Chapter 1 Novel Reading: UNMASKED by R. Saint Claire

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

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Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

My novel is essentially a family drama about estranged, middle-aged people still trapped in the damaging social dynamic of their family of origin. There is literally no escape.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Definitely horror.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Twisted psychodrama.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Valley of the Dolls.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

This is somewhat embarrassing, but probably Yes Starship Trooper.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

What motivated you to write this story?

It started as a personal challenge to write a screenplay at a summer camp setting, which I did. From there I developed it into a novel.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

William Shakespeare, which would be very weird.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m also a filmmaker. I’m passionate about creativity in general.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

It sounded like a unique opportunity.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write characters you really love (or love to hate) because you will be living with them for a long time.

 

*****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Chapter 1 Novel Transcript: No Accountability by Keith Lawton

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

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Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

– The novel is about my early childhood, being bought up in council care, through to modern day

What genres would you say this novel is in?

– Memoir

How would you describe this story in two words?

– Helping Others

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

– Great Expectations

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

– Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits)

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

– The Grass Arena (John Healy)

What motivated you to write this story?

– Close friend encouraged

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

– My Father

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

– My Dog

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

– Goodreads

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

– Don’t rush – Read through – leave it alone for 2 months, then re-visit & revise – Do the same again for another 8 weeks – Edit, Edit, & Edit – get it proof read & re-visit again

*****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Novel Transcript: Digby’s Diary, by E D Bird One

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

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Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

A pack of various breeds of dogs set out on a mission to protect two young boys from certain danger, only to find that there is another child who must be rescued from the hands of villains.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Adventure

How would you describe this story in two words?

Exciting adventure

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Marley and Me

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Watchers, by Deane Koontz

What motivated you to write this story?

My standard French poodle, Digby

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

My dad

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Animals

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I believe it is a wonderful story about dogs and children, and should be seen as well as read.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Keep writing!

*****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

1st Chapter Novel Reading of Ella: A Stepmum’s Tale, by J L Higgs

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

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Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

It looks at the Cinderella fairytale from the Wicked Stepmother’s view through the eyes of a reporter. Essentially it shows there are many different sides to each story depending
on who you ask, the need to let go of prejudice and appreciate the inner beauty of a person. It is about facing obstacles and becoming a survivor instead of a victim.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Humorous fiction

How would you describe this story in two words?

fairytale realism

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Bourne Identity

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Baby Elephant Walk by Henry Mancini

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

No, it changes depending on my mood.

What motivated you to write this story?

I have been viewed as the wicked stepmother by my stepchildren. The way they saw accounts was very different to my own.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Noah

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Gardening, Charity work

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I have been told it would make a good movie so I thought this would give me some idea whether to go down that track or not.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Get a good editing package like Grammarly BEFORE you publish your book. Your friends will not pick up all the mistakes.

*****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Short Story : DAY OF WHY by Stephen Karnaghan

Watch the August 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

Reading Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

DAY OF WHY by Stephen Karnaghan

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Weekends for a lot of people are lonely. They may not speak to anyone for two days. So what happens when someone speaks to a lonely person?

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Social.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Personality change

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

The film that I watch often is Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance with a score by Philip Glass.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

I had written this story several years ago and was not happy with it. When I became interested in only expressing the theme I was able to get rid of all the redundancy.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Murphy by Samuel Beckett

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I wanted to express how loneliness is one of the most difficult problems to overcome.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Philip Glass

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about composing music, music that is beyond entertainment, but music that people use emotionally.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

Literature in the 21st Century does not need the description and atmospheric words as writing from the past. People now are more visual, we are bombarded with visual stimulus all day. I am trying to write for those that add in the visuals if they are necessary.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Be yourself.

*****

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Short Story: ALL LIVES MATTER! by Ruth Andrews Garnes

Watch the August 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

Reading Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

ALL LIVES MATTER! by Ruth Andrews Garnes

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

This piece is about the times we are living in and the senseless loss of lives. There’ve been lost of cops and citizens lives. This piece was a part of a piece I wrote called “Dr. King’s Dream” I added to it after the killings in Dallas but the original piece remains as was written in my poetry collection called “The Cry of our Children.”

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

I would say this piece was written as a tragic historical event.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Heart felt.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Pretty Woman.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

This was originally written in 2015, at the point when 24 black men had been shot by police. I added to it after the Dallas incident. I felt that needed to be noted. It was as unjust for those to lose their lives because of their profession, in the same manner that it is unjust to be shot or be labelled a thug because of skin color or size or some arbitrary reason.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

My favorite novel is Francine Rivers: Redeeming Love.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

.I believe that expressive words lingers and get heard, and being a mother of two sons, any who were killed could have been mine. I wanted to give tribute to these because no matter who they were and their mothers are their lives mattered.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

I would like to have dinner with Oprah Winfrey.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My family and the theatre.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

.It was an opportunity to show case my writings.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Writing is a very competitive field but persistence is the key to success in most endeavors.

*****

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Short Story: A Dangerous Occupation by Randall Krzak

Watch the August 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

Reading Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

A Dangerous Occupation by Randall Krzak

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Olivia, the leader of a drug cartel, tries to juggle a normal family life with
the ugly realities of her enterprise. Someone invades her home, with
shots fired and then–silence.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

FIC002000 FICTION/Action & Adventure
FIC030000 FICTION/Thrillers / Suspense
FIC031010 FICTION/Thrillers / Crime

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Action-packed (is that one word?( and suspensful

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Most of the movies I watch are action and adventure.
Probably one I’ve watched the most would be Independence
Day, both in English and a foreign language.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

About two days.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

No, but I have two all-time favorite authors – Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I wanted to see if I could take a draft chapter I had written for
a novel, cut the unnecessary verbiage and still create something with
an impact and tells a story.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Tough one. Any action and adventured writer who has had their
work also turned into a film where they were involved, at least as an
advisor. Would like to learn the intricacies of the process.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Doing arts and crafts with my wife, Sylvia, and our pets.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

When I was informed about the contest I thought this would be a good
challenge and help improve my writing abilities.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Never stop trying to stretch your boundaries. You never know from where
or when the next inspirational idea will surface.

*****

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Short Story: One More Last Call by Forrest Simcoe

Watch the July 2016 Winning Short Story Reading. 

One More Last Call  by Forrest Simcoe

Reading Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know the winning writer: 

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

My story is about two people coming to terms with the fact that their relationship is over. It starts in the aftermath of the breakup, and so much of their history is hinted at throughout the story. This is their final goodbye to each other; accepting that it’s the end for them not only as lovers, but for their deep friendship as well.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

Drama, Romance.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Love. Acceptance.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Oh man, it’s probably a tie between Donnie Darko and A Walk to Remember – two vastly different films, I know, but they have always been two of my top favourites.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

It came to me pretty quick, actually. Once that inspiration hit I had it down in probably an hour.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Catcher In the Rye by JD Salinger. Probably not the most original answer, but it honestly is my favourite. It resonated with me at a very young age.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

There are so many breakup stories that have the characters just hating each other. I wanted to show a different side – the deep friendship and love and respect my two characters have for each other. It doesn’t always have to end in anger.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

It’s a tough call! Again, like the movie question, I’m going to make it a tie between actor Zachary Levi and singer/songwriter Lights. They’re both so good at what they do, but they’re even better human beings. Their passion inspires me, and how genuine and kind they are – they just want to make the world a better place in what ways they can and they care about their fans in a way that is unlike any other I’ve seen.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Mental health awareness. I’ve been living with mental illness for more than half of my life and I want to do whatever I can to help get rid of the stigma. A lot of my writing is about my struggles. I grew up with music all around me; I started playing guitar very young and it’s simply a part of who I am. It has saved me time and time again. Lastly, I’m very passionate about film and TV – it’s just such a great escape and when you find something that brings out very real emotions in you, it’s incredible.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

WILDsound has been kind enough to feature two of my poems so far. They were the first to publish me in the online format, and as much as I love poetry, I love writing stories just as much.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Find inspiration in the little things, the every day things. Pay attention. Don’t force it.

*****

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Editor: John Johnson

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Winning Short Story: Held Up by Bree Katz

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Held Up by Bree Katz

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Bree Katz:

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

“Held Up” is about a woman who realizes how unaffected she’d be at the news of her boyfriend’s death.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

This story is primarily a work of nonfiction.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Happy breakup!

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen the original – nay, the ONLY – Star Wars trilogy. It’s a good thing DVDs were invented when I was still a child, because I was drastically testing the limits of my mom’s VHS tapes. (Cue contractually obligated grumbling about “kids these days and their consarned streaming services; now get off mah lawn!”)

5. How long have you been working on this story?

I wrote this particular version of the story in about two hours shortly before the submission deadline, as I have apparently learned nothing since my undergraduate days. I have, however, needed to make some kind of creative hay out of a night that proved to be a catalyst in dumping my now ex-boyfriend ever since it took place three and a half years ago.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

There are many contenders, but I compulsively re-read Pale Fire every few months or so and feel newly humbled by Nabokov’s facility for wordplay and characterization every time.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

Making this story public was somehow less embarrassing than talking to a therapist about relationship issues that obviously linger three and a half years after I ended the relationship.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Larry David. There would be something comforting in having dinner with a guy who seems to understand flesh-burning levels of awkward the way I do.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an avid skier and hiker who has bagged twelve 14,000-foot mountains and has several more on my list. I’m also into photography – how else am I going to prove I actually climbed those fourteeners?

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I was between “big” projects. My life was in too much upheaval to get a proper start on the novel I’d outlined. Creative stagnation is no good, either, though, so when I got the email notification about the contest, it was just the inspiration I needed to crank my gears.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t worry about how much your first draft is going to suck. Just get the words out there. Editing is a special hell all its own, but once you reach that stage, you’re partway through. If you obsess over making the story perfect before you even sit down to write it, you’ll never get started.

Winning Short Story: MR “NAUGHTY” BECOMES MR “NICE” by Laura Anne Ewald

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

MR  “NAUGHTY” BECOMES MR  “NICE” by Laura Anne Ewald – http://www.LauraAnneEwald.com

Performed by actor Becky Shrimpton

Get to know writer Laura Anne Ewald

1. What is your 1pg Short Story about?

While on the surface “Mr. Naughty Becomes Mr. Nice” is about a kid in school—who appears to be the protagonist—the last paragraph really makes this Mr. Laughty’s story, doesn’t it? So it’s really about a teacher who acts uptight and strict all the time, but we learn he has a very soft spot inside.

2. What genres would you say this short story is in?

This started as a children’s story about a “book nerd” kid—based on an experience I once had back in seventh grade when, yes, I made the mistake of reading Lad: A Dog on a Friday afternoon during reading hour in Mr. Swanson’s Social Studies class. The story is looking more and more like a romance the more I think about it, though. I may leave it in the children’s age group, but I think kids can learn a lot about human nature, nurturing, and love by watching the way grownups behave toward one another.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Never assume…

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

As someone who has over 100 DVDs and VHS tapes, this is a tough one, but I’m betting The Sound of Music is still up there for number of times watched. It’s a classic musical romance, which wraps my two favorite genres up into one satisfying package.

5. How long have you been working on this story?

I wrote this particular story in one afternoon almost a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wrestling with turning it into a book.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Probably Anne McCaffrey’s The Lady. (This is another grownup romance, much of it told through a child’s point of view.) I have a ton of “favorite” books, but I’ve been reading this one at least once a year since it was published back in the late ’80s.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I have always written for grownups, and wanted to try my hand at writing for a young audience.

8. What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Sue Coleman, Canadian Artist and Author. She does absolutely stunning watercolor paintings, which she calls “Interpretive” Northwest Coast First Nations images, which juxtapose Northwest Coast Native formline designs with natural painting. I’ve collected several prints of her work over the years, and they hang in my dining room. I’m now living in the Deep South, but looking at Ms. Coleman’s work can take me back to the cool, soggy green of the Pacific Northwest, where I lived for thirty years.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Puppets and Puppet Theater! I love puppetry and the story-telling that can be done with the art.

10. What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

I was very much interested in hearing my work read. I’ve done a lot of work in theater—both real-life and puppetry—and I know how terrific it feels to hear someone else interpretively read what I have written.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Never stop writing, and never let anyone tell you it’s just a hobby. If you’re a writer—published or not—it’s in your heart and soul. Don’t let anyone diminish the adventure or the pleasure you experience putting your imagination into the written word.