Congratulations! You’ve found the most important page on this site. The me-me-me page.
So who am I? Good question. And as soon as I figure that out, I’ll tell you. In the meantime, here’s the Revised Standard Version of this thing I call “me”:
I’ve sold two picture books to major publishers. Neither is out yet, but we’re getting close:
- “Stalebread Charlie and the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band” (Clarion 2017). The amazing Don Tate will illustrate.
- “Muddy: The Story of Muddy Waters” (Atheneum 2017). To be illustrated by Evan Turk.
I plan on selling more. I might even shoot for middle grade or YA novel one of these days. I’m not sure. And I don’t feel like I have to be. I’m repped by Minju Chang and Kendra Marcus of Bookstop Literary.
I’m also a screenwriter. My screenplay “Queen of Crashes,” about NASCAR legend Louise Smith was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship and a Wild Ace Award winner in the Las Vegas Film Festival. Did you know that if it weren’t for Louise Smith, there wouldn’t be a NASCAR! This was the 1950s, and a woman keeping pace with a bunch of bootleggers on a dirt track was unheard of. But don’t get me started, suffice it to say, it’s an amazing story!
I’ve also had some other minor successes but haven’t made the big sale yet. This is going to change. Not sure when, but my manager, Jon Karas of Infinity Management International, tells me we’re getting close. To make things easier on myself, I’m mostly working on thrillers now. I’ll keep you posted.
A few other fun facts:
- I’m a preacher’s kid.
- My mom is Chinese. My dad, Scotch-Irish.
- I have a Ph.D. in American literature from Claremont Graduate University.
- I spent 6 months in China studying Kung Fu and Buddhism while in graduate school. Martial arts is a lifelong love of mine.
- I was Pi Phi Sorority’s Professor of the Year in 2009 at San Diego State University. (I have the plaque to prove it.)
- I’m lead guitarist in a well-known, Southern California 80s cover band called Neon Nation. (Commence laughing. To continue laughing, go to www.neonnation.net).
- Most importantly, I’m the proud father of a boy and girl, both under 5. Oh, and my wife is amazing. And hot.
I might not be a great writer yet. But I’m getting better. And that’s what this blog is all about. Getting better at something you love to do. I’m on a writing journey, and I’m inviting you to come along.
But this is not just another “I’m going to teach you how to write” blog. I’m not here to teach you. Rather, I’m going to share with you some of the things that have helped and are helping me learn.
Ultimately, learning how to write is something you’ll have to do on your own. I can’t find your voice or structure your stories for you. But I can share with you how others have found their voices, and how others learned to structure their stories. Writing itself is a solitary activity, but there is a lot to be learned from the writing community. We can help each other.
My idea with this blog is to collect some of that knowledge and present it to you in a way that is helpful and hopefully practical. The basic idea is this: I’ll throw the spaghetti against the wall. You let me know what sticks.
Workshops, School Visits, Etc.
In addition to my writing career, I’m also an accomplished educator. I have a Ph.D. in American Literature from Claremont Graduate University, was Pi Phi Sorority’s 2009 Professor of the Year at San Diego State University, and am a regular lecturer at Southern California, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) events.
My previous events and workshops include:
- 2014 Editor’s Day- “How to Pitch” handout used for event
- 2013 Editors Day- “How to Pitch: Getting the Most out of Pitch Sessions”
- 2013 San Diego SCBWI Chapter Meeting Lecture- “Synthesizing Structure”
- 2011 OC/IE Regional “Master Series Workshop”- “Dramatic Techniques for Children’s Writers”
- 2011 OC/IE Spring Writer’s Retreat at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa in Temecula- “Loglining: How To Do It and Why”
- 2009 OC SCBWI Editor’s Day- “Structurally Expressing Conflict: Screenwriting Techniques for Children’s Writers”
For more information, please feel free to send me an EMAIL.