime Booth!

Killer Ratings book signing!

For those of you who live in the L.A. area or its environs, come to my Killer Ratings book signing at Book ‘Em Mysteries on Sunday, February 10 at 2 pm. Book ‘Em is located at 1118 Mission Street in South Pasadena, CA 91030. Phone number: 626-799-9600.

I’ll be discussing my life in the TV biz. Hope to see you at Book ‘Em!

Killer Ratings Now in Paperback!

Ignition Books, an imprint of Endpapers Press, is pleased to announce that Lisa Seidman’s acclaimed mystery, Killer Ratings, is now available as a trade paperback.

Los Angeles is no stranger to glamour, celebrity . . . and murder. When Susan Kaplan moves to L.A. to become a TV writer, she’s thrilled to be hired as a writers’ assistant on the well-regarded but low-rated TV series Babbitt & Brooks. The last thing she expects, however, is that she’d find herself working for the beautiful yet seriously neurotic Rebecca Saunders, the show’s less-than-competent associate producer who may or may not have gotten the job by sleeping with Babbitt & Brooks’ demanding creator and executive producer, Ray Goldfarb.

And Susan definitely doesn’t expect to find murdered Rebecca’s body in her office at the studio early one morning. When the police learn that Rebecca torpedoed Susan’s writing career shortly before her death, Susan becomes their number one suspect. Determined to prove her innocence and find the murderer, Susan discovers that all her colleagues have secrets they would kill to protect.

From producers to writers to stars, it seems that the hopes and dreams of nearly everyone associated with the show were being threatened by Rebecca.

Despite the danger to her own life, Susan remains determined to find Rebecca’s killer and in the process unmasks the dirty little secrets behind the making of a primetime television series. She learns that real life behind the camera is far more dramatic than the fictional one in front of it.

Lisa Seidman draws on her thirty years of experience as a successful television writer to take the reader behind the scenes and show how the struggle to achieve high ratings truly can lead to murder.

“Lisa Seidman weaves together vivid characters, delightful mystery, and the wry wit of a true TV insider to create a delicious tale of reckless ambition and literal and figurative backstabbing that will not only entertain you, but change your relationship with your television forever.”

—Sheryl J. Anderson, author of Killer Heels

“In Killer Ratings, Lisa Seidman, a television writer herself, provides a thrill ride through the ambition-ridden and ego-saturated world of TV production, where there is more death and drama behind the camera than in front of it.”

—Sue Ann Jaffarian, author of the Odelia Grey mysteries
and the Ghost of Granny Apples mysteries

“Take an edgy TV production team, add a sprinkling of fierce ambition, and finish off with a large handful of paranoia and you have the perfect setting for murder. TV writer Lisa Seidman, who’s been on that set, skillfully does it all in Killer Ratings.”

—Annette Meyers, author of the Smith and Wetzon series

“Fascinating. Fast-paced. Fun. Emmy Award-winning scriptwriter Lisa Seidman’s debut mystery goes backstage at a TV production company where pride, passion, and peril lead to Killer Ratings. A Killer Mystery!”

—Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand series

“Lisa Seidman’s page-turning whodunit, Killer Ratings, perfectly captures the backstage world of a struggling TV series where appearances are deliberately deceiving and ambition can be absolutely criminal.”

—Mimi Leahey, script editor, All My Children

“The drama going on behind the scenes at a TV show is always juicier than what’s on the screen, and Lisa Seidman masterfully combines three of my favorite things: TV, mystery, and a good story well told.”

—Paula Cwikly, writer, The Young and the Restless

Lisa Seidman began her television career writing for the primetime serials such as Falcon CrestDallas, and Knots Landing, as well as Cagney & Lacy, and Murder, She Wrote. She received an Emmy nomination for her work on Guiding Light as well as Writers Guild nominations for Guiding Light and Sunset Beach.

Lisa spent two years as an elected member of the Writers Guild of America, West Board of Directors and wrote for the daytime serial Days of Our Lives for which she was awarded an Emmy. She is currently teaching TV writing at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, in addition to writing.

Killer Ratings is available via Barnes & Noble’s website,  CreateSpace, an Amazon company, as well as directly from Amazon.  It can also be ordered via any bookstore’s Ingram account from Lightning Source (ISBN: 978-1-937868-13-0). And, of course, it is also available as an eBook from all major eBook outlets.

Writing tip: getting started

Starting a new writing project is always fun for me because I spend a lot of time thinking about my story while waiting in line at the post office or stopped in traffic on the freeway. But at some point I have to stop thinking in my head and start thinking on the computer. Which means actually putting my thoughts down and developing them into an original TV series, a pilot script, or a novel. (Writing a script or breakdown [outline] for a soap opera is a different process for me, one which I’ll discuss in another blog post.)

Sitting in front of the computer is the easy part. But how do I start writing and stop checking my Facebok page, my e-mails, and the Internet for interesting news stories? I mean, even as I started to write this post, the doorbell rang and I opened it to the FedEx man who delivered a box wrapped in lovely gold paper with a matching sparkly gold bow. How could I not open it immediately? (It contained a fabulous bottle of wine and a much-needed credit card holder from Tiffany & Co.–a thank you from my Sony bosses for winning a writing Emmy on Days of our Lives.)

Now I have to send thank you e-mails to the Sony bosses and call my mom in Florida because I share everything in my life with her as soon as it happens. But, then again, it’s another distraction and I haven’t even gotten to the heart of my writing tip yet, have I?

See how easy it is to get distracted from writing?

So, when I know it’s time to start putting my thoughts to computer and, knowing how intimidating a blank screen is (though, frankly, even with words on the screen I’m intimidated), I ignore e-mail, Facebook, phone calls, and the Internet and I just start writing. When I’m beginning a project, I put down all the ideas that were popping up in my head while I waited in line or was stuck on the 405. And then I keep writing, like stream of consciousness, asking myself questions about character and plot, finding answers or even writing that I don’t have the answer–yet. I don’t censor myself, I don’t second guess myself, I don’t look for the right answer, or even the best answer. I just write.

And I don’t stop until I’ve written five pages whether they be good, bad or indifferent. Some days I write those five pages in five minutes, other days in five hours. But tough. I stick with my five pages per day, every day (I work weekends) and eventually (sooner rather than later actually) the pages reach a coherent conclusion and I’m ready to write my novel or script.

That doesn’t mean I have the answer to every question. What I do have is an overall structure to my story: strong characters with goals they wish to accomplish, antagonists, as well as obstacles that prevent my protagonist from obtaining his or her goal. As I begin writing I often go back to that original stream of consciousness document and look for answers to more questions that popped up as I was writing my script or novel.  If the document doesn’t have the answers, or spur me to come up with the answer, I write another five pages a day until I have it.

By not censoring myself, I find that the document is my favorite part of the writing process. And it makes the actual script and/or novel writing more enjoyable as well.

So, if you’re really serious about writing, sit down and begin writing five pages, seven days a week. You’ll find it’s not as difficult as you thought!