Sam Brockschmidt

North America Senior Project Editor

Sam is an MG novelist and screenwriter — and proud Senior Editor for StoryTerrace! Inevitably, coming from “La La Land” has cultivated her love for storytelling. She’s been mentored by Disney, Hallmark, and Sony Pictures, later obtaining her BA in Communications/Marketing from CSUN, and has produced events and content for the nonprofit sector (mental health and childhood cancer research). She also is the co-author of a mental health blog and podcast. Her recipe to unwind? Reading a twisted tale at a hockey rink, practicing yoga and aikido, and collecting tea.

As a StoryTerrace Senior Project Editor, Sam enjoys bringing stories to life.

Hyenas Take Manhattan

There’s been a lot of big “firsts” for me as a writer and editor. The first time challenging myself to write a book in three days — and succeeding. The first time I traveled to Israel, haggled at the marketplace for overpriced dragonfruit, Turkish delights and spices, and sat atop the Golan wondering if this view was real or something out of Avatar.

Then, there was the first time I stepped foot into New York City. It was a birthday trip with my significant other, Nick, and an opportunity to meet his best friend from London. As a writer, the intimidation factor crept in knowing that I was inches from renowned publishing houses, bumping elbows with hundreds of other writers in Grand Central, and helplessly wondering if my stories could cut it one day.

No sooner had I felt that, though, had it turned into a rush of positive energy. Sweet-talking our way into a swanky jazz club and eating 99 cent pizza at “99 Cent Pizza” nearly every night was only half the excitement. During our trip, the three of us would eventually rendezvous with Nick’s creative colleague who’s been starring as a veteran cast member in Broadway’s The Lion King for over fifteen years!

With three tickets in our hands, we entered the Minskoff Theatre and settled into three perfectly positioned, elevated seats. In minutes, we’d find ourselves engulfed by leaping gazelles, colorful feathered faces, lanky giraffes, and our friend, Banzai, parading down our right flank through the center aisle onto the stage. There was something about it, sitting in a flood of color and song, watching dear James and his exceptional performance. And, how lucky we were to join him backstage after the show with a personal tour behind-the-scenes; we met the cast and crew, saw the rigs, intricate costume designs, and massive props like the towering Mufasa head, and even were honored to slip into Banzai’s hyena mask rig ourselves.

What I love most about writing is the need for stories, the ability for all of us to remind ourselves of our inner children. Being in New York, playing dress up as a hyena, revived my creative need — and needless to say, the nerves of New York can be soothed with a simple phrase: Hakuna Matata.

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