If a story is going to fail, it will first do so at the premise level. I specialize in helping authors and screenwriters fix manuscripts in trouble. When you get lost in the story woods, I can show you how to find your way back to your story's real premise idea, and teach you how to not get lost in the future. I will teach you a story development methodology ("Anatomy of a Premise Line") that you can use for your entire writing career that will cut your story development time in half, and help you figure out if any story idea will have legs as a book or screenplay—BEFORE—you start writing. I have worked with literally thousands of novelists, screenwriters (TV/features), and creative nonfiction authors, and my clients have won major literary prizes like the “William Faulkner Gold Medal,” placed as finalists in major screenwriting competitions like The Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and include New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.
Ongoing contributor to leading writing industry trade magazines, including: Writer's Digest Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Writing Magazine (UK), and Script Magazine.
The Producers Guild has one of the leading screenwriting and producing fellowship programs in the entertainment industry. I teach all of the story development workshops for their "Power of Diversity Producers Fellowship" participants. Only working entertainment industry professionals can join the program. I teach feature film, television, and documentary story development.
Published author with a two book deal with Focal Press. Focal will be publishing all my writing-craft nonfiction work.
Started Storygeeks Press as a vehicle to publish my own fiction, but now offer hybrid publisher services to other indie authors looking to self-publish their work. Storygeeks Press specializes in genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror).
Regular instructor through Stanford University's School of Continuing Education. I teach premise development and story structure classes and guest lecture on story development for other Stanford writing program instructors.
Worked with two of the largest subsidy publishing companies as an editorial consultant and developmental editor. Worked with fiction, nonfiction, and creative nonfiction authors to improve their book's structure, story, narrative design, and assure book elements conformed to publishing industry best practices. Consulted with thousands of authors across all major genres.
Founded Storygeeks, a professional services company offering story consulting, editing, and story development services to the entertainment (film/TV), publishing, and subsidy publishing industries.
Narrative pace can make or break the reading experience, but few people describe what real pace is or how you can achieve it. Most just discuss writing, style, and sentence structure, but pacing in any story is so much more than that. This e-book gives a clear explanation of pacing and then shows you how to achieve a solid commercial pace for any story, thus assuring reader engagement and more... read more
The world of how-to creative writing is filled with quick fixes, flavor-of-the-month techniques, and fortune cookie wisdom. This e-book has compiled the top ten creative writing myths that may writers accept as gospel, and then describes each of the myths to show you that they are not just innocent memes, but rather destructive and potentially derailing traps that can cripple your writing and ... read more
The reality of being an author today means that you can't do it all alone. The writing, designing, editing, publishing, and marketing of a book is no longer a one-man or one-woman show. Authors, if they want to put their best professional face forward, must now build their publishing team and rely on third party consultants to help them realize their dreams of publishing gold. But, most author... read more
Caroline Leavitt is at her mesmerizing best in this haunting, nuanced portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family. It’s 1969, and sixteen-year-old Lucy is about to run away with a much older man to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have vicious repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy’s default caretaker for most of thei... read more
Two women running away from their marriages collide on a foggy highway, killing one of them. The survivor, Isabelle, is left to pick up the pieces, not only of her own life, but of the lives of the devastated husband and fragile son that the other woman, April, has left behind. Together, they try to solve the mystery of where April was running to, and why. As these three lives intersect, the b... read more
In 1956, Ava Lark rents a house with her twelve-year-old son, Lewis, in a desirable Boston suburb. Ava is beautiful, divorced, Jewish, and a working mom. She finds her neighbors less than welcoming. Lewis yearns for his absent father, befriending the only other fatherless kids: Jimmy and Rose. One afternoon, Jimmy goes missing. The neighborhood—in the throes of Cold War paranoia—seizes the opp... read more
London—Today—Guys named “Jack” are being killed across the city by a female serial killer with an almost supernatural ability to stay hidden. When Jack Tate, an emotionally bleak detective sergeant, is called in to investigate the brutal killings, he teams with Mae, an intellectual wannabe-detective, and Albert, Mae’s packrat psychic father, to unravel the killer’s taunting clues, until the de... read more
One room. Six People. No way out. And every 13 minutes one of them dies—horribly—unless they can figure out what their nameless, faceless, and creepily mysterious captor wants from them. One woman holds the key to their survival or deaths. But, only if she faces her own bloody past and the earth-shattering truth of why they are all trapped together. Her final choice to own the truth can bring ... read more
If a story is going to fail, it will do so first at the premise level. Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success is the only book of its kind to identify a seven-step development process that can be repeated and applied to any story idea. This process will save you time, money, and potentially months of wasted writing. So whether you are trying ... read more
It is 1890 when two boys stand on a steamship deck and stare in awe at the New York City skyline. Simon Walsh is traveling with his parents, Josiah and Sarah, to Chicago, where his father plans to help operate a family grocery store. Steven Richards is journeying with his sister, Martha, and his parents, John and Elizabeth, to Coal City, Pennsylvania, where his father plans to work in the coal... read more
Naked and alone, Horus is reborn to a realm he does not remember. As he searches to reclaim his past and pursue his destiny, a group of evil Archangels are driven to find him at any cost. While attempting to find someone he can trust, a chance encounter brings him into contact with a family of Cherubs. These slave like creations have no soul and thus lack place on the Wheel of Life which is th... read more
About two thousand years ago, J. C. De Lord came to Earth to perform a miracle so the “saints” would continue to believe in him. But too much time has passed since his last visit. Saddened by the thought that his disciples have forgotten him, J. C. decides to make a guest appearance as a player at Super Bowl XLIV. With kickoff only an hour away, J. C. enters the New Orleans Saints’ locker room... read more
Ron's Sourdough Shop is an anthology of short stories chronicling the path one-man takes searching for his identity. From the death of his parents at an early age: adoption, homosexuality, to dealing with a criminal label that would shadow him for the rest of his life. In the end, the love and affection of family and friends would help him rise out of the ashes of his sordid, dysfunctional lif... read more
As a child, author Ray Rizzo suffered a head injury that left him with severe headaches and occasional visionary states. At seventeen, he began to study yoga and to practice fasting, meditation, and shamanism, which alleviated his chronic symptoms. In his own recovery, he discovered an ability to assist others in their healing processes-a quest that would culminate in a traditional shamanic ap... read more
Ever wondered how twins can sense each other, even when they are on the other side of the world? Or thought about why you suddenly think of someone you haven’t seen for ages and then they call you on the phone – how does that happen? Have you ever experienced or heard of animals predicting earthquakes or even “sniffing” out cancers – what makes them do this? Religion and prayer seem to produce... read more
All of Olyanna’s dreams are about to come true. Everything she’s worked for is about to pay off. And all she has to do is turn her back on an entire world struggling to survive against a government pretending to be its savior. Olyanna’s Rain is the first of twelve stories spanning ten years of creativity and imagination. From down trodden would-be heroes to what really happened in the legend o... read more
After being fired from the Academie des Artes in Paris, art historian Katrina McLeod's job options are extremely limited. Although over-qualified, she agrees to inventory the Baron de Gervay's art collection at his remote chateau in Provence. Her mundane job soon turns into a nightmare as she finds herself enmeshed in Gervay's plot to smuggle terrorists out of France. During the day, Nick Sant... read more
ri•poste \ri-'pōst\: 1. a fencer's quick return thrust following a parry. 2. a retaliatory maneuver or measure. Zeke Sandaman is a twenty-something Boston bicycle messenger living as far off the radar as he can. With no bank account, no phone, no insurance, and no plans for change, Zeke is quietly paying the price for a short lifetime of bad choices. But everything grows even more uncertain in... read more
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When you hire me, you get a veteran book editor sensitive to author voice, especially for memoirs and books on LGBTQ rights and history.
I am a published author, editor, and educator as well as a skilled listener able to convey writing concepts to writers of all skill levels.