Meet Me at the ASJA Writers’ Conference

ASJA 2016I serve as the chairwoman for the Contracts & Conflicts Committee with the American Society of Journalists and Authors, which will be holding its annual writers’ conference May 20-21 in New York City. As part of this year’s event, committee members Milton Toby and Joan Burda will join me to present a panel called “Indemnity Clauses and Who Really Owns Your Notes: Legalities that May Shock You.”

I’ll be handling the indemnity clauses portion of the program, which will include results from a recent (and disturbing) ASJA membership survey that revealed 1) indemnity clauses are becoming ubiquitous in writers’ contracts; and 2) they are having a chilling effect on what writers are willing to report and publish. I’ll be talking about how to spot these contract clauses and negotiate them with publishers of all kinds.

Milt and Joan will discuss the ownership of notes issue, which is becoming more complicated (and frightening) than many journalists realize thanks to some recent court rulings that they will explain.

Care to join us? Registration for the 2016 ASJA event is now open. Our panel will be from 2 till 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Hope to see you there!


Are You Going to the Miami International Boat Show?

2016-miami-boat-showI had the pleasure of writing Yachting magazine’s February issue centerpiece: a nine-page preview of the upcoming Miami International Boat Show, which is moving to a new home this year on Virginia Key. The coverage also includes the new Yachts Miami Beach show, which is an evolution of the Yacht & Brokerage Show that has long been held concurrently along Collins Avenue.

If you’re thinking of attending either or both shows this year, then you can check out the digital version of the coverage that just went live on the Yachting website.

Even better: That link is a hub that will be updated with all kinds of news and information throughout the show, which will be February 11-15.


Now Open for Pre-Order: My New Book, The Dog Merchants

The Dog MerchantsI’m about as psyched as any author can be this week, because I’m finally able to release the cover art for my forthcoming book! The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pet Stores, and Rescuers will be published May 2, 2016—and is available for pre-order now on

The Dog Merchants will be the lead spring hardcover title for Pegasus Books, with North America distribution by W.W. Norton.

In just the three days that the pre-order link has been online this week, and following a keynote speech I made at a Penguin Random House librarians’ event two weeks ago, The Dog Merchants has already become the No. 1 new release in one of Amazon’s top animal-book categories.

I’m so thankful for the early reader response, and I look forward to sharing all kinds of great information with you as we bring The Dog Merchants marketing campaign fully online during the next few months.

Stay tuned here, and please add my new website to your bookmarked favorites. There is much, much more to come.

A Visionary’s Playground

Buddy Darby
Buddy Darby aboard the 154-foot Perini Navi sailing yacht Andromeda la Dea, courtesy of Yachting magazine.

The September issue of Yachting magazine is one of my biggest efforts each year. I’m the charter editor, and for this issue I had to select and organize somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 of the world’s most interesting charter yachts while writing 29 pages of columns and features about what’s happening with these boats everywhere from New Zealand to the Florida Keys.

One of my favorite articles in the issue is about the new Christophe Harbour marina development on St. Kitts. It’s the vision of the man at right, Buddy Darby, who is also an owner of the 154-foot Perini Navi sailing yacht Andromeda la Dea, which charters through Churchill Yacht Partners. Suffice it to say that Darby knows a thing or two about all the tiny nuisances that can add up when you bring one of today’s big, modern yachts into marinas built 50 years ago or longer. It was fascinating to interview him and to learn about all the small details he’s tying together at this Caribbean property, which will cater to superyachts that are getting bigger and bigger with every season.

You can read my article about Darby and Christophe Harbour here at the Yachting site, or pick up the September issue on newsstands to see it along with all the other great charter content in the magazine.