My stout little German-Irish grandma (1910 – 2000) was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1990s. Until then, I knew very little about the disease. But when someone you love suffers… well, it becomes intensely personal. In fact, it influenced my writing career.
EXCELLENCE IN CANCER JOURNALISM
I wrote Pink Divas, a cover feature about breast cancer survival and support, eight years after my grandmother’s death. Little did I know that the following year it would receive an Excellence in Cancer Journalism Award. This media award is given to radio, television, newspaper and magazine journalists, and I was honored to be one of only 16 recognized by the American Cancer Society throughout Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
Making this scenario even more personal (and emotional), the Pink Divas story focused on my sister’s neighbor and an extremely supportive school (and school system). In Grandma’s memory I continue to be involved in breast cancer awareness and research.
MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS
I have great parents. I was one of those lucky kids raised by a registered nurse who is also an avid reader. From infancy onward my mom put books in my hands. Better yet, she introduced me to — joy! — alphabet refrigerator magnets. I had lots of fun stringing letters together and making sense of words… and grew up to do that same thing on a keyboard.
I passed the reading tradition down to my daughter, who has become an excellent writer. She plans to become a registered nurse like my mother, and (at least right now) wants to focus on oncology. This may have something to do with her great-grandmother’s breast cancer diagnosis. It’s gratifying to witness this cycle of mother-daughter influence.
CAREER IN MEDIA
I am blessed to busily write, report and edit for a living. At this point I’ve written several hundred articles for magazines and newspapers in Texas and around the nation. If I had to choose, my favorite assignment was visiting the cowboy churches of Texas and writing about the adventures. That article, entitled “God’s Country,” was published in the national magazine American Cowboy.
I accept assignments from various publications, but also pitch stories of interest to publishers. I edit books and tackle other types of projects on behalf of clients, including web content, search engine optimization, social media, blogging (especially business, legal and medical), newsletters, press releases and speeches. I love writing bios, mission/vision statements, jingles and taglines. I’m also involved in media relations, and most recently, radio and television placement.
SCOPE OF WORK
- Magazine writing, editorial, community and celebrity articles
- Book editing and ghost writing
- Media relations including print, online, radio and television
- Political speech writing, commentary, punditry (often ghost writing for campaigns)
- SEO strategies, online marketing, social media
- Publicity, marketing, promotion
JOBS IN THE FIELD
- Ghost writer for authors — most genres
- Contributing editor and writer for the following publications:
Katy Christian Magazine, Positive Impact Magazine, Houston Modern Luxury, Hot Springs Life and Home, Houston Lifestyles & Homes Magazine, Fort Bend Lifestyles & Homes Magazine, Cy-Fair Lifestyles & Homes Magazine, The Woodlands Lifestyles & Homes Magazine, Katy Lifestyles & Homes Magazine, Katy Magazine, absolutely! Katy Magazine, absolutely! Memorial Magazine, American Cowboy
DEGREES, CERTIFICATIONS, SPECIALIZED TRAINING
• Go Coogs! University of Houston, Bachelor of Arts in English, psychology minor
• Medical and legal terminology coursework
• A concentration in editorial and content writing
• Associates degree, Business, Blinn College
• Paralegal Certification
• Teaching Certification in English, Language Arts, Reading, Special Education, Generalist and ESL
• Specialization in SEO and online copy
• Years of magazine writing and various positions within the publishing industry
• News reporting
Funny how travel affects your world view. After visiting England three times and France and Mexico once, I was fortunate to experience other cultures in our diverse world. Likewise, my teenager (a native Houstonian), has been to South Africa on a mission trip, as well as England and Canada. Perhaps we will write about these adventures abroad some day.
I was a “military brat” as a young child and lived in Maryland, Washington D.C., Montana and Colorado. But I have deeply loved the Lone Star state since the ’70s and cherish our unique Texas traditions, values, and independence. In fact, the only thing “wimpy” about this region is an aversion to cold weather. After all, as a child I wore shorts and ran barefoot in 60º weather… and we didn’t miss school unless three feet of snow blocked our front door!
When I’m booked solid, which is (fortunately) often the case, I refer my overflow work to qualified editors who have demonstrated skills, are ethical, and who are discreet on social media.
- I care very much about my clients and am selective with referrals. The last thing I want is for you to be paired with the wrong writer or editor.
- If you need a solid, skillful editor, just ask — I’ll be glad to point you to at least three whom I believe meet a high standard.
If you are over your head with a writing project, consider hiring a writer or editor to help. That’s what we do . . . a good writer / editor’s job is to turn your manuscript into a masterpiece!
Let me know how I can help you. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.