My writing career began shortly after I first read "Harriet the Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh. More than anything I wanted to be that tow-headed snoopy-nose, gathering facts from observation and editorializing with pencil and notebook. I took carrying a notebook in my pocket and have ever since.
Years later I found out that someone who does this for a living is called a journalist, so I earned a Masters degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Years of fascinating success writing for outlets from BusinessWeek to Mademoiselle to UPI led me to an interview with comedian-writer-actor Steve Martin, which through his good graces led to a new journey writing for the small and large screens. Comparing my two careers, I like to say that "journalism is about the facts; screenwriting is about the truth."
On my search for truth, fun and profit, I co-wrote the animated feature “Shrek,” for which I won a British Academy Award (BAFTA) and was nominated for an Oscar® for Best Adapted Screenplay. I also co-wrote the animated feature "Balto" for Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, and wrote "Mulan II” and "The Jungle Book II" for Disney. In television, I co-created the Disney Channel series JONAS, was Executive Producer of "2Gether" for MTV and was Executive Producer for “Living Single" with Queen Latifah. I'm currently working on a pilot for HBO with Tom Hanks.
More recently came my third career: sharing the joys and insights I've picked up telling stories both factual and true. I taught at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, but wanted to go even deeper. For me, that turned out to be coaching: integrating the writer's art with the craft of living and partnering with writers in both business and entertainment to make their work and their lives as good as they can be.
I hope one of my partners will be you.