Boys Life Magazine



Writing a feature for Boys Life Magazine, a publication that reaches 1.4 million boys across the country, was truly an honor. The December issue hit newsstands on November 17, 2014 and the story I wrote is entitled 700 Feet of Terror.

I think the reason I enjoyed this assignment so much is that it enabled me to continue writing stories that not only entertain young readers, but teach them about life as well.

I believe this is where I am doing by best work, which started when I wrote Saltwater Taffy. Authors who are looking to write for children and ultimately teach them how to leave behind fear, doubt and all the worry of growing up, my advice is to make sure you take them on an adventure where you can weave in your message organically.  If you don’t, they see you coming and immediately tune out.

While I am thankful for beginning my career with Dick Wolf on NBC’s Law & Order, I now know that I am at my best when I am writing for children.  Imagine the possibilities of being able to enhance the life of a child through writing narrative fiction….it’s awesome.  Or, as we like to say here at Saltwater Taffy….it’s SAWEET!

If you love adventure and have a tweenage son, pick up the December 2014 issue of Boys’ Life Magazine and take a read on 700 Feet of Terror.  I think you’re going to love it.  If you would like the chance to win an autographed copy of my award-winning adventure novel, Saltwater Taffy head over to the Bookzone page on Boys Life’s website.  Oh…and always remember, every moment is a new adventure waiting to happen.


7 Secrets For Children’s Book Writing


While there are potentially 1000 tips for children’s book writing, here are my 7 Secrets for Children’s Book Writing.  I used these secrets to write my award winning children’s book, Saltwater Taffy.  And remember when taking advice from other writers about writing…find what works for you and apply it to your writing, but never lose sight of YOUR writing.  More and more, people are writing to satisfy either the marketplace or their agents.  What does that leave?  A bland and boring piece of writing.


1. MAKE IT FUN – Kids want adventure.  Kids want action.  I once heard a kid say: “If it’s not fun, I don’t want to read it.”  With fractured attention spans and our culture of ADD and ADHD, you have to grab your reader on page 1 with an awesome opening!

2. CHARACTERS AGE – Once you determine your target audience, tack on a few years to your main characters.  Kids like to read what it’s like to ‘be older.’

3. PACE IS EVERYTHING – On Law & Order, we had one rule; if the scene doesn’t move the story, cut it.  This speaks to TIP #1.  Kids want the story to read stories that are fun and cook! Read more

MIDDLE GRADE FICTION: You Have To Really Want It!

Middle Grade FictionMiddle Grade Fiction: You Have to Really Want It

Writing a Middle Grade Fiction novel has taught me many things, but the one thing it’s really taught me is that you have to really want it.  After 7 cities and a grueling 14-day tour that took me as far as the Big Easy of New Orleans, Louisiana, I am back on the road of adventure that will make Saltwater Taffy a best selling book for Tweens.

We have had some amazing things happen at the Saltwater Taffy Network as of late, most of which will be a mention in the upcoming issue of Scholastic Instructor Magazine, hitting shelves in May.  Yes, that is HUGE for an independent book, but as one Teacher of the Year remind me in an email, ‘it is not a surprise.’   Read more

WRITING FOR CHILDREN: Know The Number One Ingredient

Writing for childrenWRITING FOR CHILDREN: Know the Number One Ingredient

When writing for children, we must remember the number one thing is to LOVE WHAT WE ARE WRITING.

Trust me when I say that if you don’t love the story you are telling, it will show up on the page.  It will lack the heart that is necessary to connect with one of the toughest markets in all of publishing; middle grade fiction.

If you set out to make the best-seller list, you will most certainly fail. When you are… Read more

Domestic Violence Disguised as Entertainment

domestic violence disguised as entertainmentDomestic Violence Disguised as Entertainment

We are so used to domestic violence disguised as entertainment, our moral responsibilities are being sold down the river.  Maybe Phil Collins had it right when he said, ‘I don’t care anymore…you hear me, I don’t care anymore.”

I left the comforts and steady pay of the cop world drama on LAW & ORDER because the stories of murder began to take it’s toll on my soul.  Every day we’d sit around and create more stories of murder.  This is how I was using my creativity?  The glorification of murder?  I decided it was time to tell other stories.  Having been involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica, I finally found my way into the telling stories for children. You could say I am now very protective of ‘my kids’, which are mostly the middle school children across the country, so when a network decides to use domestic violence disguised as entertainment where kids are the center of all the violence, I have to say, enough is enough.

Having grown up watching the original Hawaii Five-O, not to mention a fan of Scott Caan’s, I decided to DVR the new Hawaii Five-O.  I know what I am going to get with a show like this, situational domestic violence, guns, murder, and all things network television cop drama.  What I didn’t account on getting was a storyline involving situational domestic violence in front of and around a child.

As the author of Saltwater Taffy, a children’s adventure novel that inspires as much as it entertains, I have a big issue with most of the network programming we have today.  Like most stories of situational domestic violence

Read more