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JMS Alumna Phyllis Schwartz authors new children’s book

Three time cancer survivor employs humor and optimism in an upbeat rhyming exploration to encourage kids and families.


Author Phyllis Schwartz with her upcoming children's story.

by Aleesia Benkey

August 26, 2022

Phyllis Schwartz is an alumna of the School of Journalism and Media Studies, a former NBC 7 executive, a three time cancer survivor, and now a children’s book author. Her new book, “When Mom Feels Great, Then We Do Too,” will be released September 23 2022. 


“The idea for this book came from my personal experience. As the married mother of two young adults, I survived three different kinds of cancer in the past few decades with lots of love, laughs, and family support,” shares Schwartz. 


    Mom comes home and doesn’t feel well and has to go right to bed. Dad keeps the kids quiet and helps them make Mom’s                   favorite dish, Wieners and Asparagus. The book is a recipe that uses equal parts of rhyming humor and optimism so the whole         family can work together to bring positive and healing results to their sick mom. 


     Schwartz, Acorn Publishing

“I try to use humor and optimism to infuse this upbeat, rhyming exploration of how an extended family can cooperate and work together to bring positive and healing results to a sick mom. As a mom who has lived through a similar experience, I know how important it is to engage all family members in a productive way and let the fun and love chase away the mystery and fear of illness.”


Schwartz grew up just 5 minutes from the SDSU campus, the daughter of teachers who encouraged her love of books and reading. She graduated from SDSU in 1976 with a B.A. in Radio and Television Journalism. Soon enough, her passion for words developed into her long term goal to write for television news. 


During her time at SDSU, Schwarz had the opportunity to intern at KCST, now known as KNSD or NBC 7. This jump start in her career sent her from San Diego to Chicago, where she was first diagnosed with cancer. Between the stress of the newsroom and the diagnosis, she used poetry and journaling to unwind, and this is where “When Mom Feels Great, Then We Do Too” began. 


Known for her tenacity and dedication in the newsroom, her transition to author was unexpected.


“That kind of defines me — hard core, fast talking, quick thinking, loud — that impatient news gal wanting to be in the newsroom fray,” Schwartz tells San Diego Union-Tribune. “None of them would have imagined I would be writing kids’ books.”


Schwartz's career eventually brought her back to San Diego, where her career came full circle. Where she once planted her roots as an intern, Schwartz worked as President and General Manager of KNSD for seven years. She was then promoted to Executive Vice President of News, Promotion, and Original Content for the NBC Universal Local Stations division for her final two years with NBC. 


Schwartz consulted through her own company, Phyllis Schwartz Solutions from 2010 until 2020, when she began her journey as an author. 
When Mom Feels Great, Then We Do Too is now available for pre-order and more information regarding the book, upcoming signings, and about Schwartz can be found on her website.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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