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 spent hours researching the British Museum Reading Room. There she read original writings of Richard the Lionhearted and William the Conqueror.
Hank Tarlow is a character actor who has appeared in numerous movies and commercials.
Her first published book This Bitter Ecstasy, a historical romance from Pocket Books was her introduction to the film, 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 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 Edgar 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 adapted into a script short and has recently been produced. In all, she has published more than 32 books and short stories.
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 is currently working on a book with Marc and Elaine Zicree, the Supermentors, a guide to breaking into Hollywood and ghostwriting a book about the Edna Miller Supreme Court case, and a book about pitching with Gary Shusett from Sherwood Oaks College.
Her first script was Murder Me Twice (a reincarnation thriller and winner at the Cinema City International Film Fest –CCIFF- as best script,) Mother In Law (a female driven buddy dramady with a supernatural twist – also a winner at CCIFF and the Broad Humor Festival,) Dragon Seeds (a psychological horror written with director Sean McNamara,) The Presence (a psychological horror), .A Match Made in Heaven (a true romantic comedy – winner at the Broad Humor Festival.), Guilty Prey (you always thought your attorney's were blood suckers and now they are,) Simon Sez, a kids adventure ala Spy Kids and Chasing Ghosts, a NASCAR film. She has a spec TV pilot Gangsta (Southland meets Precious), Golden Murders (The Nanny meets Murder She Wrote) and is working on Discovery of Evidence, a true crime, based on a case, which, she worked on as a forensic nurse. She was recently hired to write the realty shows for rapper DMC (Planet Rock) and for Christy Buss (The Buss Stop.) The later to be produced by the Mark Wolper company. Recently she won the Writer's Boot Camp excellence for writing and their fellowship scholarship for her pilot Gangsta.
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 and currently teaches and mentors at AWG. She participated in the "Inside Out Writers Program," writers teaching incarcerated gang members how to express themselves. 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, Serita also consults with writers and directors on their projects making sure they are medically correct.
Saving Spirit, an original script for Larry Levinson/ Hallmark - in pre production
Champagne for Two – Warner Home Video
Lilac Dreams – Warner Home Video
Dragon Seeds – Best screenplay the Cinema City International Film Fest
Murder Me Twice – Finalist ISA award, Best Screenplay Cinema City International Film Festival
Mother in Law – Cinema City Film Fest; Best Dramady – Broad Humor Festival
The Unborn – Edgar nomination for short story and now a short film, soon to be a feature
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
Lightning and Fire – Best Biblical Romance RWA (now a screenplay.); Geller Festival finalist
Deceptive Desires – Best Western Romantic Suspense (now Logan's Land screenplay.)
Unholy Orders – McCavity and Anthony Awards
Red Sea, Dead Sea – Anthony Award
Gangsta - Writers Boot Camp Fellowship Award