Similar authors to follow
Manage your follows
About Randall Hicks
He is a nationally-recognized expert in family-formation and parenting. His books have been featured on the national news and talk programs of CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS. He is a frequent TV and radio guest, popular for his clear and quick approach to complicated issues. The print media has also cited his books, including the nation's leading newspapers like The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Sun-Times (to name only a few). In the 1990s he was the host of Adoption Forum, a PBS mini-series about parenting in adoption.
As an attorney limiting his practice to adoption, his initial books were on that subject. In fact, his book ADOPTING IN AMERICA: How to Adopt Within One Year (now in its 6th edition0 has been the nation's bestselling how-to adoption book over its twenty-plus years of publication. Due to the family-centric nature of adoption, however, Randall found more and more of his "attorney" time was devoted to the personal and emotional side of familes' lives, and his education in psychology became very helpful in assisting the families with whom he was working.
Accordingly, over the last ten years, more and more of his time as been focused on writing and speaking about parenting issues and family conflict avoidance & resolution. He has served on the Board of Directors of a national child abuse prevention charity, and also spearheaded the translation and distribution of parenting brochures to impoverished nations that have few parenting resources. He has served as a mentor for young adults being released from incarceration, been a 4-H leader, a children's hospital volunteer working with special-needs children, a Sunday School teacher, and a high school tennis coach.
His unique approach in his parenting books is to avoid the usual long-winded psychobabble, and instead deliver clear, concise and plainly told insights that can be used immediately. This is a theme in the many rave reviews his books have received from the most respected reviewers: "Educational and empowering. No-nonsense, matter-of-fact advice while using a compassionate approach." -Publishers Weekly; "Showers the anxious parent with information." -Booklist (American Library Association); "A brilliantly lean book . . . highly recommended." [Starred review] -Library Journal
End publisher bio. The following is reprinted from a biography written personally by the author:
I have always been a driven person, although to where I'm driving myself is open to debate. I raced through college and got my Bachelors degree when I was only 19. The bad part of that was that I graduated so young (and shy) that I didn't feel ready to get a "real" job, or even have the courage to ask a girl on a date. So . . . both to have some fun and get over my shyness, I joined an improv acting group. That ended up leading to getting an agent and even getting my Screen Actors Guild card. And yes, I eventually got over the shyness too!
My agent told me that "Randy Hicks" sounded like "horny hillbillies" so "Randy Shepard" was born, at least for my acting career. Not that you could really call it a career. I think I had less on-screen talent than any actor in history. But I did have some great experiences in those few years of acting, getting some small parts in soaps like General Hospital, and several TV shows and movies. Getting to film a NBC pilot (Escape) as the main character, filmed on location in Greece and Turkey, was the highlight of those years. To get the part I had to say I was a great swimmer, which I wasn't, and in filming a scene where I was swimming across a raging river, I almost drowned and had to be taken to the hospital. (Some advice: never allow yourself to be taken to a Turkish hospital.)
I took my acting money and moved to Nice, France, in my mid-twenties and lived there for a year working as an English teacher. I came quite close to being a goat herder and estate caretaker for a wealthy British woman living in Villefranche, who had a huge stone house and acres of land overlooking the sea, but that's another story. I came back semi-fluent in French and loving France.
Upon returning back to the USA, I decided I had to find that much-delayed "real" job, so went to law school (Pepperdine). I wanted to be the kind of lawyer that helped people, not sued them, so luckily found my way into becoming an adoption attorney. I've completed about one thousand adoptions so am very proud of that.
The best part of my life has been raising my two kids, both adults now. I have such great memories of them growing up on our farm/ranch, with lots of room to run around, and being involved in their sports (soccer and tennis for my daughter and golf for my son), and even coaching my daughter's soccer and tennis teams. They were also active in 4-H, first raising rabbits, then sheep, goats and pigs, and we spent part of every summer camped at the San Diego County Fair. We had a few acres and about 100 avocado and citrus trees, and I spent many an hour pruning trees and repairing broken irrigation pipes (and getting bit in the behind by pesky goats as I was bent over). But those were great days.
My hobbies are reading (mainly mysteries), carpentry, and writing. Writing has actually become a second career. It has also opened many fun doors for me. A dream I'd long had was to write a novel, so it was a thrill when my first mystery, THE BABY GAME (2005), got great critical success, winning the Gumshoe Award for Best Debut Mystery and being a finalist for the Anthony, Barry and Macavity Awards. (Sadly it didn't set the world on fire with big sales, however - or let's be honest, even mediocre sales - but the book world is one tough nut to crack.) But the biggest joy of the book was attending many mystery book conferences to speak on panels, giving me a chance to meet the big names of the writing world - writers I'd long been a fan of - as well as meet all the mystery fans who attended the conferences. I met many great people and made a lot of terrific friends. The book world is filled with amazing people.
Since writing the mystery, I've focused my writing passion on parenting, mainly because I was so disappointed with what was offered by existing books. When my children were young - and in their challenging teenage years - I read many of the leading parenting books. But I always came away frustrated. By the time I finally finished the books, I had to struggle to come up with more than a couple of things I actually remembered to put to actual use. They were always long on theory and short on real and blunt advice. And worse . . . the authors seemed to take an entire chapter to make a point I thought they could have made in a couple of paragraphs. So in my personal protest against such books, I now strive to give information that gets to the point quickly, delivers the information clearly, and focuses on real, everyday issues, with advice that can be put to use instantly.
My newest book is The Girl Without a Face, which my daughter, Hailey, co-wrote with me. I have never been so proud of a book. Although set in the sports world, and there is certainly the tension of big athletic scenes and challenges, it is a story of empowerment and how we look at ourselves, and others. I love the sport of figure skating - the ultimate blend of great athleticism and art - and writing the book gave me the chance to interact with some of the most famous people in the sport, so that was a thrill. I hope you will check it out. I think you will find it an enjoyable and meaningful book.
Unlike this biography, which has been quite rambling...
Customers Also Bought Items By
A great step parenting and blended families resource for both the stepparent and the existing parent.
Tired of reading a book that is hundreds of pages in length, then thinking they could have boiled down the "important parts" and saved you a lot of time? Here's a book that eliminates the fluff and gives you just the nuggets in 50 one or two-page chapters, each with an accompanying photo. Fast, easy and insightful reading. Critical steps to loving and effective step parenting of young children, teenagers and adult stepchildren.
Randall Hicks' prior books on family formation and parenting have been featured on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Sally Jesse Raphael, Mike and Maty, John and Leeza from Hollywood, The Home Show and the PBS network, as well as in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Sun-Times.
Publishers Weekly has called Randall Hicks' books "Educational and empowering. No-nonsense, matter-of-fact advice while taking a compassionate approach." The American Library Association's review stated, "Showers the anxious parent with information." Library Journal reviewed his last book as "A must read." With Randall Hicks' easy-to-read, conversational writing style, his newest book on step-parenting will surely match the acclaim and success of his prior parenting books.
STEP PARENTING: 50 One-Minute DOs & DON'Ts for Stepdads & Stepmoms is a book that offers practical, insightful and compassionate guidance in building a strong family benefiting everyone: the stepparent, the existing parent, the stepchild, and step-siblings.
"Showers the anxious parent with information on methods and resources for adoption."
--Booklist, American Library Association
"A top attorney reveals his insider strategies. Follow the clear road map in this book and you'll be on the road to parenthood."
--Susan Caughman, Editor-in-ChiefAdoptive Families magazine
"A must read. Every nuance in the world of adoption is explored and clearly explained. This book nails down the realities of how adoption works - and more importantly, how to succeed."
--Colleen Quinn, Past PresidentAmerican Academy of Adoption Attorneys
"If you are considering adoption and you need a clear, concise guide that outlines your options, this is it."
p>--Naomi Angoff, EditorRESOLVE National Newsletter
Adopting in America is two books in one. Written by a leading adoption attorney, it provides all the information that prospective adoptive parents need to succeed in their quest to adopt quickly, safely, ethically and economically.
The first half of the ADOPTING IN AMERICA is a detailed and insightful review of independent, agency and intercountry adoption, including how to work with adoption exchanges in the adoption of waiting children. For those seeking to adopt a newborn, unique strategies are offered regarding how successfully network to be selected by a birth mother, as used by one of the nation's leading adoption attorneys. There is also detailed guidance on selecting the right agency or attorney, including dozens of recommended questions to ask to test their knowledge and ability.
The second half of the book is a state-by-state review of each state's unique adoption laws (when can the birth mother sign her consent, how long does she have to change her mind, what are the birth father's rights, is it permitted to assist with pregnancy-related expenses, is a pre-placement home study required in an independent adoption, can non-residents adopt, and more). The website of each state's adoption office and adoption registry is provided, as well as biographies of each member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys within each state. Appendices provide key information about adoption organizations and resources. Fully indexed.
"Could not have a more perfect message, especially today. Love, acceptance, and in the end, the courage to inspire."
-SKATING magazine (official publication of U.S. Figure Skating)
At age fifteen, Katie Wilder might be one of the greatest figure skaters in the world . . . but no one even knows she exists. When a childhood accident leaves her face so severely scarred that she wears a mask, Katie never leaves the Ice Castle, the rink owned by her father, a once-famous coach. Skating since she could walk, and without friends and distractions, every moment is dedicated to her passion - skating - under her father's guidance.
However, when her father returns to coaching and Olympic hopefuls come to train, her safe and private world is gone. Katie searches for the courage to not only show the world what she can do on the ice, but more importantly, make her first friend, and start to live a life that extends outside the rink.
Join Katie as she not only seeks to change her own life, but the world around her. Touching, empowering and at times laugh-out-loud funny--blended with the thrill of competition--she will change how you look at yourself, and others.
RAVE REVIEWS FROM THE FIGURE SKATING WORLD
"An entertaining and engaging book. With well-known skating personalities blended with fictional characters, skating fans will definitely feel connected to the story. Highly recommended!"
-International Figure Skating magazine
"What a wonderful read! Captures the skater's perspective so accurately I was perspiring like I was back competing at U.S. Nationals. This book was like a dessert I didn't want to finish. 100% loved it!"
-Jordan Cowan, On Ice Perspectives
"This book is a treat! Truly entertaining while remaining authentic. A very enjoyable and exciting read, not limited to figure skating fans.
-Tatjana Flade, International figure skating journalist
"A must read! I can't wait for the movie!"
-Tom Zakrajsek, World & Olympic figure skating coach
"Strength, humor and courage in the midst of adversity! A great read!"
NOT JUST FOR FIGURE SKATING AND ICE SKATING FANS. THE GIRL WITHOUT A FACE IS AN EXCITING AND EMPOWERING NOVEL FOR ADULTS AND YOUNG ADULTS 15+.
Tired of reading a book that is hundreds of pages in length, then thinking they could have boiled down the "important parts," and saved you a lot of time? Here's a book that eliminates the fluff and gives you just the nuggets in 50 one to three-page chapters, with accompanying photos. Fast, easy insightful reading.
This is information you can instantly put to use and make a real difference in your kids' lives - and your own - strengthening your marriage and family.
Randall Hicks's books on parenting and family-formation have been featured on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Sally Jesse Raphael and more, and called "empowering, no-nonsense, matter-of fact advice" by Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association said, "showers the anxious parent with information." A starred review from Library Journal, stating, "A brilliantly lean book . . . highly recommended."
His idyllic life changes when his two best childhood friends, Brogan and Rita, now filmdom’s newest glamour couple, turn to Toby for help to adopt a baby. Although initially the adoption is a media feel-good story, things change quickly when the baby is kidnapped.
When the expected ransom demand never arrives and the police turn up nothing, Toby, Brogan and Rita are left to find answers on their own, and their suspects start turning up dead. They learn there is more at stake than a kidnapping, and the answers may trace back to the childhood they shared, putting friendships—and lives—at risk.