Soap Experience Sharpened Dana Herko’s Writing Skills

by Jane Gilman

Writing for the “soaps” is a 24/7, 365-day job, says Dana Herko. The slim ash blonde writer should know. She spent 10 years writing for “Loving,” and its spin-off “City.” Later she wrote for “Sunset Beach” and “General Hospital.” Despite the intensity of these assignments, she learned collaboration with the other writers on the show and discipline.

Dana credits that experience as an asset for the writing she continues to do. “I can get inside people’s heads and write from their perspective,” she explains. “As a soap writer, you live with each of the characters and plan their lives both now and six weeks ahead.” Her previous background, after getting a degree in international studies, was working for the United Nations in Geneva, then a job in programming and conducting focus groups for NBC-TV that led to her “soap” career.

She moved from Manhattan to Los Angeles, and married Ted Frank, an executive with NBC, 18 years ago. After finishing her career on the soaps, she spent some time writing movies for TV. Three years ago, she wrote about the frustration with getting and staying pregnant. The book, The Tao of Fertility, A Healing Chinese Medicine Program to Prepare Body, Mind, and Spirit for New Life, was published by Harper Collins. She wrote the book with Daoshing Ni, the doctor whose integrative medicine helped her conceive. She was successful; witness daughter Mila, 13 and son Nick, 9. The family lives in Windsor Square.

Today, she is working on a short story collection and a memoir while also freelancing as a ghost and living history writer.

“Everyone has a story,” she says.

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