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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book to Big Screen Panel

I helped put together this really cool panel -- if you are in the NYC area on May 5th-- I hope you can make it!

The Young Entertainment Division invites you to a panel discussion

From Book to Big Screen
From True Blood to the Harry Potter movies to Game of Thrones and more, so many popular television shows and movies were books first. Popular books are frequently being adapted into television series and feature films. Join us and meet the sources who have the inside scoop on the ins and outs of this process!


Peter Gethers, President of Random House Studio which turns Penguin Random House Inc. books into unscripted and scripted TV series and feature films and Senior V.P./Editor-at-Large for Penguin Random House.

Esther Newberg, co-head of the Literary Department and a Partner at International Creative Management (ICM), one of the nation’s top talent agencies.
Jeffrey Sharp, President/CEO of Story Mining & Supply Co. and producer of Academy Award winning and Golden Globe nominated adaptions including Boys Don't Cry, You Can Count on MeNicholas Nickleby and Proof.

Jonathan Tropper, internationally best-selling author of six books including This is Where I Leave You, which he adapted as a feature film for Warner Bros., starring Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, premiering in September 2014.

Michael Weber, screenwriter of (500) Days of SummerThe Spectacular Now, and The Fault in Our Stars, which stars Shailene Woodley and premieres in June 2014.

Matthew Hiltzik of Hiltzik Strategies
Monday, May 5, 2014
Location will be provided upon registration.
6:30 p.m. -- Private reception for Spotlight Circle* members
7:15 p.m. -- General registration 
7:30 p.m. -- Panel to begin promptly
Reception to follow
Cost: $50 per person
The cost represents a charitable contribution
Space is Limited
Refreshments will be served. Dietary laws observed

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blog Tour

I was asked to take part in a blog tour. It’s about my writing process (and then I’ll introduce you to three writers I respect--among them, Diana Kelly, who invited me to take part in this tour). So here it goes:

1.    What am I working on now?

I'm finishing up ASH - the first book in the DESTINED trilogy. I'm co-writing it with Darci Manley. It will be published next year! I'm also working on a new middle grade book. The rough draft is done, now it's time to revise, revise, revise! I completed a BEDEVILED screenplay and TV pilotco-written with Santo D’Asaro—it’s being shopped around now. Fingers are crossed on that project! I also write/produce for a TV News station in NYC and have a weekly blog for a popular website.

2.    Why do I write?

I write because I have stories I want to tell. I’m constantly dreaming up new ideas (and often can’t fall asleep because I’m so busy thinking about them). I love creating something new, using my imagination, and watching a plot unfold before me. I’m a big reader—always have been—and I adore books, so getting to write my own feels amazing.

The non-fiction lets me explore a different style and keeps me on my toes. Writing a book takes time, but in the TV news world the turnaround is often very quick. There have been times where I’ve only had a few minutes to write a story, and as soon as I finished the TV anchor was reading it on air. There’s definitely an adrenaline rush to it! The stories are generally about 20 to 25 seconds long, so I have to decide what’s important—what’s the heart of the story—which also helps when I’m writing the outlines for my books.

Then there are the personal essays/blog posts. These let me share a different side of myself—to share how I feel and to give my thoughts and opinions. When people respond, they’re reacting not to a character—but to me. It’s always rewarding (and this is true for the fiction and even the news) when someone says your work really spoke to them or made them think or smile or feel.

Ultimately, regardless of the style or the genre, I write because I have something I want to say.

3.    How does my writing process work?

My writing process varies because my schedule is constantly changing, but I try to write whenever I can. I’m also really good with deadlines. If I tell my editor I will have it done by a certain time, I will have it done—even if it means giving up a party I want to go to, ignoring the shows on my DVR that are screaming my name, or forgoing some extra sleep.  When I’m not on a formal deadline, I try to pretend I am. I’ll sometimes take a class where you have to turn in a certain number of pages or I’ll promise to have them for a critique partner by a certain date.

Here are some incredible friends of mine that I've worked/am working with that you should meet:  

Michelle Lyons

Michelle and I work together at Fox 5! She's an Emmy-nominated, New York-based TV journalist who has produced and written shows for NBC, CBS and Fox. She blogs about her three passions: food, arts & culture and travel. Discover her at and follow her on Twitter @lyonsmichelle. 

Diana Kelly 

Diana was my editor for my weekly blog, and we've kept in touch over the years! Diana is a freelancer writer and editor living in New York City. Her specialties include weight loss, fitness, health, and healthy lifestyle topics, in addition to dating and relationships, travel, happiness, pregnancy, and sports. Diana Kelly previously held editorial staff positions at and Her articles have appeared in print and on the websites of Shape, Health, Fit Pregnancy, Weight Watchers Magazine, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Daily Beast, CNN, espnW, ESPN The Magazine, UpWave, Fox News, Men’s Fitness, Reader’s Digest, Yahoo!, MSN, How About We, and more. Her website is Follow her on Twitter @dianakelly.

Darci Manley

Darci and I met in a writing class years ago. We became quick friends and big fans of each other's work -- and as a result are writing a book series together! Darci is a Creative Director at a NYC design boutique, and has worked with clients such as Estee Lauder, American Express, M&M’S, Gucci, and Jeep. She’s always been passionate about storytelling in one form or another. Her first book, Ash, co-written with Shani Petroff is due, out next year. She is also the creator of the interactive adventure A Defender's Tale ( with Mark Grochowski. Follow her on twitter @darcimanley. 
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