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Ever since graduating from Princeton (with honors) and armed with a major in English and minor in Creative Writing, I have been a successful professional writer. To date, I have written twenty novels and nonfiction books -- some of them were bestsellers and all were brought out by major publishing houses. My work has been translated into fourteen different languages, from Korean to German, Swedish to Spanish. Three of these books are about writing and the creative process, and one of them, chosen as a Back-to-School Essential by Barnes and Noble, remains a staple in many high school and college classrooms. I've also written for many of the leading newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and abroad, including New York Newsday, the Washington Post, People and Parade. In addition, I've lectured and taught various forms of writing -- from basic journalism to screenwriting, Creative Writing (fiction) to Creative Nonfiction (essays, articles, memoirs) -- at many prominent colleges and universities, including Claremont McKenna College, NYU, UC Irvine, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. Oh, and I wouldn't be a true Angeleno if I hadn't written for some very popular TV shows: I have.
But okay, that's more than enough about me. (I hate that part, but I guess it's necessary.) What can I do for you? Well, I think I can help in many ways, depending upon the project. First of all, I can help you to focus your thoughts and figure out what exactly it is you want to say. Once you've done that, I can help you to arrive at a suitable structure or outline, one that will allow you to make your points in a logical and persuasive way. Then we'll put our heads together to make the work engaging and riveting for the reader. Whether it's a term paper or a short story, your individual voice has to come through, and my goal is to cultivate and encourage that voice in every way. If you're faking it, writing is a chore. But if you're writing from your own gut, expressing your own thoughts and feelings and convictions, your work will always soar. Yes, we'll fix up the grammar and punctuation wherever it's needed -- and I do not mean to lessen the importance of all that, it's critical to getting a good reception from educated readers -- but most of our time, I hope, will be spent on the fun part -- creating stories that illuminate, papers that communicate, and even, if you are so inclined, books that will get you on Oprah. (Just tell me when you're going to be on, so I can set my DVR.) Unless you're planning to pen an epic poem, I can help you with pretty much any kind of writing project, or reading assignment, and, if past experience is any guide, I can do it with the minimum amount of pain and the maximum amount of pleasure. In fact, I bet you we'll find some laughs in even the most difficult assignment. Honest.
In addition to all the public speaking I have done in an academic sense (six years at the podium as the Visiting Lecturer in Literature at Claremont McKenna College), I have also appeared on "Good Morning, America," "The Today Show," "Good Day, L.A." "Geraldo," etc., in connection with my many books and articles. In New York, I began life as a (successful) stand-up comic, and later appeared as a frequent on-air commentator on the nationally-syndicated show "Everyday with Joan Lunden," and on a host of those morning talk shows everywhere from Philadelphia to Cleveland. I will be appearing this Sept. as a Keynote Speaker at the Alaska Writers Conference in Fairbanks, and I have addressed large audiences at the American Book Expo, the San Diego Comic-Con, and the Discover Card Convention.
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