I was born in New York City, and reborn in California.
A lot happened in between that. As a youngster I played a lot of baseball and also had the chance to mentor under the famed American fiction writer, John Cheever. At about 11 years old I also ran into Alfred Hitchcock’s stomach. I have just seen The Birds and could not believe my good fortune until he marched me back to my parents and sternly admonished me. I am a total product of the 1970s; my psyche shaped in large part by the Brady Bunch, the Partridge family and the Rolling Stones.
I graduated from Emerson College in Boston and from there got a job on Madison Avenue at an advertising agency where I would soon be writing commercials and developing ad campaigns. I moved to Southern California in the mid 1980s and I never looked back. I always secretly hoped that one day it would be my home. I continued as a copywriter and soon became creative director at a number of Los Angeles advertising agencies. I created hundreds of campaigns and wrote and directed thousands of commercials. I won lots of awards and had an amazing time but as I approached my 40th birthday I noticed something was missing. There were books I wanted to write and stories I wanted to tell and the confines of the advertising industry was just not going to allow that.
So I made a change. I started writing books about the things I love; travel, music, baseball and popular culture. Audiences responded which allowed me to write even more books. I became a journalist, writing as much about travel and music as I did American history. For about 10 years I had a weekly column in the Los Angeles Times and I wrote for the Huffington Post for about six years. My work also appeared in dozens of other outlets. I appeared on many TV and radio shows. For about eight years I was the national spokesman for the wonderful and successful Hampton Hotel Save-A-Landmark program which allowed me to travel extensively throughout the country, telling stories and working to help preserve some of America’s true treasures.
I live for good stories. Whether I’m having a conversation with the famous rock star or actor or a homeless person near my house , I approach all of these situations the same way: how can I best tell the story in front of me?
I still watch Hitchcock films regularly and still listen to the Rolling Stones frequently. I can quote pretty much every episode from every show I loved as a kid from I Love Lucy to The Odd Couple. So I guess I still remain a product of what I grew up with and that’s fine by me. Those things are not broken.
Currently I’m working on several book projects I am thrilled about along with a couple of television projects that I’m equally excited to get involved with. I also recently designed a writing course that is quite satisfying for me to teach.
So that’s a piece of my story. I’m far more comfortable writing other people stories so this is not my favorite sort of assignment. But hopefully you’ve learned a little bit about me.