Just in case you were wondering, dear reader, I was born in New York City and moved to South Florida at the tender age of five. (It was my parents’ decision so it’s not like I decided to take off on my own and say “See ya!”) I wrote my first book, The Enchanted Prince, when I was a second grader at South Beach Elementary School, and it was a critical success. (Uh, if you count the opinions of my teacher, Mrs. Alterman, the Rents, and my fellow seven-year old classmates.) The book then went on to multiple printings (each printing consisting of one copy).
From that point on I was hooked, and spent a lot of time creating more stories. Shortly thereafter, I entered the “gifted” program (better to be “gifted” then “re-gifted” is my motto) and continued writing stories, poetry, and creating puzzles for the program’s newspaper.
I was always fascinated with writing scripts that presented original stories, as well as my own take on established movies or series. I vividly remember an audio mash-up that a childhood friend of mine and I tape-recorded called "Damien’s Ominous Star Fever,” which was a cross-over story featuring characters from the films The Omen, Star Wars, and Saturday Night Fever. Don’t ask.
In Junior High School, my projects ranged from writing my own play, a Whodunit called Murder at Wagner Manor (which featured a fresh take on the butler doing it), to writing a script for Secrets of Dark Shadows (based on the gothic soap opera which ran on ABC from 1966-1971). My fellow classmates and I had a blast videotaping the Dark Shadows’ script, and our teacher, Mrs. Starrett (not to be confused with Mrs. Garrett, the sassy middle-aged widow who shacks up with the precocious boarding school chicks), was kind enough to even have dry ice brought in for the “elaborate” dream sequence (which if memory serves me correctly, got “accidentally” taped over by the videographer…alas, it would have made a great deleted scene on a flea market DVD).
In High School and College, I studied film and television, penning such unproduced scripts as the slasher film April Fool’s Night, with the tag line “Pray that the Joke is Not on You!” Guess the joke was on me.
I received my Bachelor’s degree from Florida International University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, so naturally, I spent most of my working career in the legal field, even going to law school for a couple of years before coming to terms with the fact it wasn’t for me. If I'm going to tell "creative truths," I prefer to do it in the form of fictionalized stories, thank you very much!
After completing my first 500 page draft of a novel, I finally joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), hooked up with my fantastic local chapter, honed my craft, landed my fabulous agent (Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown, LTD), and have written several novels for Young Adult and Middle Grade readers which tap into my love for adventure, mystery, fantasy, and thrills.
Perhaps you’ll get to read them sometime and let me know what you think. And if we disagree, I promise not to “accidentally” delete your opinion ;-)