The Write Process

Writing is a tightrope walk from where the idea originates to the moment a project emerges in the world. In The Write Process, Charles Jensen, director of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, asks writers who’ve walked the tightrope to talk about their process.

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Season Five

Tembi Locke is the New York Times bestselling author of her memoir From Scratch, an actor, producer, and screenwriter. From Scratch is a Reese’s Book Club pick, an Audie Awards Best Audiobook Finalist, and a Goodreads Best Books Finalist. Along with Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine, Tembi serves as an executive producer and co-writer for the Netflix limited series inspired by her book. Her hope is for her work to inspire people to love more deeply, embrace resilience, and honor the fundamental humanity that connects us all.

 

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home is a poignant and transformative cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian countryside, about how one woman discovered the healing powers of food, family and unexpected grace in her darkest hour. This New York Times bestseller and Reese’s Book Club pick is for anyone who has dared to reach for big love, fought for what mattered most, and needed a reminder that life is, after all, delicious.

 

Pete Hsu is a Taiwanese American writer based in Pasadena, CA. He is the author of the experimental chapbook, There Is a Man (Tolsun Books). His work has also been featured in several journals and anthologies, including The Asian American Writer’s Workshop’s The Margins, F(r)iction, The Los Angeles Review, and Los Angeles Review of Books. He was a 2017 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, as well as the 2017 PEN in the Community Writer in Residence.

 

Full of warmth, terror, and unsentimental humor, If I Were the Ocean, I’d Carry You Home, Pete Hsu’s debut story collection, captures the essence of survival in a life set adrift. Children and young people navigate a world where the presence of violence and death rear themselves in everyday places: Vegas casinos, birthday parties, church services, and sunny days at the beach. Each story is a meditation on living in a world not made for us—the pervasive fear, the adaptations, the unexpected longings. A gripping and energetic debut, Hsu’s writing beats with the naked rhythms of an unsettled human heart.

Nadiya Chettiar started out as a stage actor and had the rare opportunity of touring as far away as Iran before discovering her true passion lay off the stage and behind the camera. She began her writing career in her native Canada, working for hit comedies such as Netflix’s Kim’s Convenience and Workin’ Moms. After relocating to LA, Nadiya landed her first US gig as Executive Story Editor on Life in Pieces. She then moved on to the star-studded animated series, Housebroken, before returning to her stage roots in multi-cam form on Mom. She’s currently a writer/producer on Young Sheldon, where she enjoys writing for one of the best ensembles on TV. Nadiya also loves playing basketball and hitting the beach with her pooch, Pee-wee.

 

Young Sheldon Season 5, Ep 14: “A Free Scratcher and Feminine Wiles”

Sheldon butts heads with Dr. Lee, a new scientist in the lab; Mary, a devout Southern Baptist, grapples with what to do when she’s given a lotto ticket.

A man of duality, Tom Pinchuk has charted the adventures of world-famous kid heroes like Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 and Mattel’s Max Steel while also crafting mature audience comics for Heavy Metal Magazine, among other outlets. His recent graphic novel, Remember Andy Xenon, may reconcile these contradictions, at last. Tom has written for television, comics and everything in-between and, before moving to Los Angeles, dwelled everywhere from Singapore to Syracuse. He delights in obstacle races, escape rooms and in masterminding increasingly elaborate April Fools Day pranks.

 

Awesome powers? Adventures all over the world? Andy Xenon was the boy hero every kid wished they could be! But then he turned 18 and those powers vanished. No more adventures. What happened? Why? Never getting any explanations, Andy resigned to life as a normal guy… and it’s a quiet misery. Nobody believes he used to be Andy Xenon. People have moved on to new adventurers and, each year, fewer even remember Andy, at all…But one person hasn’t forgotten. A journalist has tracked Andy down for a soul-searching interview. At last, he can set the record straight, review his reckless youth with hard-earned wisdom… and maybe figure out what went wrong. Is it too late for answers? Or can Andy earn a second chance? Remember Andy Xenon is anoff-beat journey of redemption. Sometimes the end of a story is only just the beginning.

Maria Gabriela Cardenas is a director, producer, and writer from Caracas, Venezuela. Her directorial debut A Dark Foe, a psychological thriller, garnered twenty awards and sixteen nominations and was distributed by Vertical Entertainment. Cardenas has done a variety of music videos, short films, including the award-winning short “The Grand Guignol” (2015). At the age of 14, she already knew she wanted to become a film director and committed to several intensive film courses in Los Angeles, California. Later, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in filmmaking and a Master’s degree in Producing. As a devoted fan of the film noir and thriller genres, Cardenas, along with her father, Oscar Cardenas, established a film production company, Path of Thorns Entertainment (TM).

 

In A Dark Foe, a guilt-ridden FBI agent, stranded in the painful memory of the abduction of his sister, suffers from a rare condition known as Nyctophobia, an irrational fear of the dark, and will have to face-off with the cunning serial killer who took her away.

María Amparo Escandón is a New York Times best-selling bilingual author. Her third novel, L.A. Weather is a Reese’s Book Club pick and is featured on Oprah Quarterly as well as a Best Book of the Month in Barnes & Noble, People, CNN, E! News, and more. Her first novel, Esperanza’s Box of Saints and its Spanish version, Santitos, has been the number one best seller in the Los Angeles Times Best Sellers List. It has 21 foreign editions and has been read in over 86 countries. Her books have been chosen as the annual book selection for several Community Reads public library-funded projects, like One City One Book, A Novel Idea. Many of her short stories have been published in journals and magazines, both in English and Spanish, and she has taught numerous Creative Writing courses and workshops at UCLA Extension since 1994.

 

In LA Weather, Los Anglees is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, the weather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He’s harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters?Claudia, a television chef with a hard-hearted attitude; Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt; and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers?are blindsided and left questioning everything they know. Each will have to take a critical look at her own relationships and make some tough decisions along the way. With quick wit and humor, Maria Amparo Escandón follows the Alvarado family as they wrestle with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal, and their toughest decision yet: whether to stick together or burn it all down.

Grace Perry is a Chicago-bred, Los Angeles-based writer whose work has appeared all over the internet, including on BuzzFeed, The Cut, The New Yorker, The Onion, Reductress, and much more. Her debut book. The 2000s Made Me Gay, was released on St. Martin’s Press in 2021.

 

The 2000s Made Me Gay (St. Martin’s Press, 2021) is a humor-driven essay collection that interweaves queer memoir and pop culture criticism. Subjects include: how Taylor Swift’s Fearless is a blueprint for U-Hauling; Seth Cohen as a lesbian role model; MTVs The Challenge on forming queer community, and much more.

Gabe Gabriel is a queer South African filmmaker based between Cape Town and Los Angeles where they have been working as a writer, director, actor, and independent film producer since 2013. Most recently, Gabe has penned such works as ‘Granny Lee’, a feel-good South African dramedy about a real-life transgender icon  ‘Mavis and Grace’, a Thelma-and-Louise-type buddy cop Western,; ‘Sabela Gold’, a 5-season gritty gold-rush crime, and ‘Mother City’, a psycho-sexual neo-noir drama. In 2021, Gabe’ made their directorial debut with South Africa’s first gay romcom, ‘No Hiding Here’, which is currently available for streaming on South Africa’s premier streaming service: Showmax. Gabe’s original works have placed them as a semi-finalist at the Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition, the Final Draft Big Break Contest, the 5th annual Screencraft Fellowship, and the CBS Writers Mentorship program.

 

In Runs in the Family, reformed small-time con artist and single father Varun Chetty is called to break his long-lost ex girlfriend, Monica, out of a rehab clinic across the country. Varun and his transgender son, River, must road trip to her rescue and back, all in time for River to compete in the national talent show that could win him the cash for his long-awaited gender-affirming surgery, so long as no grifters from Varun’s past get in their way.

Catherine Klatzker is a retired pediatric ICU nurse, mother of three, and mental health advocate. Her personal essays have been published in multiple journals as well as her contributions to two mental health anthologies. She currently resides and writes in Los Angeles, California, where she has taken numerous UCLA Extension Writing classes since 2000. Her memoir, You Will Never Be Normal, was released in May, 2021. It is her first book.

 

In You Will Never Be Normal, Klatzker navigates through denial, dissociation, and grief to eventually arrive at acceptance and healing of her traumatic dissociative identity disorder (DID) and PTSD. Her journey forces her to reflect on her early childhood in the Midwest, growing up wholly dissociated from the molestation in her family with an alcoholic father and her twelve sisters and brothers. At sixteen, she escapes her chaotic home and moves in with an older man. By eighteen, Klatzker is widowed with an infant son. Three decades later find her resisting unbidden early memories and alarming inner voices. When she dissociates, or splits off from her self, she cannot stay with her self as one person. Traumatizing events, beginning in meditation, launch her into a therapy that extends over many extraordinary years as her dissociated identities, or “parts,” intrude with increasing boldness. In You Will Never Be Normal, Klatzker details the ways her alternate identities or “parts” were created and what each contributes to her life, set against the backdrop of her steady second marriage, work as an ICU pediatric nurse, a life filled with children, and a desire to hide her DID, until it becomes inexorably integrated into her whole identity. She finally believes the trauma of her past and the genius of having unconsciously created DID “parts” of herself to hold the intolerable. Klatzker cuts through stereotypes around DID. She normalizes it as a response to complex trauma and emphasizes the role that each “part” played in keeping her safe.

 

This is a story that tackles themes of sexual abuse, family relationships, romantic relationships, self-harm and self-love, mental illness, therapy, and the two ends of human experience, love and death. It concludes as a deep investigation of self-compassion and the reconciliation of opposite realities.

 

http://catherine.klatzker.com

Instagram @toomanyparts

Twitter @mettah4

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/klatzkerwriter/

Season Four

Multiple Emmy nominee Melissa Rosenberg is Series Creator and Showrunner of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.  The show garnered tremendous response and critical acclaim, including winning the prestigious Peabody Award for its genre-bending approach.  As one of Hollywood’s most versatile, sought-after storytellers, Rosenberg is currently in an overall deal with Warner Bros. TV to develop new projects.  Her company, Tall Girls Productions, focuses on developing and producing film and TV series with an emphasis on interesting, complex roles for women in front of and behind the camera. On the film side, Rosenberg’s credits include all five screenplays for the vampire romance phenomenon, The Twilight Saga, which grossed more than $3 billion worldwide.  She also wrote the hit dance film Step Up, which launched a multi-film franchise. Additional television credits in Rosenberg’s diverse range include four seasons as both head writer and Executive Producer of the Showtime original series Dexter, which earned multiple nominations and awards, including the Peabody Award.

Tod Goldberg is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, including The Low Desert, Gangsterland, a finalist for the Hammett Prize, Gangster Nation, The House of Secrets, which he co-authored with Brad Meltzer, and Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is also the co-host of the wildly popular podcast Literary Disco, named a top literary podcast by the Washington Post. He is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside where he founded and directs the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts.

 

With gimlet-eyed cool and razor-sharp wit, the spare, stylish stories in The Low Desert assemble a world of gangsters and con men, of do-gooders breaking bad and those caught in the crossfire. The uncle of an FBI agent spends his life as sheriff in different cities, living too close to the violent acts of men; a cocktail waitress moves through several desert towns trying to escape the unexplainable loss of an adopted daughter; a drug dealer with a penchant for karaoke meets a talkative lawyer and a silent clown in a Palm Springs bar. Raymond Carver meets Elmore Leonard in this extraordinary collection of contemporary crime writing set in the critically acclaimed Gangsterland universe, a series called “gloriously original” by The New York Times Book Review.

Elle Johnson is a TV writer. Her credits include Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Ghost Whisperer, and The Fosters. One of Elle’s career highlights came on The Glades where she wrote and produced an episode set in the world of NASCAR that featured nine actual racecars, four champion drivers, and one monkey. She was co-showrunner on Netflix’s Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker which won an NAACP Image award for best limited series. Most recently she was an Executive Producer on the Amazon original series Bosch, based on the Michael Connelly detective novels. Originally from Hollis, Queens Elle graduated from Harvard College, studied writing on a Rotary Scholarship at the University of East Anglia in England, and has taken numerous classes at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She was a finalist for UCLA’s 2015 Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir Writing. The Officer’s Daughter is her first book.

 

SYNOPSIS
When Elle Johnson was 16 years old, her 16 year-old cousin Karen had her face blown off at point blank range in a robbery at a Burger King in the Bronx. Elle comes from a family of black law enforcement officers. Her uncle, Karen’s dad, was a homicide detective. Her father was a parole officer. The aftermath of Karen’s murder, the cross-country manhunt spearheaded by the NYPD and the FBI to find the killers, and the subsequent trials and media circus, marked the defining end of Elle’s childhood innocence.

Thirty years later, living in Los Angeles, writing for various television shows (including several police procedurals), Elle receives an email from Karen’s brother notifying her that one of the killers is up for parole. Asked to write a letter encouraging the parole board not to set him free Elle realizes that before she can write a letter condemning a man she’s never met, she must also investigate the hard truths of her own past: family who never really spoke of the devastating effect the murder of her young cousin had on any of them, with secrets of their own, and a complicated father she never truly understood. The Officer’s Daughter is the story of a family, a terrible tragedy, and the power–and ultimately the freedom–of forgiveness.

Julie Wong spent more than a decade writing speeches and developing press conferences while serving as Deputy Mayor to Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn and leading communications for Senator Barbara Boxer and then-L.A. City Councilmember Eric Garcetti, among others. She also served in multiple executive roles for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where she was involved with major initiatives including the opening of Shanghai Disneyland and the announcement of Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Along the way, she realized she had her own stories to tell, too. Julie is currently a Co-Producer on Season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy. She participated in the CAPE New Writers Fellowship and the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, and holds a degree in government from Claremont McKenna College and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University.
 
Grey’s Anatomy, Episode 1704: You’ll Never Walk Alone
While hospitalized with Covid, Meredith dreams of seeing her friend George O’Malley, who died during their medical residency. Meanwhile, Owen’s misdiagnosis of a patient challenges more than he imagined, an asymptomatic Koracick begins to go stir-crazy at home, and Maggie gets a not-so-subtle glimpse into Winston’s background.

Born on and raised outside an Army base in Seoul, South Korea, Christina Strain moved to the US at 18 to attended Louisiana State University, where she received a BFA in Graphic Design. After, she went on to color comics for Marvel comics for 10 years, and during her last few years at Marvel, she started writing her own webcomics. Shortly after attending several UCLA extension classes (for screenwriting) Christina retired from coloring comics to pursue her masters degree in screenwriting at The American Film Institute. Since, she’s write and produce on TV shows like THE MAGICIANS and SHADOW AND BONE and written the Netflix film FINDING ‘OHANA.

 

“Finding ‘Ohana” begins with two New York kids, tomboy skateboarder Pili (Pee-Lee) and her dopey big brother Ioane (EE-oh-AHN-nay), traveling with their mom Leilani (Kelly Hu) to visit their grandfather Kimo (Branscombe Richmond) in Hawaii. When Pili, an avid geocacher back in New York, finds a secret journal promising hidden treasure, she sets out on an adventure that takes her deep into the heart of sacred volcanic caves. She’s joined by her new friend Casper (Owen Vaccaro), a white kid who grew up in Hawaii. Ioane is loathe to chase after her, but the prospect becomes intriguing when he’s joined by crush-worthy local Hana (Lindsay Watson).

https://twitter.com/christinastrain

Paria Hassouri is a pediatrician, mother of three, and transgender rights activist. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1999 and completed her residency training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 2002. Her personal essays have been published in multiple sites, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Huffington Post, and she has presented stories on stage through Expressing Motherhood. A proud Iranian-American, she spent her formative years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She currently resides and practices in Los Angeles, California. Her memoir, Found in Transition: A Mother’s Evolution during her Child’s Gender Change, was released in September 2020.

 

In Found in Transition, Hassouri is blindsided when her teenager comes out as transgender. As Hassouri navigates through anger, denial, and grief to eventually arrive at acceptance, her journey forces her to reflect on her own experiences of being an Iranian immigrant growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of a handful of brown kids in a near all white school district. She examines how the insecurities she is carrying from her past are leading her to parent with fear rather than love. She also questions her identity as both a mother and a pediatrician, given she had no inkling her child is transgender. She examines why her medical training never prepared her for parenting a trans child. As her daughter transitions from male to female, she discovers her own capacity to evolve, what it really means to parent, and how to use her voice to raise awareness about the large percentage of transgender people who don’t present in childhood in the classical way the media portrays. While this is a story that weaves the journeys of a pediatrician mother and her transgender teenager, it illustrates universal themes of parenting, identity, belonging, self-discovery, growth, and unconditional love.  It is the story of a modern American family.

 

(@pariahassouri) and my instagram(@laparia).

Kenji C. Liu is author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books, 2019), finalist for the California and Maine book awards, and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry is in numerous journals, anthologies, magazines, and two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of Kundiman, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in Los Ángeles.

 

Using an invented poetry method called frankenpo (frankenstein poetry), Liu takes existing texts and remixes them, creating multi-faceted poems that investigate the relationship between toxic masculinity and forms of violence plaguing our modern society. It also explores the male-male erotic and marginalized masculinities that are urgently needed as a counterweight to today’s dominant hypermasculinity.

Aminah Mae Safi is a Muslim-American writer who explores art, fiction, feminism, and film. She’s the winner of the We Need Diverse Books short story contest. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her partner and two cats. She is the author of NOT THE GIRLS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR (Feiwel and Friends), TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL (Feiwel and Friends), THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT (Feiwel and Friends) and the forthcoming Reclaimed Classics ROBIN HOOD (March 1, 2022).

In This is All Your Fault, Rinn, Daniella and Imogen clock into work at Wild Nights Bookstore on the first day of summer. They’re expecting the hours to drift by the way they always do. Instead, they have to deal with the news that the bookstore is closing. Before the day is out, there’ll be shaved heads, a diva author and a very large shipment of Air Jordans to contend with. It will take all three of them working together if they have any chance to save Wild Nights Bookstore.

 

Social Media Accounts:

@aminahmae on Instagram

@aminahmae on Twitter (but mostly, I’m on Instagram)

Darrin L. Dortch is a comedic writer, hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. His pilot, “Short Changed,” won the inaugural Turner/American Black Film Festival TV Writing Contest in 2017. Darrin was a writer for two seasons on TNT’s outrageously delicious dramedy “Claws.” Darrin’s first episode of “Claws” was also the directorial debut of star Niecy Nash. Currently, Darrin is an Executive Story Editor on Warner Bros./OWN’s, “The Kings of Napa.” He has written multiple pitches and spec scripts and is preparing to write his first book and a salacious podcast. Despite his raunchy sense of humor, Darrin has been a born-again Christian for nearly 30 years.

In the Claws episode “Zaddy Was A Rolling Stone,” five diverse, hardworking manicurists try to make ends meet at the Nail Artisan of Manatee County salon in Central Florida, contending with a staid economy while managing perilous personal lives awash in drama. Amidst all the silk wraps, pedicures and polish treatments, salon owner Desna, who lives with and cares for her mentally ill twin brother, leads a staff that includes best friend Jennifer, now sober and raising two kids from a previous relationship; enigmatic Ann, who provides security for the salon; mild-mannered preppy and ex-convict Polly; and Virginia, who becomes easily bored and impatient with her job. Also hanging around the salon are shady redneck Roller; ambulance coach Bryce, Jennifer’s husband who is also newly sober; and Uncle Daddy, a dangerous, deeply Catholic and actively bisexual crime boss.

 

IG and Twitter at @LowBudgetLaughs.

Jennifer J. Chow is the Lefty Award-nominated author of the Sassy Cat Mysteries and the forthcoming L.A. Night Market Mysteries (Berkley/Penguin Random House). The first in the Sassy Cat series, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, was selected as an Overdrive Recommended Read, a PopSugar Best Summer Beach Read, staff picks for both Richland Library and Changing Hands Bookstore, and as one of BuzzFeed’s Top 5 Books by AAPI authors. Jennifer has also published other Asian-American novels involving secrets and mysteries. She’s active in Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Color.

 

In Mimi Lee Cracks the Code, Pixie St. James, one of Mimi’s pet grooming clients, has offered Mimi and her boyfriend, Josh, a getaway at her vacation home, nestled on beautiful Catalina Island. With the island just outside of Los Angeles but still far enough from the hustle and bustle, Mimi, Josh, and their cat Marshmallow (who, of course, wouldn’t be caught dead in a dingy pet hotel) are excited for their relaxing stay. That is, until Pixie’s last renter, Davis D. Argo, turns up dead. Mimi and Josh’s romantic getaway immediately turns into an enormous buzzkill, especially when Pixie asks Mimi for help. The police suspect Pixie, and Mimi knows a thing or two about wrongful allegations. Mimi figures it couldn’t hurt to snoop a little since she’s already there, and soon discovers that a valuable item is missing. Except Pixie isn’t the only one in the neighborhood who has been robbed. There is something strange happening on the island, and Mimi won’t stop until she finds out what it is.

 

Synopsis & Link:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/605898/mimi-lee-cracks-the-code-by-jennifer-j-chow/9781984805034/

When murder follows Mimi Lee to her romantic island getaway, she puts on her best sleuthing hat with her sassy cat in tow in this adventurous cozy mystery by Jennifer J. Chow.

 

Social media:

https://twitter.com/JenJChow
https://www.instagram.com/jenjchow/
https://www.facebook.com/JenJChow

 

Alexandra Alessandri is the author of Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! (Albert Whitman), which won a silver medal in the 2020 Florida Book Awards, and the forthcoming Isabel and Her Colores Go to School (Sleeping Bear Press). The daughter of Colombian immigrants, she is also an Associate Professor of English at Broward College and a poet, with some of her work appearing in The Acentos Review, Rio Grande Review, Atlanta Review, and Young Adult Review Network. She received her BA and MA degrees in English from Florida International University and a Certificate in Fiction Writing from UCLA Extension. When not writing or teaching, Alexandra spends her time daydreaming, relearning the piano, and planning the next great adventure with her family. She lives in Florida with her husband, son, and hairless pup, dreaming of Colombia.

Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela!, illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda, is about a shy little girl, Ava Gabriela, who is visiting her extended family in Colombia for the holidays. She’s excited to take part in family traditions, such as making buñuelos and saying goodbye to el Año Viejo, but being around all her loud relatives in an unfamiliar place makes Ava shy and quiet. How will she find her voice before she misses out on all the New Year’s fun? Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! is an ode to Alexandra’s culture and to shy kids everywhere. School Library Journal praised the book, saying “This warm #OwnVoices look at Colombian traditions is both universal and deeply personal…Sonda’s charming illustrations portray an idyllic finca…[and] The language is just as atmospheric.” Booklist called the illustrations “vibrant,” while Kirkus Reviews awarded the book a starred review, saying, “This gentle family story lets readers know that shyness is nothing to worry about.”

 

Social Media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/apalessandri
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apalessandri/

Jennifer J. Chow is the Lefty Award-nominated author of the Sassy Cat Mysteries and the forthcoming L.A. Night Market Mysteries (Berkley/Penguin Random House). The first in the Sassy Cat series, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, was selected as an Overdrive Recommended Read, a PopSugar Best Summer Beach Read, staff picks for both Richland Library and Changing Hands Bookstore, and as one of BuzzFeed’s Top 5 Books by AAPI authors. Jennifer has also published other Asian-American novels involving secrets and mysteries. She’s active in Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Color.

In Mimi Lee Cracks the Code, Pixie St. James, one of Mimi’s pet grooming clients, has offered Mimi and her boyfriend, Josh, a getaway at her vacation home, nestled on beautiful Catalina Island. With the island just outside of Los Angeles but still far enough from the hustle and bustle, Mimi, Josh, and their cat Marshmallow (who, of course, wouldn’t be caught dead in a dingy pet hotel) are excited for their relaxing stay. That is, until Pixie’s last renter, Davis D. Argo, turns up dead. Mimi and Josh’s romantic getaway immediately turns into an enormous buzzkill, especially when Pixie asks Mimi for help. The police suspect Pixie, and Mimi knows a thing or two about wrongful allegations. Mimi figures it couldn’t hurt to snoop a little since she’s already there, and soon discovers that a valuable item is missing. Except Pixie isn’t the only one in the neighborhood who has been robbed. There is something strange happening on the island, and Mimi won’t stop until she finds out what it is.

Synopsis & Link:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/605898/mimi-lee-cracks-the-code-by-jennifer-j-chow/9781984805034/

When murder follows Mimi Lee to her romantic island getaway, she puts on her best sleuthing hat with her sassy cat in tow in this adventurous cozy mystery by Jennifer J. Chow.

Social media:

https://twitter.com/JenJChow
https://www.instagram.com/jenjchow/
https://www.facebook.com/JenJChow

Season Three

Kira Snyder is an Emmy-, Golden Globe-, and WGA Award-winning writer and Executive Producer on the TV show The Handmaid’s Tale. Her credits include Pacific Rim: Uprising, The 100, Incursion, Eureka, and Moonlight. Formerly a computer game designer, Kira created games for Microsoft, the MIT Press textbook Rules Of Play, and Electronic Arts, including the seminal alternate reality game Majestic.

Wally Rudolph is a multidisciplinary artist and the author of the novels Four Corners and Mighty, Mighty. Born in Canada to Chinese-Jamaican immigrant parents and raised in Texas, he’s traveled and lived throughout North America, but now is more than happy to be living and creating in The City of Angels.

Aatif Rashid is the author of the literary comedy Portrait of Sebastian Khan, which explores the complicated romantic life of a Muslim American art history student. His writing has appeared in Barrelhouse, Massachusetts Review, LitHub, Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Kenyon Review blog.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Cindy Lin is a former journalist with degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She’s written and produced many multimedia news features for children, one of which received a Peabody Award. She is the author of The Twelve and its sequel, Treasures of the Twelve.

Michael Werwie is the screenwriter of the Academy Nicholl Fellowship-winning Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile. He is currently developing an original series for television and has written projects for Warner Bros., Legendary, Fox, and Amazon. Michael is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a graduate of USC.

Season Two

Novelist Natashia Deón is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Grace. A practicing criminal law attorney, law professor, creative writing instructor, and literary organizer, she is the founder of REDEEMED, a nonprofit that pairs professional writers with those who have been convicted of crimes.

TV writer and novelist Hollie Overton has worked on Tell Me a Story, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Cold Case, and The Client List. She is the author of the novels Baby Doll, The Walls, and The Runaway. Originally from Texas, she lives in Los Angeles.

Stuart Beattie is a filmmaker and screenwriter of Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral, 30 Days of Night, among other successful films. His latest film is Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan.

Henry Lien teaches law and creative writing at UCLA Extension. A private art dealer, he is the author of the Peasprout Chen middle grade fantasy series, which received New York Times acclaim and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.

Barbara Stepansky is a Nicholl Fellow and WGA Award winner. Her work was short listed for the Academy Awards, garnered the DGA Diversity Award and the Student Emmy, and was featured on the Black List. She wrote the award-winning TV movie Flint.

Sheryl Recinos is a family medicine physician who works with Los Angeles organizations to help youth transitioning off the street to enroll in college. Hindsight is her memoir about her experience of teen homelessness in Hollywood.

April Shih is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker. She attended film school at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and has written for You’re the Worst, Mrs. America, and Undone.

Monica Holloway is the author of the memoir Driving with Dead People. She has contributed to the anthology Mommy Wars, from which her essay “Red Boots and Cole Haans” was described by Newsday as “brilliant, grimly hilarious.” She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Owen Husney has been a top 10 recording musician, concert promoter, nightclub owner, marketer who toured with the Rolling Stones. As an artist manager, Owen discovered Prince Rogers Nelson and signed him to Warner Bros Records. Famous People Who’ve Met Me is his memoir.

Shauna Barbosa’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, PBS Newshour, and others, and she was a 2018 Disquiet International Luso-American fellow. Cape Verdean Blues is her first book.

Colette Sartor won the 2018 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her collection Once Removed and Other Stories. Her writing has appeared in Carve Magazine, Slice Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Kenyon Review Online, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program as well as privately and is an executive director of the CineStory Foundation, a mentoring organization for emerging TV writers and screenwriters.

Zimran Jacob has worked as a life coach, financial manager, and in film and television production. He served as the showrunner’s assistant on the Netflix series The Punisher.

Season One

Host Charlie Jensen explains how The Write Process will reveal the magic and mystery of how one writer takes one work from concept to completion.

A sneak peak into Season One.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Zac Hug wrote scripts for Drop Dead Diva and Shadowhunters and has written, directed, and starred in episodes of the webseries These People. He also writes Christmas movies for the Hallmark Channel.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Jennifer Caloyeras is the author of the short fiction collection Unruly Creatures and two young adult novels, Strays and Urban Falcon.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Mark Sarvas is the author of the novel Harry, Revised, a member of the National Book Critics Circle and PEN America.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Elissa Matsueda is the screenwriter of Spare Parts and Dog Days, and co-writer of The Miracle Season.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Liska Jacobs Liska Jacobs holds an MFA from the University of California, Riverside. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The RumpusLos Angeles Review of Books, and Literary Hub.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Greta Heinemann was a CBS Writers Mentoring Program Fellow as well as a Humanitas New Voices Awards winner. She won the 2018 Final Draft Big Break Grand Prize award.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Dorothy Blyskal worked as a production assistant before landing the job of adapting the book The 15:17 to Paris for filming by Clint Eastwood.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Miguel Murphy is the author of the poetry collections A Book Called Rats and Detainee. He teaches at Santa Monica College and lives in Los Angeles.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumna Mae Respicio is a past recipient of a PEN Emerging Voices Fellowship and a David Henry Hwang Writers Institute scholarship for playwriting.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor Laurel Ollstein writes plays, essays, memoirs, screenplays and television scripts; directs plays; and serves as an adjunct professor of writing for several universities.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program alumnus Moisès Zamora is a Mexican-American award-winning writer and filmmaker and has written for the Emmy-winning dramas American Crime and Star.

UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor and alumna Lilliam Rivera has been featured on NPR, New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, MTV.com, and Teen Vogue, among others.

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