About Me

Congratulations! You’ve found the most important page on this site. The me-me-me page.   Children's Author, Screenwriter, and Wannabe Rockstar

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 a few picture books to major publishers and recently optioned my first original screenplay. Another screenplay of mine is set to shoot in November 2017. My debut picture book is out in 2017.

As far as my children’s writing goes, on a basic level, I want to write kids books that inspire kids to be more creative, more confident, and more compassionate. Thus far, I’ve focused on non-fiction picture book biographies of musicians who overcome significant struggles to make the world a better place with their music. Here are some more details on my forthcoming picture books:

  1. Muddy: The Story of Muddy Waters (Atheneum), illustrated by Evan Turk, is officially available through Amazon!Table spread of images from my new book Muddy: The Story of Muddy Waters
  2. Stalebread Charlie and the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band (Clarion), illustrated by Don Tate, is due out Summer 2018.
  3. When Angels Sing: The Story of Music Legend Carlos Santana (Atheneum), illustrated by Jose Ramirez, is due out Fall 2018

I’m also just breaking into Hollywood and recently signed my first option for an original screenplay I wrote! It’s an action-thriller in the vane of the Transporter movies. Not trying to change the world here, just pure entertainment.

A few other fun facts:

  • I’m a preacher’s kid.
  • In a past life, I was a lead guitarist in a well-known, Southern California 80s cover band called Neon Nation. (Commence laughing. To continue laughing, go to www.neonnation.net).
  • 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.)
  • Most importantly, I’m the proud father of a boy and girl. Oh, and my wife is amazing. And hot.

Blog Mission

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.

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