~Welcome to my journey~
During 35+ years in the publishing industry,
I've designed projects for Better Homes and Gardens,
launched and managed a publishing company,
presented keynote speeches, taught continuing education classes at UCLA, and led workshops for industry giants,
national associations, and major institutions including:
COMING in Spring, 2019.
"101 Hungry Book Agents" . . . what they want and how to contact them.
From John Wayne Wanna-bee to Malibu Molli~
Raised by wild bookworms in the reference section of the Kalamazoo Library, I cut my reading teeth on the Encyclopedia Britannica, Rudyard Kipling, and Dr. Seuss. My favorite movies were action-packed Westerns. I decided to grow up to be John Wayne. But dratz, he had a lock on that job!
When my human parents decided they'd had enough of winter, we migrated to Southern California, and I became Malibu Molli: Queen of surfin', sun, and skin cancer.
College, Babies, Slipcovers, and The "Other" Man
After college (UCLA), I married my high school sweetheart and settled into suburban life with first one baby, then a second.
Diapers, dishes, and dialogue with little people who possessed limited communication skills, drove me to craft and quilting classes. After reupholstered everything in the house that didn’t move, I began to sell my handiwork at at local art and craft fairs.
Then, my husband introduced me to the “other” influential man in my life, Dale Carnegie. After graduating from his sales, marketing. and communication courses, I went national (the 80s equivalent of “going viral").
Crafting led to teaching which led to writing . . .
I branched out to design and write how-to instructions for gifts, ornaments, toys, quilts, and furniture: projects featured in Better Homes and Gardens and McCalls, and other magazines, then wrote a book about Bakers’ Clay, a clay-like concoction of flour, salt, water, and love.
This led to editing a Time-Life series on family crafts, which expanded to projects and books for other publishing companies.
What could be better? I worked (in sweats and bunny slippers) in my home studio, and designed everything from Christmas ornaments to quilts to furniture, and was being paid to do it.
But then, determined to explore additional creative venues to satisfy my my love of story telling and writing, I enrolled in the Master’s Film Program at USC. My first script landed an agent, and an option from a major studio, but instead of pursuing a career in film, I turned in another direction because . . .
Suddenly, it was the 80s and the New Age~
Inspired by teachers like Jane Roberts,
Dr. Peebles, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer,
and the Course in Miracles, my husband
and I began a spiritual quest that enriched
our lives beyond measure.
We partnered with Academy-Award
winning illustrator, Gary Lund, to launch
Spirit Speaks magazine and share the “spiritual psychology” that had helped us transform our lives.
I wrote a little book, The Guerrillas of Goodness Handbook (published by Workman) to motivate children to perform random acts of kindness. We published two books in partnership with Beyond Words (a division of Simon and Schuster). Healing the Whole Person, the Whole Planet won a best-in-class, “Ben Franklin Award” at the American Booksellers Expo.
And then, when the costs for paper, printing, and postage skyrocketed, that door closed and another one opened.
Helping writers flatten the learning curve from manuscript to agent to book contract to shelf space at Barnes and Noble and #1 at Amazom.com.
Writers, aware of my Time-Life and publishing experience, sought me out, asking for assistance to engage the attention of the dragons at the gate of the publishing world . . . meaning hyper-critical agents or acquisitions editors (like I had been). This led me to hit the speaking trail to conduct "how to get published" workshops at writers' conferences coast-to-coast. Combining my experience as an acquisition editor and story telling coach, I've developed techniques that encourage, prod, and guide writers to shift into the digital age and create agent-and-device friendly submission packets. I also offer online pitching assistance to writers prior to "pitch fests" with agents seeking clients. Click here for testimonials from writers I've helped move through the publishing maze.
I also continue to work with writers as they move along the path toward publication. If you need assistance with any aspect of your journey from writer to author, CONTACT ME.
May the words be with you. WRITE ON!