I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter........
when I realized screenplays are mostly
dialogue. I am a shameless eavesdropper. Everywhere I go I listen to people
talking and mentally record great lines that I know I have to use somewhere in
my writing. At least twenty lines from my screenplay came from conversations I
I know I've succeeded........
when I don't have to teach in order
to pay the bills, when I can actually make enough income off of writing to be
able to list my occupation as a writer.
My inspiration to write YESTERDAY'S CHILD.......
came from a novel I started
years ago after a miscarriage. I remember people judging the intensity
of my grief based on how far along in the pregnancy I was, the
consensus being that a miscarriage at eight weeks was far easier to
handle than it would be at four months after I had more time to bond
with the child. So I went to the peak of that scale and wrote about
what it would be like to lose a baby after it had already been born.
Though I had long ago shelved the project, my father died a month
before my screenwriting class began and I decided to rewrite the novel
as a screenplay, just for my own catharsis.
What inspired you to write?
Linda Delmont: Reading. I love to read and writing just came
about as a natural by-product. I have also kept a journal since I was
twelve years old. It's a great way to go back and recall details from
FilmMakers Magazine: What did you do to prepare yourself to write your first script?
I took a screenwriting class at the local community college. The
teacher was awful. He'd put in a movie, we'd watch it, and he'd talk
about his favorite parts, but we never read a script. I did read the
textbook though and learned all I needed to know from that.
FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?
Yes, it is my first script. It took about six months to complete. I
started it in the screenwriting class and finished it during winter
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
No, I should, but I don't. I work part-time and I go to school
part-time so most of my writing lately has been papers for my graduate
classes, not creative writing. I am taking poetry writing next
semester just because I need a class to prod me to write. I'm thinking
about taking another screenwriting
class as well, with a different teacher.
FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring
screenwriters and why?
Yes, absolutely. I had a script but I had no idea what to do with it.
I typed screenplay into Google and came up with your contest, which
was to me, a great place to start.
FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the
FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards?
FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?
"Casablanca." I love the subtle wit and the brevity of the
conversation. A few words say a lot.
FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?
I am passionate about animals. I admire the way they live in the
moment and are so non-judgmental. Besides being a vegetarian and
supporting a couple of animal groups, I have several animals of my
own: two cats, two dogs, six chickens two rabbits, plus numerous
visiting opossums. I just had an essay I wrote about the opossums
published in a newspaper.
FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter
Nora Ephron. "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle" are two
of my favorite movies. She does a good job with romance where it's
funny, realistic and not too sappy.
FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?
Stephen Daldry. He really knows how
to evoke emotion from his viewers. Plus I love British accents. My
favorite TV channel is BBC.
Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?
Johnny Depp. I've seen every movie he has ever been in, ever since I
fell in love with him in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" He is so
versatile, acting everything from a murderous barber to the owner of a
chocolate factory. Some actors just seem to play the same role over
and over again, but not him. He's always new.
FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?
It's probably good to start with an outline. My tendency when I write
is to just plow forward with no sense of direction, which leaves me
with a lot of cutting and pasting, deleting, and re-writing.
FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?
To complete my Master's in English. I still have another 23 units and
a 50-page thesis to go.
FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?
Yikes, I don't know. Everyone thinks my intention in getting a
Master's is to be able to teach English at the community college
level. But I have a secondary teaching credential in English and
teaching high school drove me nuts. I only did it for one semester
because I couldn't stand reading and grading the essays of
sixteen-year olds who didn't take the time to spell Hemingway right.
So teaching college I view purely as a fall back job if I'm not able
to start making more money writing.