Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Your script stood out among hundreds of others. What was the inspiration for your story and why did you write a script instead of a short story or a novel?
Life experiences! I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, worked on logging equipment in the woods, taught at universities, had a close family member who worked in a nursing home, and others who got involved with a religious cult. All these things come together in Saved at Summitview Manor and are best served by telling the story on screen.
How long did it take you to write your script...and what is your writing process? Do you outline...use index cards...white board...or just start with FADE IN?
In total, I probably worked on my script for a couple of years, but it was spread out over ten years. I wrote a first version, then adapted it as a novel (which was published under a penname with modified title), and then I left it alone while I worked on stage plays. For 20 years, though, I’ve been honing my craft. I use Final Draft for screenplays and Word for stage plays, but I use a spreadsheet to track scenes, beats, characters, etc.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
To see my stories on the screen and on stage. I’m already having some traction – three of my stage plays are award winners and have had multiple productions. And my screenplay has had award recognition, too. It’s exciting!
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
Full script in order to spin the full story, show the conflict, character arcs, plot points, and resolution.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
Several of Tarantino’s are among my favorites for the gritty, natural dialogue and unique characters that bristle with vitality, especially, Inglourious Basterds, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and, of course, Pulp Fiction.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Read. Write. Workshop. Repeat. Work your ass off. My favorite quote by David Mamet: “I'm afraid of only two things: being lazy and being cowardly. I get up early in the morning and go to work. I love to write.”
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
Watch for my play, Tennessee Wet Rub, to be on its feet in regional theatres and off-Broadway in the near future!