I write. It’s what I do. And when I’m not writing, I train people how to write. And when I’m not doing either of those things, I edit what other people write. And when I’m not doing any of that, I write stories through novels, movie scripts, and stage plays – I’ve even won some awards for it – and advise businesses and organizations on how to create their own compelling, engaging narratives.
Not to sound like a bumper sticker, but I just believe that writing matters. And I write like it does.
I’ve been doing this for longer than vanity allows me to admit, with a background that includes serving as a press secretary in the U.S. Senate; a newspaper reporter, editor, and columnist; a public relations and public affairs executive; an ad agency creative director; and the head of communications, branding, and marketing functions in both the public and private sectors. I’ve also made a reasonably decent living as a freelancer, which, you know, is kind of a plus because that’s how I pay the bills these days.
I’ve done a lot of writing for a lot of companies, from global mega-corporations and national trade associations to small businesses and not-for profits. I’ve done it in a lot of industry sectors, too – healthcare, retail electric, legal, oil and gas, economic development, manufacturing, environmental, and education. There’s the political stuff, too, and government relations. So pretty much everything is on the table (except opera and poetry): speeches, blogs, ghosting for C-suite-types, newsletters, op-eds, press releases, white papers, technical writing, video scripts, media pitches…well, you get the point. But here’s the deal: The who, what, and size are all relative. It’s the work that counts.
Over the years (the many, many, many years), I’ve trained businesses, organizations, and political people on a whole range of writing topics. I’ve done sessions in an auditorium packed with professionals, a room full of executives from multi-billion-dollar companies, and three people at a conference table. Makes no difference. The content is current, relevant, thoroughly researched, and customized. And if you need some other kind of instruction – media, public speaking, crisis, presentations, that kind of thing – I’m good there, too.
I’m a novelist, playwright, and award-winning screenwriter. That means I know how to tell a story, and I can do it for businesses and organizations or train them to do it on their own. And it’s not consultant-speak, either. It’s creative, practical, and relevant, designed to keep audiences engaged by using structures and strategies that work in books, movies, and plays. You can trust that I know what I’m talking about. Here’s why:
Black Star Rising, my script about Barbara Jordan, one of the most prominent African-American leaders in the second half of the 20th century, has been recognized in 40 film festivals or screenwriting competitions, and has won eight best screenplay awards.
Critics compared my novel, Nowhere Man, to Homeland and House of Cards, calling it a “labyrinthine conspiracy thriller with both verve and heart” that “delivers excitement, suspense, and cheers in all the right places.”
I co-wrote A Sacred Duty with one of the whistleblowers who exposed a government conspiracy and cover-up that was responsible for the deaths of veterans nationwide. It won the Book Pipeline Award, which identifies works with the greatest potential for film or television adaption, and is only the second piece of nonfiction to be so honored.
A short film I wrote, A Bullet For Your Thoughts, has been recognized in a dozen festivals, winning awards for best thriller, best mystery, best film noir, and best actor and actress.
The Kronos Protocol, a female-based thriller, has been honored in multiple competitions.
My stage plays have been produced in New York, Houston, and regionally.
This is going to sound weird, but it’s true: I actually studied to be an editor (it’s made me a better writer and trainer, too). So I can improve just about anything thrown at me, no matter how good, bad, or ugly it might be. And because of my background as a storyteller, I’ve also carved out a niche as a book editor, rewriter, polisher, or ghost writer. I do developmental editing (structure, organization, pacing, characters); line editing (style and language); and copyediting (clarity and readability). But I don’t do proofreading. I’m really bad at that.