Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA
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?
MercenAir is a true story about the amazing exploits of my ex-husband, who is still a great friend, the one and only Bob Fleming a true pilot of fortune. I have been listening to Bob’s incredible life stories for decades. I had begged Bob for years to write his memoirs down. He finally agreed and one year later, he sent me a 280page draft. My goal was to adapt it into a screenplay. I read the first three chapters, and I called him and said, “Forget the film this is a series!” Bob has scores more stories. All as exciting, fun and even more amazing. I created a series bible that spans 5 seasons and there are many more of his adventures just waiting to be brought to life.
How long did it take you to write your script?
The script has gone through many drafts, we worked on it for 3 months.
And what is your writing process?
Actually, I start with FADE IN and the words seem to pour out. I try not to get in the way of the thoughts and images that flood my head. It seems I get stuck in the mire when I overthink.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
Wow, that is a huge question. I have been writing since I was 6. I wrote my first musical, and directed, produced and performed in it too. I even hung a blanket as a curtain and charged .5c for tickets. I gave them a show, kool-aid and cookies. What a deal! I want to be a working writer/showrunner on a show that I’ve created.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”?
I entered MercenAir as the first 10 pages.
Why did you make that choice?
I have always felt the first 10-pages are the most important. If you don’t hook the reader in the first 10, I feel it isn’t going to happen. It is exciting to have a reception like this on the first 10. My mom and dad had an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. They were amazing teachers and my dad always had a saying: “A good beginning is a good dance, a bad beginning is a bad dance.” I feel that applies to the first 10 pages as well.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
Movies: Citizen Kane and Godfather II.
Hands down my favorite show was TAXI, the writing, the cast, the acting. It was the best. It is also very personal for me because Jeff Conaway (Bobby Wheeler, the actor) was my beloved cousin. Jeff got me started as an actor when I was four years old. Jeff was my idol, my mentor and my friend. I was a kid so it was really fun to “visit” with Jeff once a week. All TAXI fans will remember this line: “What does a yellow light mean?”
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
Never, ever, ever, ever give up. No. Matter. What. Believe in yourself. Always keep working hard to perfect your craft. Work on it every single day. Set goals for yourself. When I sit down to write, I always match a genre of music to what I am writing and I play that music while I write. It keeps me in the mood, and it motivates and energizes me. Try it, see if it works for you. Writing is a very personal and solitary choice that we have made. We sit there alone for hours, weeks, months, sometimes even years wondering if our work will ever be noticed. Ever be appreciated. Ever “get somewhere.”
It isn’t easy. Ask yourselves, is there anything else in the world I would rather be doing? Anything else, I could be doing that would make me as happy? If you have an answer think long and hard about doing that, instead.
If you keep coming up with “no” as your answer, that writing is all you want to do, then you will know for sure. And you know you are on the right path. Even if the road seems steep, rocky, and impenetrable at times; if it is what makes your heart beat, then don’t ever give up.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
Thank you for asking. 2022 has been a very prolific and busy year. Currently, I have two features that I wrote: Dark Paradise and a “soon to be re-titled” feature, that are in pre-production.
I have another feature that is near and dear to my heart. It’s an award-winning biopic: Untethered, about an unforgettable fearless, courageous and desperate woman. She achieved the most incredible, never before accomplished, world-renowned deathdefying feat; with barely any help, and at the age of 63. She will always be my hero.
I have four television series that are looking for homes: MercenAir, The Dinner, Rosie’s Wall Of Fame (a series I created for the amazing Barbara Bain, based on her idea) and Time Of Your Life. All were FINALISTS in the Wiki screenplay contest.
And, we just started re-writes on a feature, Match Made, that stemmed from a multiaward-winning short film, that I directed and co-produced. We started on that today to be exact.
I am very excited and focused of having as many “what else you gots?” as possible. I am hoping that all of these thousands of hours, (I surpassed the first 10,000 hours to be an “outlier” in 1980), I am working on my fourth installment [40,000 hours], as I type, will finally come to fruition.