Posts Tagged ‘TV’


August 8, 2017

Just Sayin'

When is the last time you wrote a letter? When is the last time you received one? In our age of texts and emojis, letters have dwindled. When I wrote WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I was able to study over 600 letters written by my parents serving in WW2. Who preserves texts, even for the life of the phone? I decided I’d write a novel totally in letters. The result is JUST SAYIN’, a middle-grade novel in letters. The postmark and setting are Hamilton, MO, where I grew up.


April 1, 2017


If you’ve read this far in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I’ll bet you know exactly what this is. Clues: 1) It’s nearly 75 years old and still intact. 2) The cake it topped is long gone. 3) That lovely white dress really should have been another Army uniform. 3) Check out that flag–only 48 stars.  So, have you read this far?


March 7, 2017


It’s here! And as if that weren’t enough for me, it’s getting two starred reviews–Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist. I’ve waited so long for this. I thought about dozens of pictures I could post, along with witty, but poignant things to say. But here I am, speechless and grateful, hoping that you like my story.

Check out giveaways at  If you’re on GoodReads, will you add the book to your favorite lists and to your shelf as to-read? Thanks!

IT’S MARCH! In 6 days…

March 1, 2017

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE officially releases and should be in book stores on March 7. After so many years dreaming about this book, it’s still hard to believe it’s real. God is just so good. I thought these pictures may help you envision some of the moments in the novel. Helen in Rennes, Frank in Marseilles, then on a battle field in Germany. Frank is on the castle in Heidelberg, Germany. Helen is on her way to meet Frank.

If you’ve been reading these blogs, thanks so much for your interest. I would LOVE to hear from anyone who’s reading WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE!

Aunt Dot, Army Nurse

February 3, 2017

Happy February! I’ve decided I’d like to introduce you to some of the characters that populate WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. This is 1st Lt. Dorothea Daley Engel, my Aunt Dot, the same one who sent her younger brother the cartoon. When the Japanese overran and bombed the Philippines, Dotty and a few other nurses cared for their patients in the jungles. That’s where she fell in love with “Boots,” a soldier she’d met before, but only gotten to know when he had malaria. As she wrote to her brother: What kind of world is this when the one you love contracting malaria is good news?” Her heroism earned her the Medal of Honor, which was presented to her by President Roosevelt and pinned on her by Eleanor. She never talked about it and didn’t even tell her family about the ceremony until it was too late for them to attend . . . except for my Uncle Jack, the spy. He’s next on my agenda of characters. Please add WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE to the list! Thanks again!


Screenwriter Gary Goldstein

September 8, 2014
Screenwriter--My Boyfriends' Dogs

Screenwriter–My Boyfriends’ Dogs

I’ve heard horror stories from authors whose books were turned into movies, and most of the villains in those stories were screenwriters. So you can imagine how grateful I am that the talented and brilliant Gary Goldstein consented to write the screenplay for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. He also consented to be interviewed:

How did you get started in the screenwriting business?

I began writing episodic TV,expanded into features and stage plays, then later branched out to TV movies.  It was basically a case of putting one foot in front of the other–or, rather, one script in front of the other–and following the doors that opened.

Was there a “big break” in your career?

I’d say my career has been more a case of consistent smaller breaks, not necessarily one big one (though selling a screenplay to 20th Century Fox in the late ’90s proved a great career boost).  More recently, on the TV movie front, selling my feature script “The Wish List” to Hallmark (it was made into a hit 2010 telefilm), led to a really gratifying string of work for the network.

How did you end up writing the script for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS?

At that point I had written six movies for Hallmark, all successful romantic comedies.  So Bart Fisher, an executive at Hallmark, thought I’d be a good fit to adapt the book.  I began working with the film’s producers (Marcy Gross and Ann Weston) and it evolved from there.

Can you explain your process of creating a screenplay from a book?

It varies from book to book, of course.  But, especially when you like a book as much as I did MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS, it’s a matter of honoring as much of the original material’s story, characters and tone, while telling the story cinematically–which is often different than the way a book may tell a story.  There’s a stricter paradigm for structuring a screenplay, particulary one that, as is the case of TV movies, can’t exceed a certain length.  At the same time, you’re also tying to satisfy the needs and mandates of a network or studio.  Whatever I may change I’m always careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak.

What was the best part of writing for MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS?

Writing Bailey–you created a wonderful character.  Oh, and writing the dogs!  I’m a huge dog person so that part was really fun.

What was the hardest part?

Streamlining what is a fairly involved story while keeping things clear and the most entertaining parts intact.  It was also a challenge to keep each of the “boyfriends” feel unique and memorable while tracking Bailey’s growth and change as a result of her relationships with them.  A bit of a juggling act but a joy to do.

Anything special you’d like viewers to look for when they watch the movie on October 18th?

Just enjoy the story, the dogs and the actors.  It’s a terrific cast and each actor brings so much to his or her role.  Erika Christensen, who plays Bailey, does an especially fine job–she’s adorable, charming and makes Bailey really relatable.  The movie’s also very funny, so I hope viewers appreciate the humor as well!

How do you plan to celebrate the premiere?

Watching with family, friends  and, of course, our dogs!


OCTOBER 18, 9pm ET!

August 21, 2014

MBD poster


July 2, 2014

The Producers of My Boyfriends' Dogs

The Producers of My Boyfriends’ Dogs

Marcy Gross and Ann Weston are the executive producers of MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS. Together, they have achieved much success and many honors, including “Best Television Producer of the Year,” awarded by the American Film Institute. Twice, they’ve been nominated for an Emmy: Outstanding Miniseries for “Billionaire Boys Club” and “Outstanding Television Movie” for the Hallmark Hall of Fame “A Place for Annie.”
I admit I’ve never quite been sure what a producer does (besides coming up with the money), or how a book or screenplay ends up as a movie. Marcy was kind enough to straighten me out and to give me a fun, lively, and informative interview.

DM: What exactly does a producer do?
MG: On a feature film, the producer is boss. On a television production, it’s the executive producers who are boss. They hunt for good ideas and stories, find the project, sell the concept to a network or cable, then bring on board everyone needed to make the movie.
Producers then work with the network or cable company in developing the movie. Certain things need approval. For example, when we were working on MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS, Hallmark felt the first script strayed too far from the book, and the original screenwriter wasn’t open to changing his script enough to please the company. That’s when we brought on Gary Goldstein; he went back to the book and kept the script true to that story. We were fortunate to get Terry Ingram, a wonderful director, and the cinematographer he’s worked so well with before, Ron Stannett. We hire the entire cast, also with approval from Hallmark.

DM: Wow! I admit I thought producers mostly had to worry about the money.
MG: Well, we’re the ones who pay, all right. We have to pay you, the author, for the rights to a movie version of your book. We have to pay the screenwriter and everyone else we need to get a project into development. Our line producer, Chris, does the budget and makes deals for the crew, including production designers, costumers, lighting, so many things. We get reimbursed, and our production partner will take over payments, but we don’t make money unless the movie makes it to production.

DM: How did you and Ann get into producing?
MG: It’s stupid really. I knew I wanted to work after the kids were out of the house. My husband was in the business, and friends—one friend was looking for a project to finance. Ann had been an agent, a manager, and an actress. We decided to see if we could find a good project to work on together—that was over 30 years ago. We looked around, called agents, and found a wonderful story in “Wild Horse Annie,” the story of Velma Johnston, who dedicated herself to protecting our wild horses. We had Betty White on board. The project sold fast, but never came to production; it was our learning experience. We’d bypassed the natural movie order by going straight to the president of the network, rather than going through regular channels. We just didn’t know how it was done. The following year, we sold 8 projects and made 3 movies in ’82.

DM: So if someone aspires to be a producer, what training would you recommend?
MG: Write. If you like to write, write and join the Writer’s Guild, where you’re protected and get benefits, something few producers get. Many executive producers are writers.

DM: How hard is it for a writer to get his or her book or screenplay turned into a movie?
MG: Years ago, a friend advised us to go into the television market and make movies for TV. We were able to produce 2 or 3 movies every year. But the market changed; ABC, NBC, and CBS rarely make original movies now, so the market is tighter. Ann and I have produced 26 movies and one miniseries, and we have to be passionate about the things we pitch. We may have from 30-40 stories we’re passionate about, including Wild Horse Annie.

DM: So I have to ask—what drew you guys to MY BOYFRIENDS’ DOGS?
MG: Ann picked up the book, read it, and said she fell in love with the book. I read it, and I adored it too, so we were both passionate about the project. We talked to your movie agent, Holly, and optioned the movie rights. Then we took the project to our Hallmark contact, and she loved it. But as we were in development and working out details, our Hallmark executive left the company, and we had to start all over. Fortunately, our new executive, Bart Fisher, was also passionate about the project. He worked hard and really got behind My Boyfriends’ Dogs. He’s been great. Everyone we showed the story to thought it was cute, but we’re all agreed it’s a perfect fit for Hallmark. And they’re excited about this one, which is why they switched the date to September, when they have a bigger audience.

DM: Any final advice for writers?
MG: It’s hard to get an agent, but there are places that take on scripts and send us loglines that may capture our interest. Keep writing! Without good writers, we won’t have good movies. Writers are the key.