Stuff about me

This is totally how I look when I’m writing. (Photo by Matt Dine)

I write TV pilots, and I’ve written books and lots of magazine articles. Hi!

TV stuff: I put food on the table developing TV pilots. That means I come up with ideas for TV dramas, pitch and sell them to TV networks, then write them for pay. It’s a weird line of work, and you can go here to read about how it became mine. You can read my diary of network pitching season here, in the New York Times. So far I’ve developed multiple pilots for broadcast and cable networks. In 2013, my spec pilot was produced by CBS, which means it was cast with real, live stars and shot (read about that craziness here). It was called THE ORDAINED, and it was about an ex-priest who quits to try to save his sister. The main character was inspired by my father. Then, CBS announced its fall line-up, and we weren’t on it. So that sucked.

Book stuff: My second book—and first novel—was published in 2013 by Plume, an imprint of Penguin. It’s called “Pastors’ Wives.” Please click here for the scoop on what it’s about, where you can buy it and the story behind the story. Gretchen Rubin, a lovely person and the bestselling author of “The Happiness Project,” says, “Once you pick up this novel, you won’t be able to put it down.” That’s an endorsement! My first book, “Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death” (HarperCollins/2006), was about the year I spent crashing funerals and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, which I mention because it might impress you. Also, Mary Roach, one of my writing idols, called it “a must-read for anyone who plans on dying.” Which is another fairly strong endorsement. I mean, come on.

Journalism stuff: As a staff writer and foreign correspondent for TIME magazine, I covered social trends, news, arts, science and business in the U.S. and Asia. That sounds like a lot of beats, but that’s pretty typical. As a staff writer, you write whatever they tell you. Features, essays, blurbs, captions, tables of contents, front of the book, back of the book…if it involved words that were printed in TIME, we wrote them. Before that I was a staff writer for Money magazine, and before that managing editor at Financial Planning magazine, and before that a useless person at Ladies’ Home Journal. I’ve had stuff published in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, The Boston Globe, Hemispheres, Adweek, AsiaWeek and other less impressive publications. New journalism: I had my own blogs on and True/Slant (now Old journalism: when I was 23, I was editor-in-chief of a chain of free neighborhood newspapers in Manhattan called The Resident. I know.

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