Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quick Q&A with Bruce Sallan

So I had been playing around with a few ideas for the blog, some different things to do other than my normal posts, and decided it would be awesome to do a few Q&A posts with figures in the world of parenting. It was with no question that as I was reading through some of his writings, that Bruce Sallan would be the first person I asked to take part.

Bruce, a former television producer and executive, is now a SAHD with quite a remarkable career going with his column "A Dad's Point of View", other writings carried on several websites, and the launch today of his radio show. He is available for coaching and speaking engagements, as a dad passionate about being a dad and helping others to become the best parents they can be.

Thank you so much for answering Bruce, and we look forward to your radio show live launch today! Now, without anymore waiting: Q&A with Bruce Sallan

*Tell us a little bit about your familyI now have a wonderful blended family of 7, 1 dad, 1 step-mom,  my 2 boys (13 & 16) and 3 dogs (200 pounds of them).  My wife is a realtor and I'm a SAHD with a writing career of sorts and a new radio show on KZSB AM1290 in Santa Barbara (details are here:

*What was your biggest fear when you first found out you were going to be a dad? - I can't say I had any fear other than the health of my then wife and my children, in her stomach!  As I was an older dad to begin with (my first was born 4 days after my 40th birthday), I had enough life under my belt that it wasn't that daunting an expectation plus I wanted it so badly.  Also, unlike younger parents, I'd done so much while childless that there were no fears related to losing my independence.

*What did you find was your greatest difficulty in raising a child? - we had no "back-up" as my parents were too old to really be able to take care of the boys and my wife's family lived out-of-state so finding "good help" and/or friends that could ever take care of the boys was a challenge...and has been ever since.  Even more so during the years I was a 24/7 single dad.

*Up to this point, if there was anything you could do different as a dad, what would it be? - every time I've lost my temper at my boys I've regretted it, so I would try to do that differently - maybe go outside and scream or throw something, but not let out my frustrations on my boys regardless of how "wrong" they might have been.  

*During your career in the television industry, did you ever find that it prevented you from seeing your family as often as you would like? - it would have if I let it.  In fact, having children when I did made me realize how frivolous my career was in so many ways.  I put my boys/family first and my career did suffer, but I didn't care at that point.

*With the seperation from your first wife, do you think it helped spark your passion for parenting and writing about it?There's no question that going through a difficult divorce, the fears of being apart from my boys, the costs and uncertainty involved, and the ultimate abandonment of my boys by their mother, led to much growth, introspection, and change in me.  There were so many surprises along the way that it just seemed a natural outlet to write about it.  I like to say that I've lived most aspects of marriage, divorce, and parenthood, except raising girls.  

*How was it transitioning from the role of TV producer and exectutive to blogger and column writer, and to everything you are involved in now? - I used to say, and I still think this way, that the only thing I really miss from my former life in showbiz is the perks.  I had great perks, like all kinds of interesting travel, expense accounts, invitations to special events, and a great income.  BUT, it was and is a cut-throat business that was turning worse with time.  When my boys were young and my then wife was not particularly interested in parenting them full-time, it became an easy decision to walk away from that world and enter the new one of being a full-time mom, I mean dad.

*Do you think the experience from your television career helped with developing your blog and column writing?No doubt. My favorite thing in my former career was working with writers and helping them deliver the best script possible.  I had a respect for what they did and was very proud of my contributions to their efforts.  In fact, my most prideful award was The Humanitas Prize that my movie, "God Bless The Child" won, which is awarded to the writer and producer of a movie that had good values to impart.  The writer actually wins a $10,000 prize while the producer gets a nice trophy, for which I was and am very proud.  That same movie won the Writers Guild Award that year for best screenplay for a television film.  So, those experiences completely prepped me for writing.  Also, I was a producer that pitched ideas for movies and series.  I was good at that.  So, selling an idea comes somewhat natural to me.  Plus, I had and have a lot of passion when I believe in something.  That never hurts a writer.

*I'm sure you have seen much about the Dad Revolution blog and the explosion of dad-blogs and writers who seek to change the way fatherhood is viewed in today's world. Do you think this "revolution" will become valuable to new dads and dads seeking advice and guidance in raising their own children? - I've read some about this so-called dad phenomenon.  For now, I still see about a 20-1 ratio of mom2dad bloggers and web-sites.  Time will tell.  All I can say in this regard is I like being a minority, for a change, and having a more open and level playing field in which to develop.  Men still will tend to leave parenting to the women, I believe.  My own Facebook page, which is called "A Dad's Point-of-View" (please join!), has more moms than dads as members with the name, "A DAD'S Point-of-View," so I think dads still have a way to go to compete with the moms.

*Would you encourage more dads to start blogging and writing about their experiences, not just for others to see but for themselves as well? - No, I don't want any more competition.  I think the other dad bloggers should actually quit and devote themselves to supporting my efforts.  Lol.

*What are your short term hopes for what you do now as a speaker, blogger, collumnist, and now with the radio show?That's an ironic question because I was just thinking about this while I was driving home tonight, especially as regards the radio show which has just begun (KZSB AM1290 on Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. - noon, repeated Thursday evenings at 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays at noon.  It is available as a "live" stream and for downloads at  My initial and primary goal when I began writing was simply to get out there to an audience and maybe make a positive difference in the world.  As corny as that sounds, that was it and I've achieved that.  If the radio show is successful, that will just give me the opportunity to reach more people.  I have strong convictions and beliefs, so the bigger it becomes, the larger my potential influence could be.  And maybe, just maybe, I might even start making a real living vs. the modest income I receive from my writing now.  The radio show, fyi, I fully sponsor  so it's a loss leader that I certainly hope attracts sponsors and advertisers to at least off-set its costs.  Further, I would hope the radio show would lead to more speaking gigs, again with the potential to reach a larger audience, and finally, I hope it helps me secure a real book deal for the book I want to write about my journey as a dad.

*Finally, your biggest piece of advice to all dads reading this post today? - Simply, "Be the best dad you can be!" - my motto.  And, I'd strongly suggest that every parent, mom or dad, support their kid's passions vs. what they may want them to do.  I wrote about a big "win" in this regard in this blog, when my son fulfilled a dream:

Please visit to contact Bruce and to enjoy the various features his new Web site offers, including an archive of his columns, contact info, links to his published work, photo galleries, and reader comments, plus much more.  Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A Dad’s Point-of-View, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Presently, his column is available in over 75 newspapers and Web sites in the U.S. and internationally. Find Bruce on Facebook by joining his “A Dad’s Point-of-View” fan page:  Just be sure to tell him you saw him here. And, you can also follow Bruce at Twitter:


Bruce Sallan said...


It was an honor to be the first in what I hope will be a great series of Q&A's. Thanks for thinking of me and great questions. You got me thinking and I don't do that much (lol).

Good luck with the blogs, being a dad, and everything else!

Bruce Sallan
"A Dad's Point-of-View"

Jack said...

Nicely done. I had the opportunity to meet Bruce at the 140Conference. He is a good guy.

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