How I Got Here

thumbnailI earned an Bachelor of Science degree in special education but have barely spent time in a classroom, unless you count student-teaching during my junior year at Syracuse University or a post-college internship at Mobilization for Youth in New York City.  And yet, all these years later, as I look back on my work, my role is part teacher and  part translator–I turn research-speak into practical strategies.

My earliest jobs were in educational publishing for thirteen years. I wrote and editing texts, teachers guides, and learning kits, which were all the rage then.  I co-authored To Buy or Not to Buy with Ralph Nader who dubbed me “Melinda Persistent” for all the time and energy I spent convincing him to collaborate with me on the first learning kit designed to help young people become smarter consumers.

Being an editor is great training for a writer, but it also depends what you’re working on.  Writing teachers guides, if I could say it in ten words, I was told to puff it up to twenty. When I first attempted a piece for New York magazine in 1978, I had to figure out how to cut ten words down to five. Luckily, the late T. George Harris took a liking to me. “Blau!” he shouted when I handed in my third (unsuccessful) attempt. “You skip through life.  Why are you lumbering on paper?”

After launching my career as a journalist, I wrote countless magazine articles and, in 1999, having written several books as well, I met the Baby Whisperer herself, Tracy Hogg and became her “voice.”  Our more than five-year collaboration led to three best-selling books: Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers, and The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems.  Sadly, Tracy, who left behind a world wide community of baby whisperersdied in 2004.  Fortunately, she lived long enough for us to plan our fourth and most important book, Family Whispering. Now, a decade later, I feel blessed to “deliver” it!