Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Valdosta, Georgia, USA.
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?
Ron Runs for Mayor is about finding meaning in our lives. I have seen people struggle to find their purpose in life, and I recall how I have questioned why I’m here, too.
I had already written short stories and a novel and wanted to try screenwriting. Also, I thought the scenes I had in mind for Ron Runs for Mayor would be visually
appealing and funnier if you could see them, rather than just read them.
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?
I wrote the first draft of RRFM in about a month, and then re-wrote and polished for another 3 months as I worked on other projects. I’ve reworked it over several years as I received feedback from competitions.
I think better as I write in longhand for the first draft. I write an initial logline and synopsis, and I create a folder for each Act. Then I write character descriptions, tell myself a little about their personalities, and write scenes for each act. I edit what I’ve written as I put the longhand version into Final Draft.
From that point, all my writing is done on the computer. When I’m thoroughly confused, I print out the rough draft and lay it out on the dining room table, so I can
move back and forth through the whole story. At this point in the process, I cuss, laugh, cry, and begin to understand and love these people I’ve created.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
To tell interesting stories that help people cuss, laugh, cry (catharsis), and understand other people better to empathize with them, not to hate them.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
I entered the full script, because I wanted the Full Read Analysis, and I have done the required number of re-writes on my own. I think that number, required by the gods of writing, is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 re-writes; maybe less if you regurgitate at the thought of doing one more on your own.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
With this movie, the Cohens achieved what I stated is my ultimate ambition as a writer. The story was fascinating as you pull for the three friends to overcome all the obstacles to completing their odyssey which is not always what you think it is.I laugh every time I think about Delmar questioning whether they were banned from the one Woolworths or the whole chain. And the soundtrack? WOW!
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Get your heart right and let a love and concern for people show through your characters and their attitudes and actions. Even the bastards you are writing about can be helpful. Writing is re-writing. I forgot who originally said that, but they were right. Re-write 1,000 times or until you puke at the thought of doing one more.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
Life is Good is my dramedy TV series about a retired football coach. Our culture has become alien to him and when he sees his biracial, teenaged grandchildren’s dilemmas, he tells them tales of this 1960s youth to help them cope and to convince himself that life is still good.