Middle Grade FictionMIDDLE GRADE FICTION: From Page To Screen

What does it take to turn your middle grade fiction novel and turn it into a screenplay?  There isn’t a one-word answer, but there are some secrets to consider.

First off, let’s face it…as writers, we are somewhat of an odd bunch.  I mean, who else can stand to sit in a room by themselves for hours on end.  This says nothing of the fact we are known to talk to ourselves now and again.  Someone once said… 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



Reading sucksReading Sucks is the reply this children’s book author heard when handing out free bookmarks at the Abbot Kinney Street Festival this past weekend.  Sadly, it was delivered by a tweenage boy, who’s father simply shrugged to the behavior.  As a children’s book author, my heart nearly broke when I heard a kid say, ‘reading sucks.’  I mean, how did we fail with this kid?  Where did our system of education go wrong?  Sure, not only was this a tragic statement to hear from a child, but to witness the father’s blasé attitude only confirmed our theory on why the statement was heard: don’t blame the child, blame the lazy parent!

Here is the article I wrote that appeared in the Santa Monica Daily Press:

“Grilling hot dogs, homemade ice cream sandwiches and the snap-crackling sounds of barbecuing corn on the cob.  The organizers of the 2010 Abbott Kinney Festival were ignited this past weekend as the mercury rose enough to finally deliver Santa Monica its first summer day of 2010. Little did I know, however, that a snarky comment from a twelve year-old kid could bring…CLICK HERE to read the entire article in the SANTA MONICA DAILY PRESS!

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

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