Skip Press - Writing & Advice

Me and John Presley, my best friend from high school, over 30 years after we were on the state championship golf team. He looks like Mark Twain.

About Success and Troubles

J. Krishnamurti said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

In 2005 I discovered what divorce is like - horrible. My ex-wife told me she felt like she fell into a black hole while pursuing the divorce. I thought there was hope but she was lost. In seeking answers to this challenge and others, I came across the writings of Orison Swett Marden, the founder and publisher of Success magazine, which was edited by the great Napoleon Hill. In Marden's book "Making Life a Masterpiece" in the chapter "Keeping At It As A Miracle Worker" I found the following passage:

"What would become of a sea captain who whenever he saw a fog settling down on the waters, or a storm coming up, would turn his ship around and sail back to the port he had left? You know he would lose his job and be branded as an incompetent and a coward. Every sea captain keeps his ship true to the compass and he plows through fogs, storms or hurricanes to his distant goal. You are the captain of your life ship, and it is up to you to bring it into port grandly. If you haven't the qualities of a good sea captain your ship is in danger.

"Downright hard work, a purpose which never flags, a grit and nerve which never retreat; these are the qualities that make life victorious."


Oddly enough, my name Skip means "captain of the ship." I work hard to make my life and that of others victorious. Keep sailing!



Like so many writers in Hollywood, I've sold scripts and had lot of things "optioned" by movie companies that don't show up on the For example, my three young adult "You Solve It" mystery novels were optioned for a TV series on the late Nashville Network. Selling two screenplays within a couple of months of each other, with money in the bank to make both, and then the movies not getting made, caused me to turn to writing books, which I still prefer. I'm still a working screenwriter, though. I regularly get paid to rewrite scripts. I've had a lot more stories and books published than scripts made, but my story is kind of normal in Hollywood.

There were 13 people in my graduating high school class, 753 people in the town where I lived, and you couldn't sneeze without someone offering you a handkerchief.

One of these days I'll rewrite my novel about those times. Despite some pretty extreme hardships due to my father's mental troubles, growing up in Texas was idyllic in many ways, and certainly brain food for an aspiring young writer. I was inspired to see the rest of the world, and because of my dad's oddness, I set off on a lifelong path to learn the truth about mental illness, philosophy, and religion, and how to make things better for everyone. It's been an amazing journey.

I've been homeless as a kid and more than once as an adult, and all I can say is, God pulled me through because He has a plan for me. I'm committed to helping others, because some times I feel like legions of angels helped me make it through it all and continue today.

I've loved seeing America. On a visit to the Washington D.C. in 2002, we took in a number of sites including the Jefferson Memorial. My kids thought I looked "just like" our nation's third President, which is interesting because at one point I planned to do a one-man show about him. Maybe I still should...

I have a large library of Jefferson books, have visited Monticello, and think his thoughts are ever more applicable today. Would you watch such a show? Let me know.

I spend a lot of time commenting on politics these days, particularly on Facebook, where I've accumulated almost 5,000 like-minded friends. Maybe I'll see you there.

Meanwhile, as I work on finishing commitments on books for others, I'm developing a "quest" book that explains human behavior as I've observed it, tying into quantum physics and things I talked about lecturing at Pepperdine University (see one on my Events page).

My daughter Holly Olivia Press, taken when she was a freshman at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2010. It's a great school whose last football team was coached by none other than future President Dwight David Eisenhower. Holly found the school and got accepted all on her own. I was very proud of her 3.6 average the first semester, her straight As the second semester, and the fact that she speaks French and was learning Chinese. She made it just fine through the first semester even though she broke her foot the first week there!

In 2011 she got both YMCA and Red Cross certified as a lifeguard and swimming instructor, and did that part time in San Antonio in her sophomore year. In 2012, she was the lighting technician at Sea World in San Antonio.

Both my kids picked up guitar without any help from me and are accomplished musicians in only a year or two of effort. Holly also plays piano and writes songs. She amazed me one day by playing "Blackbird" on my guitar - she said she just figured it out. Having seen Paul McCartney play it from only a few feet away, I can tell you she would have made him smile.

Now she's into the healing arts in No. Carolina. Holly Olivia Press, future doctor, psychologist, writer, musician, who knows? Everything is possible and she's proven she has what it takes to accomplish whatever she sets her mind to do.

Future Oscar winner Haley Press with Oscar winners Tom Hanks and director Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 at the L.A. shooting range where Haley was a firearms instructor, line officer, and the go-to guy to handle celebrities on the private range. Hanks and Bigelow came there with three Delta Force members to practice for a movie they were planning called "Triple Frontier."

In 2015, the first documentary Haley produced and starred in while producing at OneAmerica Network in San Diego won an Emmy. Not bad for 24 years old!

Early in 2011, Haley moved on to research and production for B.A.S.E. Productions, the company that made the #1 series on SyFy Channel - "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files"! He saved a day's reshoot the first time he worked with them, and gained a reputation as their make-it-happen guy.

While moving up in film and TV, Haley got his first credits on two other TV shows in 2010 thanks to his firearms expertise and people he met at the range. He not only has an encyclopedic knowledge of weapons, he's a sharpshooter so good that SWAT team members and FBI agents have approached him about his future plans.

Haley made his onscreen debut in a bit for a showbiz crowd of over 1,200 people in June of 2010, at an event where he got advice from none other than comedy genius Dennis Miller.

I've won awards you've probably never heard of, had plays produced you never attended (although the L.A. Times did, and liked them). I've written for TV shows you probably never saw, had optioned and sold feature screenplays you've never seen on the screen. I even wrote about pink Amazon River dolphins for Reader's Digest. I'm a nobody to most and a highly successful somebody to many (particularly aspiring writers). The electronic version of my "How to Write What You Want & Sell What You Write" was a non-fiction finalist in the first Epic Awards for ebooks in the United States.

Meanwhile, I live in beautiful almost downtown Burbank, California. I'm now an "empty nester." I'm single. I try to write something brilliant every single day, because I'm too dumb to quit and no one will hire me at a real job. Get in touch if you think we could do something together.