A Little About Me…
I’ve been writing professionally since 1996, with credits that include TV, DVDs, internet shows, books… and an awesome series of short stories I wrote in fourth grade starring my cat as a private detective. You don’t mess with a cat in a trenchcoat.
I feel ridiculously lucky to have spent the last 16 years married to the love of my life. We have two incredible kids: one human, one canine. The canine is our second dog. Our first pooch-type child, Riley, passed away in May 2014, which was horrible. Riley does however live on in my book Populazzi. He plays Trista’s dog, and is described to a T.
I have a sick penchant for running marathons. I’ve done about 15 of them since 2000, and at the moment I’m signed up for pretty much every available Disneyland Half Marathon. I’ve also become obsessed with stand-up paddleboarding. Highly recommend. Other favorite time-spenders? Reading (of course), hiking, and playing marathon games of gin or backgammon with my daughter.
Best Job Perk
While researching my marathoner’s travel guide, Fodor’s The Traveling Marathoner, I got to travel the country, eating in incredibly decadent restaurants, staying in swanky hotels, and doing everything from taking cooking classes in New Orleans to swimming with dolphins and taking surfing lessons from firefighters in Honolulu to traipsing all over Disney World… all for free. Travel writing kinda rocks.
In June 2011, I (along with two of my fellow writers and friends, Craig Bartlett and Joe Purdy) was nominated for an EMMY AWARD for my work on the PBS show Dinosaur Train. That was cool and all, but even better was hanging out with Oscar the Grouch at the ceremony!!!! (Oh yeah, I think Caroll Spinney was there too.)
Wanna See Some of My Work?
Well, I can think of one way… you could read my books! Populazzi’s one of my favorites, since it was my debut solo YA novel, so it holds a special place in my heart. For younger kids, check out the Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters series. The first two in the bunch, Autumn’s Secret Gift and Winter’s Flurry Adventure, are out now, with the next volumes coming out later this year.
If you’re in the market for a celebrity-penned tome, I had the pleasure of co-writing for two amazing entertainers, Hilary Duff and Bella Thorne. I helped Bella with her beautifully personal and very funny YA novel Autumn Falls. Hilary’s series consists of the mysterious, romantic, and highly intriguing Elixir books — Elixir, Devoted, and True.
Coming up next… Gabby Duran and the Unsittables! It releases May 2015. Think Men in Black meets Adventures in Babysitting. It’s seriously awesome, and I can’t wait for you to read it!
But hey, if you want to see my work without leaving the comfort of your computer, I’ve got you covered. Check out the Muppet Internet shows I wrote with the amazing Craig Shemin: The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora, and Hasty Tasty Cooking Tips with Cat Cora and the Muppets. As you might have guessed from my Oscar the Grouch fixation, I’m a HUGE Muppet freak, so writing for them was insane. Look — I even got to hang out with Fozzie Bear!
On television, I’m crazy-excited to be one of the writers on the new Disney Junior show, The Lion Guard. Click the link to see what Entertainment Weekly had to say about the upcoming show. Or if you want to see some stuff that’s on the air now, cruise to PBS Kids to see my work in episodes of Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid. Finally, if you’re a Barbie fan, check out some of her DVD’s — I’ve written a long list of them, and had an absolute blast doing it.