All posts by Glenn Plaskin

Academic Brilliance, A Professor Who Knows How To Write

Last night  was a magically-breezy evening in Battery Park City, the perfect temperature for dinner outside on the Hudson, the occasion being a birthday party for my great friend Jason VanOra, Associate Professor of Psychology at Kingsborough Community College. Over guacamole and chips, chicken quesadillas, and a chocolate brownie sundae, Jason, who looks about 22, made me feel a bit old, as I have a belt older than him! But I was very happy to celebrate, together with our close friends Peg and my sister Debby.

Jason with our Peg (left) and my sister Debby (right)

Occasionally in life, you come upon someone who not only has great intelligence and charm, but also a warmly empathetic nature too. There’s an instant “click.” And that person, with whom you have great chemistry, gradually joins the category of “best friend.”

Well, that’s Jason! My perspicacious, always sunny-and-buoyant friend is a once-in-a life-time find. I met him five years ago at a get together in Greenwich Village and ever since, we’ve been having dinner almost every Friday night.

I can’t tell you how many evenings we’ve spent strolling around the Village talking about anything and everything, laughing hilariously, people-watching, and musing on life’s ups and downs. And like any best friend, Jason lifts my spirits, expressing his caring unconditionally, with no judgement. This is rare–and to be greatly valued.

In fact, last night’s party for Jason got me thinking about friendship in general. After all, the entire theme of my book, Katie Up and Down the Hall, is about creating the journey from friendship to family, our core group being my astutely-intelligent dog, Katie, my octogenarian friend Pearl, her husband Arthur, a little boy named Ryan, who had no Mom, his Dad, John, and me. And as I say in the book trailer: “That’s the amazing thing about family. It’s anything you want it to be.”

I can’t tell you how therapeutic it was for me to be part of such a fantastic group, one made even closer as we all lived along the same 120-foot hallway. Apartment doors were swinging open all day long–with my dog racing up and down the hall, chasing tennis balls and Ryan, running circles around Pearl, all of us sharing dinner together and long walks along the Hudson. It was the best of times. And to have close friends surround you, in a family circle, gives you the support and sustenance you need, getting you through every twist and turn of life. . As the late Wayne Dyer once told me, “God can appear in many disguises–even as a dog!”and I might add, even as a friend as well!

And beyond emotional support, I remember reading a great article last year in the New York Times about the health benefits of having friends–which include reducing heart disease, obesity, stress, lowering blood pressure, and creating all-important feel-good endorphins. People with friends feel more relaxed and at peace, so that the ultimate health benefit of friendship is living a longer, healthier life.

I can tell you that Jason makes my life more fun and interesting, and easier to handle. At the end of a long week, spending time with a close friend like him is as good as any therapy session. In fact, surprisingly, even spending time with an intimate partner doesn’t always provide the same health benefits as friendship, for good friends offer a different kind of support than lovers, siblings, parents, or children.

P.S. As all you dog lovers know, man’s BEST friend, of course, is his D O G! It’s been proven that dog owners live longer, easily stave off loneliness and isolation, have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, a brightened mood, and, of course, reap the benefits of lots of exercise with all those walks.

I once figured out that I walked my curiously-energetic dog, Katie, more than 20,000 times over the course of nearly 15 years. How many miles is that? And who needs the gym?!

A Book Launch Hit Out Of The Park: RUNNING WITH MY HEAD DOWN

After months of writing a book—recording and transcribing interviews, composing multiple drafts, plus the editing and copy-editing—it’s finally time to PUBLISH!

This is the fun part of book writing–the final result of a huge amount of work.

At last, rather than just reading your book on a computer screen, you can hold in your hand an actual printed book, the tangible result of your vision.

I can never forget the time I held my first book, the biography of legendary concert pianist Vladimir Horowitz. The book took 3 ½ years to write, and at last, it was done.


And so it is for FRANK FIUME, a pioneer in the youth sports industry and founder of i9 Sports, nation’s leading franchisor of youth leagues and camps.

After almost a year of intense work, Frank has finally completed his personal memoir, RUNNING WITH MY HEAD DOWN, a riveting motivational memoir that reveals the secrets to finding your life mission.


Here is the riveting story of a boy from a tenement apartment in
Queens who was obsessed with the game of baseball.

He becomes a super-fan who
idolized the Yankees and devoured player statistics, collecting vintage
cards and organizing backyard leagues.

As he matures, he turns this passion for the game into a life purpose. Laser-focused, with nothing to lose, he runs toward his goal with his ‘head down,’ defying skeptics, ultimately becoming a pioneer in the youth sports industry.

Best of all, through all the ups and down of his life, he presents the reader with prescriptive strategies for enhancing personal success and happiness. 

Unlike any other author I’ve ever known, Frank is pulling out all the stops to hit a literary home run.


For starters, he’s hired the preeminent digital marketing guru in the U.S.. His name is Ken Gillett of Target Marketing, a cutting edge company that collaborates with such bestselling authors as Ray Dalio, Howard Marks, and Hillary Clinton.

Frank is also allied with Greenleaf Book Group, which has one of the best distribution networks in the U.S..

His book will be available in Barnes & Nobles, for pre-order on AMAZON,  and in every airport bookstore in the nation.

And that’s just the beginning, as all Frank’s TV, radio, newspaper and media appearances will be coordinated by Smith Publicity, which specializes in business book marketing, self-help book promotion, non-fiction book publicity and sports PR.

In his public speaking appearances, Fiume discusses the secrets to building a business from the ground up, entrepreneurial leadership, corporate life cycles, and the importance of personal development via seminars and retreats.

Frank’s speaking points include:

The Entrepreneur Identity Crisis: How to overcome the self-limiting belief that your identity is your business.

The Lonely at the Top Syndrome: How to build a solid relationship with your employees without losing your authority; and the secret to overcoming CEO isolation

The Executive Burnout Phase: Identifying the signs of mental and physical overload and utilizing powerful techniques for restoring life balance.

The Affluenza Affair: How to recreate the spark in your business in order to feel the same ambition and hunger as you once did.

The Fundamentals of Franchising: Determining how and when to franchise your business, preparing for the peaks and valleys along the way.

The Critics and Crisis: How to handle internal company crisis and external criticism.

The Influence of Family and Friends: How to deal with a skeptical support network—and what to do when their advice, values, and judgments don’t match yours.

The Spiritual Awakening: How to expand your self-awareness through a passionate commitment to personal growth and self-care. What’s driving all this? Frank, who is As Frank demonstrates, when you have a passion and purpose, and when you’re laser-focused upon it, anything is possible.

Talk about getting your money’s worth! Don’t miss it. Here’s more about the book.





Creating A Time Capsule Of History

The 32-year-old historian/activist Wes Enos

I recently met the charismatic Wes Enos, executive director of The Generations Project, who is preserving precious memories of LGBTQ history by producing story-telling events, filmed in front of live audiences, featuring a fascinating panel of people with unique life experiences.

It’s all to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of LGBTQ+ liberation.

Wes, who recently appeared on the cover of Gay City News, has a deep-rooted affinity for history.

As the article states: The enterprising young activist founded the history-minded group in 2015 with the aim of bridging what he saw as the widening chasm between young and old queer generations.

And the prime building blocks for those bridges take the form of shared histories through highly personal stories — whether happy or harrowing — about the LGBTQ experience.

“History has a history of being forgotten,” the 32-year old Enos said. “When history is not shared, it is lost. Our community has not had the resources or social acceptance to have our heritage recorded properly. Now we have all the resources available.”

Enos concedes that when he started the not-for-profit endeavor, he knew nothing about the watershed Stonewall uprising. He’d heard of it, but didn’t grasp its historical impact.

By creating an inclusive, safe space for dialogue, vital queer history is passed down to younger generations and the LGBTQ community is fortified.

“Our community has been missing a platform where older adults are valued and their stories acknowledg­ed,” said Enos. “The best way to build our community is to share our history and make sure our stories are passed to the next generation.”

The platform created by The Generations Project consists of workshops and shows, where stories are presented in front of a live audience and recorded. The group has collected over 100 stories and staged more than 15 storytelling shows, with more on the calendar.

Past shows have centered on themes such as HIV stigma, the history of Gay Pride, personal and historical “first times,” and how fashion has contributed to LGBTQ visibility.

One of the most memorable for Enos was Melissa Sklarz, an out transgender woman long active in progressive politics who failed to win her election bid last year for a New York State Assembly seat in Queens. She was hoping to be the first ever transgender member of the State Legislature.

Wes with his beautiful pug!

“Regardless of our age, we all have a desire to learn from someone younger or older than ourselves,” Enos said. “The best way to learn is to connect with people of different ages.”

As part of the mammoth Stonewall 50 celebration this June, The Generations Project is joining forces with the New-York Historical Society to create the Stonewall 50 Time Capsule, to be stored at the NYHS for 50 years. But it’s not your typical time capsule.

“I like 50 years because I’m an environmentalist and am concerned about the future,” Enos said. “Some people say they might not be around in 20 or 30 years. Well, let’s write about that in the time capsule. Let’s record our positive intentions for a world we want in 50 years. What do we need to do now to make that happen?”

My Interview with Elizabeth Taylor, who is holding the AIDS mask

Maybe one day I’ll share my story of coming to New York in the 80’s to create a journalism career, being fortunate to interview everyone from Jacqueline Onassis and Nancy Reagan to Meryl Streep and Elizabeth Taylor. That was when the AIDS crisis was at its height, and millions were threatened with no treatments. Stay tuned.

Meeting with Nancy Reagan at the White House during the height of the AIDS epidemic

For more information, check out the group’s website at or contact Wes Enos directly at [email protected]­erationspr­

Emerging From The Virtual Vapor: A Global Executive With A Story To Tell

LinkedIn can take you places you never expected to go.

It’s  social media free-for-all, a mixer for professionals seeking to enhance opportunity no matter where they are in the world.

My LinkedIn page is a virtual resume, which sometimes attracts people interested in having me ghostwrite their book.

So sometimes, out of the blue, a total stranger emerges from the virtual vapor. It’s magical how easy it is to connect.

Business Leader, Corporate President, Executive Coach, Speaker Erik Kikuchi

That happened to me in January 2013, when a young man named Erik Kikuchia renowned executive coach and lecturer on entrepreneurship, reached out with the idea of writing a memoir.

It would be focused on his mission work in South America, where he devoted himself to helping underprivileged and orphaned children in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Bogota, and Chile.

As I learned, in the midst of his work, the Canadian-born businessman had founded three successful companies, allowing him financial independence to concentrate on the work of his Foundation, providing kids with the kind of support he himself needed as a child.

As his story unfolded in our Skype conversations, Erik confided that he had a lonely nomadic existence as a boy. The product of a broken marriage, he and his brother were sometimes homeless, living in motels, shelters, and outside in parks with their mom. Other times, Erik was placed in foster care.

Erik in South America

The strife and displacement of these early years cast a long shadow, motivating Kikuchi to envision a life of greater financial and emotional stability.

Having overcome poverty and homelessness in his youth through sheer self-reliance and resourcefulness, the 23-year-old entrepreneur set out to create companies of his own.

What an incredible story of resilience and redemption, perfect for a book.

But the book never happened! We lost touch. And  then, five years later, once again out of the mist, Erik emerged with a phone call.

By this time, he had moved back to Canada and had become the President of Diva International Inc., a multi-national corporation that manufactures The DivaCup.

It’s a revolutionary feminine hygiene product designed to provide women with a better period care experience by using a reusable menstrual cup instead of disposables.

The Founders of Diva International Inc. Francine Chambers and Carinne Chambers-Saini, pioneer disrupters in the menstrual care industry, creating a new category that created An Inner Revolution!

The dynamic CEO in action

Wow! A man of many talents. After years of separation, he was calling me with a great opportunity:

Did I want to collaborate with the dynamic CEO of DivaCup, Carinne Chambers-Saini, on a book about the history of the company. What an intriguing subject.

Fast Forward: Just a few months ago, after a year of work, Carinne and I finished her monumental book, titled AN INNER REVOLUTION, PERIOD! 

It’s a fascinating story about how two women, mother (Francine) and daughter (Carinne), together became pioneers in the feminine hygiene industry, bringing a new form of menstrual care to women worldwide.

The story is a complex one, covering the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, and capturing the duo’s persistence in the face of early rejection.

Together, they created a revolution in menstrual care, becoming Amazon’s #1 seller, their product known around the world, Carinne honored as one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs Of The Year. 

The memoir also includes a very personal component, as Carinne shares the twists and turns of her emotional journey, balancing the demands of motherhood and the duties of a CEO.

Nowadays, DivaCup is lit up in Times Square on a giant Jumbotron, and it’s sold worldwide, in 35,000 U.S. outlets and in 40 countries.

All in all, had it not been for my accidental meeting on LinkedIn, I never would have met Erik–much less would I have had the opportunity to write a book with Carinne. As Tony Robbins always says, PROXIMITY IS THE MESSENGER OF FATE.

Erik, his wife Johanna, Diva Inc. CEO Carinne Chambers-Saini and her husband Ricky at the Ernst & Young Gala

Stay tuned: In 2020, AN INNER REVOLUTION, PERIOD will make its literary debut, along with a documentary film, titled PANDORA’S BOX,  a project executive-produced by Carinne and envisioned and co-produced by Erik.

The dramatic film is intended to shed light on the plight of women–in African nations, India, and throughout the world–discriminated against merely because they menstruate. This is the subject of so-called menstrual equity–and every woman alive deserves it.

Erik, far right, at the helm with Diva executives, from left, Melanie Jones,Roxanne Law, and Virginia Shay

Erik, as President of Diva International and Carinne, as its CEO/Founder, are leading the way toward a life-changing mission for women everywhere. I’m just proud to be a part of it.

To follow Erik on Twitter: @ErikKikuchi

The X-Factor, Soon To Become A Book

In a world riddled with continuous strife and violence–school shootings, terrorist attacks, nuclear threats, foreign wars, and personal acts of hatred—-what is the true CAUSE of it all?

What’s driving this madness?

Is it just politics? Philosophical or religious differences?  Xenophobia? It goes even deeper.

In order to heal underlying causes of all this craziness, the inner demons that plague our culture, we must first identify the elusive X-factor affecting every human interaction we have. What is it exactly?

“It’s our MENTAL HEALTH, our sense of inner well-being, notes Pastor Gregory Dickow, the acclaimed spiritual leader of Chicago’s renowned Life Changers International Church.  

The charismatic  54-year-old, known as one of America’s leading Bible teachers, is also the author of THE POWER TO CHANGE TODAY, a compelling Christian-based self-help book which offers the secrets to the satisfied life (a book I proudly worked on as its editor.)

In a fascinating phone conversation with Pastor Dickow, he makes a convincing argument about the need for greater public awareness of psychological health:

“Every single thing that happens to us, every headline in the news, is a product of MENTAL HEALTH–the ‘state of mind’ of  our leaders, our families, our congregations, and, in fact, all 7 billion people on earth.”

As we know, people are suffering everywhere–experiencing clinical depression, anxiety, obsession, compulsion, substance abuse and addiction, you name it.

And there are millions of others who are stressed out, often feeling down or discouraged or without faith in the future.

The statistics of mental illness are staggering. An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults –suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Many suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

“And it’s not only adults, adds the Pastor. “What about the 10% of elementary-aged children who self-injure themselves. Why? Because they’re in severe emotional pain or, ironically, almost numb to it and attempting to  feel something.”

Obviously, some of these disorders require specialized psychiatric and medical treatments, on multiple platforms. That’s for sure.

“But many people,” says Dickow, “do not need psychiatric medications or medical interventions, but instead greater faith, enhanced awareness, an emboldened outlook, family and peer support,  and down-to-earth prescriptive actions.”

Joining his other insightful books, Pastor Dickow will soon reveal the secrets and techniques to attaining greater inner peace in a new trailblazing book about mental health and how to nurture it.

As we all know too well, poor mental health left untreated can lead to complete chaos.

“Can you believe that 1 million people commit suicide each year worldwide?” asks Dickow.

“People who are not receiving the love and support they need can become unhinged.”

Indeed, with no inhibitions, their primal urges and demonic impulses begin to dominate their psyches.

Some turn inward and hurt themselves, while others begin to out their rage.

So they pull out a gun. They unleash a bomb. They mow down a crowd with a van. They barricade themselves in a hotel room and shoot out the window, killing innocent concertgoers. Or they invade a school or a place of worship.

All this vitriol is violently unleashed in their twisted minds, causing death, heartache, murder, suicide, you name it. So tragic.

Pastor Dickow’s genius is knowing how to blend the lessons from the Bible with practical prescriptions that can result in a renewed outlook, helping others throughout the world to regain the loving spirit that God planted within each of us.

In parting, he reminds me of the classic Biblical story in Luke 8:27, in which Jesus comes upon a demon-possessed man, and restores him to mental health. The demons are pulled from this man and transferred into a herd of pigs.

If only we could do the same with a terrorist or murderer or child abuser, or school shooter, or someone who feels depressed or tortured.  But the story, of course, is a metaphor, teaching us that we can release these demons. Yes, we can experience titanic emotions but we can also learn to let them go, knowing that God can certainly do for us what we can not do alone.

Pastor Dickow and wife, Grace, who is co-founder of Life Changers International Church

The Dickow Family, everyone involved in the mission at Life Changers

Pastor Dickow and his ministry is leading the way, so his upcoming book on healing mental illness and illuminating a path of love will be a must read.


Marla Maples: In A Chapter From My Memory Book

On a warm spring day in Manhattan, the doorman in my Battery Park City apartment building rang me up on the intercom phone to announce a very unusual guest.

“Glenn,” said Felipe, sounding taken aback, “Marla Maples is here!”

“Send her up,” I said, anticipating my famous visitor.

And so began a very private interview, given by Maples during the Donald-Ivana-Marla tabloid triangle, a spectacle that was then rocking New York.

Because Marla was the biggest news media draw in America in 1990, she would have been mobbed by paparazzi had we conducted the interview anywhere else, so my apartment was the unexpected choice for an exclusive sit-down, the chance for her to talk thoughtfully about her new-found notoriety.

As a magazine reporter at the New York Daily News, I felt fortunate to have gotten the interview at all, which happened thanks to Donald Trump’s recommendation, since I had months earlier interviewed him for the News.

And it wouldn’t be long before I’d interview him for the cover of Playboy Magazine

During the wide-ranging 2-hour chat, Marla, the most unflappable, articulate 24-year-old, spoke eloquently about her relationship with The Donald, and maturely faced down the judgments of those who criticized her:

“What I’ve learned,” she mused, “is that nothing is black and white. Sometimes, our biggest fears and hypocrisies come back to haunt us—to teach us lessons. I absolutely believe that my higher power put this in my path—so that I would learn not to judge, just to love.”

At one point during the conversation, she got up and went into my bedroom, closed the door, and called Donald on a break.

If all this seems surreal now, back then, who could have ever guessed that Donald Trump would one day become President?

A few years later, Marla, of course, would marry Trump at the Plaza Hotel and have a daughter with him, Tiffany Trump, though that union would eventually end, with Marla moving to California as she pursued a career as an actress.

In fact, two years after my first interview with Marla, she made her impressive Broadway debut as the star of the Will Rogers Follies, which yielded another cover story interview with her.

As she laughed: “The last thing I wanted to do was get up and play what could have been looked at as a light blond role; but I watched it and saw it was a demanding, comedic part. And, finally, after all the time and money I’ve spent on getting rid of my Southern accent, now I can use it!”

Just a few months after this interview she kindly agreed to appear with me on The Oprah Winfrey Show in October 1992, to promote my book, Turning Point: Pivotal Moments In The Lives Of America’s Celebrities. She certainly had a pivotal moment to discuss!

And on the show, which also included Angie Dickinson, Rod Steiger, and Annette Funicello, she spoke in very frank terms about her relationship with Donald Trump.

And now, decades later, Marla, at 55, is still startlingly youthful, proven by her appearance on Dancing With The Stars, where she displayed a physical grace that defies any age.

As for me, I can still see her sitting on the white couch in my living room, talking quietly about her hopes for a happy future, one that she has certainly achieved on her own terms—as a dedicated mother with a college-age daughter, and a multi-talented woman who has found her center.

With more than 15 films roles (Happiness, Black and White, Executive Decision), numerous TV appearances (Liv and Maddie, Spin City, The Nanny), Broadway shows (The Will Rogers Follies, Love, Loss and What I Wore), and dozens of magazine covers on her resume, Maples firmly secured her place in popular culture.

Nowadays, in her various pursuits, the actress, singer, social activist advocates both physical and spiritual health, with fantastic recipes on her web site describing a diet that has kept her happy and healthy.

Her charitable devotion is legion: Having contracted  Lyme Disease as a teen, Marla has been honored for her work with the Global Lyme Alliance. In addition, she remains committed to supporting a multitude of non-profit organizations including, Spirituality for Kids, The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine, The City Of Hope, and Kids Creating Peace. Through it all, she maintains a dignity and resilience that have become her trademarks.

As she said in a recent interview: “I think life is about being ready for anything, and where are you going to find the positive in all things,” she said. “I choose not to judge anybody else. I don’t want to be judged, so how can I judge another human being? I say to my friends, let’s help lift this world, not bring it down.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 28: Marla Maples (L) and Tiffany Trump have dinner at Sumosan on July 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)


How To Confront and Heal Domestic Violence and Childhood Abuse

Oprah interviewing two of Michael Jackson’s victims

In HBO’s shocking new documentary, Leaving Neverland, we witness the horrifying spectacle of pop star Michael Jackson allegedly sexually abusing young boys, preying on them with his fame.

Not to mention ongoing revelations about legions of Catholic priests who have sexually abused children over decades. All this bad news is yet another reminder that the world must protect its children.

Psychologist Linda Olson

Nobody knows this better than renowned clinical psychologist Linda Olson, who has committed the last 30 years of her medical practice to treating survivors of childhood sexual abuse, violence and trauma.

Having founded the nation’s first regional chapter of the Childhood Domestic Violence Association, Dr. Olson knows about childhood abuse from the inside out, having been a victim of childhood domestic violence herself, among 40 million Americans who are:

“UNICEF,” she notes, “calls childhood domestic violence (CDV) one of the most pervasive unaddressed human rights violations in the world, an epidemic affecting 275 million children globally.

“One out of seven children grows up witnessing violence between their parents or caregiver, or experiences physical or emotional abuse directly.”

Imagine little kids being slapped, punched, kicked, thrown down stairs, choked or bit, not to mention verbal threats, intimidation and coercion. This leaves them in constant terror, feeling alone, hopeless, helpless.

The consequences of this multi-generational disease are tragic ones: “Kids who grow up in violent homes are six times more likely to commit suicide, 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and 74 times more likely to commit a violent crime. And most importantly, CDV is the single biggest predictor of becoming a victim or perpetrator later in life.”

Dr. Olson is no exception—having grown up in a violent home with parents who were constantly fighting, her out-of-control mother both physically and emotionally abusive to all six children: “She slapped and hit us in the face, pulled our hair, choked us, pulled out pants down to beat us with a belt, always chasing us around, beating us up. Bloody noses were very common.”

As the eldest of the siblings, Linda learned to protect her siblings and later turned her nurturing temperament into a commitment to heal others by becoming a therapist. But in her personal life, she perpetuated the cycle of pain by choosing violent men:

“I always chose very angry, judgmental, super bright men who were sexually, physically, and emotionally abusive.” Her 22-year-old marriage fell into this pattern, “and I kept thinking he would change or that I could ‘fix’ him. I was in massive denial.”

With sons Robbie, Ryan, and Andrew

Ultimately, Dr. Olson was able to break free from her husband and divorce him only once she saw the effects the violence was having on her three sons.

While she escaped the cycle of abuse, two of her younger sisters were not so fortunate, the violence they endured as children having tragic consequences.

Dr. Olson’s youngest sister, Anne, 25, was shot and killed at gunpoint by a violent boyfriend. Her other sister, Mary, was in and out of abusive relationships. “And she died of a broken heart,” says Dr. Olson, ” homeless and alone at 50, her depression and borderline personality disorder never treated. She felt completely worthless. Both of my sisters were victims of childhood domestic violence and it ultimately killed them.”

The wreckage of her own marriage and the tragedy of her sisters’ fate has only strengthened Dr. Olson’s resolve to shine a light for all those affected by CDV.

Inspired by the trailblazing book about childhood domestic violence, INVINCIBLE, written by crusader and philanthropist Brian Martin, Dr. Olson hopes to write an inspiring memoir of her own, based upon her childhood years and her clinical experience. She also plans to write a children’s book to comfort those who are in the midst of such trauma, as no such book currently exists.

Joe Cohen’s book about a GREAT parental relationship

Nurturing Dr. Olson along in this process is Joseph Cohen, cocreator of Empowered Fathers In Action, encouraging positive relationships between fathers and their children. Olson has also been supported in her mission  by veteran media specialist Tom Martin, who worked for years at CBS Sunday morning as a producer.

To comfort kids around the world, Dr. Olson has also founded Project Hope Bear, intended to help grieving children and families find hope after loss and/or witnessing domestic violence. The organization provides an adorable teddy bear to kids, as studies have shown that a cuddly stuffed animal reduces a sense of loneliness and anxiety for anyone who has experienced trauma, violence and loss.

Wouldn’t you like to make a contribution to fund this teddy bear program, so children who need that tenderness and comfort can get it?

We’re lucky to have a Dr. Olson on the job!

BOOK LAUNCH: Tips on Throwing a Publication Party

When my dog memoir, KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL was published, Hachette Book Group, my dog-loving agent Jan Miller, our book publicist and I spent nearly a year planning that launch event.

Legendary Host Calvin Klein

It was a military operation, that included pinpointing the right New York City venue, MacKenzie-Childs, procuring our celebrity host,  Calvin Klein,  and creating a guest list that included everyone from NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Judge Judy to bestselling authors Mary Higgins Clark and Barbara Taylor Bradford. Not to mention 350 guests and 15 photographers. It was indeed a night to remember.

The purpose of such an event is to create advance buzz for your book radiating out from your home base to media reporters and online influencers, all in an effort to get sales at B&N and Amazon booming!

So, for first-time authors who want to raise their profile and celebrate their book’s publication, here are 12 launch tips:

(1) Choose a THEME for the event (in my case everything dog-related) that can carry through in the food, decor, invitations, and gift bags

(2) Have a graphic artist design your invitation (printed and/or elite) and make it a keepsake, in full color with an image of the book on it, advance testimonials, and an online RSVP.

Gift Bag Line-Up

(3)Provide Gift Bags: Every book party must provide takeaway gift bag for its guests, with a complimentary copy of the book and other little goodies (in my case the bags contained a chocolate dog bone, a hand-painted Christmas ornament also in the shape of a dog bone, a medical kit for dogs, and a cuddly stuffed cocker spaniel doll, you name it! Be creative.)

(4)Pick the right day and time: The typical book party should be a cocktail Reception from 6-8. Avoid Friday, Saturday or Sunday: Weekdays ideal so people can come after work

(5) Create the perfect MENU: A full bar is not needed and too expensive. Instead, serve wine or Champagne and  possibly beer. Only serve easy to pick up finger food (one bite treats) preferably passed by waiters, or alternately displayed on tables on trays. (You must have at least one vegetarian choice, one meat, one fish, one cheese.)

(6) Compile Your Invite List: Invite 3 times the number of people you actually want to appear. That’s typically the response ratio. Compile of list of family, friends, colleagues, former schoolmates,  press, local celebrities, politicians (try to get the Mayor to come), anybody you can think of. This is the ultimate NETWORKING event to spread the word about your book.

(7) Hire a photographer and videographer to capture the event, media that can be loaded onto your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

(8) Procure Appropriate Sponsors:  Find charitable or corporate organizations that match the theme and mission of your book. This is essential. Placing their logo on your invitation adds prestige and glamor to the evening. To motivate a sponsor, give them something they want–publicity, potential profits from book sales, whatever might enhance your public profile. (PS: Get THEIR list of party guests and merge it with yours)

(9)Order a customized step-and-repeata free standing blow-up of the book,  a centerpiece that can be used at other events, such as book readings, conferences, and media appearances

(10) Liaison with the Press: Invite radio, tv, magazine, newspaper personalities and social media influencers in your home town. You’ll be amazed how many of them will want to attend a book launch. This will pay off in subsequent interviews and mentions.

(11) Invite Adults Only: Much as everyone loves kids, this is a grown-up cocktail party, not a wedding, so hire a babysitter.

Mom and Me

(12)Plan a Post-Party Dinner:  Invite a small circle of close friends and family to join you for an elegant fun dinner after the reception. You’ll be starved by then and ready for a full meal!

A Check Up From The Neck Up

Ever feel like you’re going C-R-A-Z-Y?!

Stress is coming at your from every direction. So instead of feeling confident and in control, you’re frazzled and highly reactive to events around you. Like a car skidding on ice, your emotions are driving you, instead of the other way around.

Forget anti-anxiety drugs and years of psychotherapy.

Instead, try out the powerful treatment offered by renowned brain coach Paula Oleska, who has created a life-changing pathway to unleashing what she calls your Maverick Mindset:

“Imagine what it would be like,” she says, “ to have the inner strength to sail through conflicts… to be unaffected by other people’s incompetence, lack of cooperation, or hostility… to go home at the end of the day relaxed and ready to have peaceful interactions with your spouse and your children”

Sounds great, right?!

“Instead of feeling like you’re floundering, unmotivated, and frustrated with your unending ‘to do’ list, I get you back on track, with crystal-clear focus and enhanced motivation so that you can finally gets things done effortlessly.”

But how? All the answers are in Paula’s revolutionary audio program, Your Secret Brain. In it, Paula teaches how the three layers of the brain are driving everything we think, feel, and do.

The first brain “layer” is the Reptilian, the Behavioral Brain, the oldest of the three, that controls our body’s vital functions and the instinct for self-preservation. It’s our gut meant to keep us safe and secure.

Then there’s the Limbic brain that controls emotions, empathy and parental reactions. That’s our heart.

So often, people report that when they become emotional, their emotional reactions hijack their ability to think clearly and make rational decisions, which leads to…

…the third layer of the brain, the Neocortex, or the Thinking Brain, which controls logic and abstract thoughts.

Paula gets you acquainted with all part of your brain! And in just hours, by integrating mind-body techniques and four very simple gentle physical activities, her program modifies extreme emotional reactions, calming down the Limbic brain and restoring our ability to think clearly and make better decisions.

So anytime anger or fear or intense resentment surface, using her 15-minute program, Paula leads you to having all three parts of your brain work in harmony, so that you can achieve the results you want in life. You will even feel physically healthier, since so many ailments are related to emotional distress.

As for those intense emotions, they’re triggered, she says, by a need that is not being met.

“Once your discover what that need is underneath the emotional reaction, you can learn to meet that need, so that you will never have that emotional again in that situation.”

Voila: Master your emotions and you will be able to resolve conflicts, improve your communications, and have better relationships in business and in your personal life,” she says. It’s a stunning promise. The result is a calmer, more confident, stress-free you.

To see Paula in action and learn more about her transformative work, don’t miss her New York City appearance on March 15th at the Maximize Your Influence Conference. I’ll be there too, talking about how writing a book is a tremendous marketing opportunity. 


What do an international rap star, the world’s pre-eminent peak performance coach,  a Chicago Pastor, an Emmy-Award winning CNN producer, and a Shark Tank billionaire all have in common?

First, they have been among my roster of clients. Second, they all wanted a book written.

But why? Beyond financial gain, the real purpose was to EXPAND THEIR BRAND, to give them a higher platform to stand on.

So whether it was my collaboration with a triathlon lawyer, the creator of the nation’s largest youth sports franchise, or the CEO of a multinational corporation that manufactures an incredible product for women–they all wanted to be published.

That’s because a book is an indispensable marketing tool for anyone, no matter what your business.

I’ll tell you all about it at Maximize Your Influence, a powerful one-day conference for entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners to be held in New York on March 15th.

As you’ll see, whether it’s recounting your life story or the history of your company, using a book as a legacy tool, or offering a prescriptive program that makes you unique—your book is a passport to success, an effective marketing tool for the following reasons:

#1: A BOOK IS YOUR BILLBOARD: It’s a portable, tangible calling card that can be sold or given away as a promotional tool at any professional association, national trade show, convention, community group, business conference, you name it.

#2: A BOOK GIVES YOU INSTANT CREDIBILITY: Once you write a book, you get a “halo” effect from your rise in credibility and prestige. Now you’re an expert and the eyes of the world are upon you. As the author of 7 books, I’ve had the honor of having my books featured on Oprah, The Today Show, Larry King, Joan Rivers and beyond; and they have been reviewed in such publications as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The L.A. Times, The London Times, Time and Newsweek. That kind exposure is priceless and will always lead to new opportunity. It did for me.

#3: A BOOK LEADS TO MEDIA APPEARANCES: Once you’ve recognized as an expert in your field, you will be amazed how television, radio, newspaper, podcasts, and social media influencers will call upon you to appear in these venues. Whether you hire a corporate public relations firm or a digital marketing expert, it’s easy to seek out media opportunities once you have a book to talk about. Again, you’re now an expert and a book commands instant respect.

#4: A BOOK PROMOTES YOUR SPEAKING CAREER: Your value as a public speaker is always solidified by having a book, published, which makes you an EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD.

i9 Founder Frank Fiume’s book will be released by Greenleaf Book Group in October

#5: A BOOK GENERATES BUSINESS LEADS, ALLOWING YOU TO CLOSE MORE DEALS: No explanation needed. Nothing sells like success, and I’ve often sent my work to prospective authors who can hold an already-published book in their hand and instantly visualize holding their own.

#6: A BOOK PROVIDES BRAND CLARITY: Having a book that lays out the core models or principles of your business helps potential clients understand what you’re about and how you can be valuable to them.

CEO of Diva International, Carinne Chambers-Saini, an industry disrupter with a book on the way

#7: A BOOK ALLOWS YOU TO COMMAND HIGHER FEES: Not least important, public exposure always leads to an increase in your overall value, making your command a fee commensurate with your skillset and effort.

A life-changing book about fulfilling our true potential, coming out soon!

Remember: The value of a book as a marketing tool isn’t the number of books sold but the marketing ability the book provides.

Pastor Gregory Dickow, Chicago’s Best, founder of Life Changers Church, offers a message of emotional abundance

As one business author said: “One new client pays for the entire project.”