Novel Reading: THE SAFE WORD, by Karen Long

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Performed by Rachel Rain Packota

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

 

Novel Transcript: Lemmon’s Journey by Philip Oyok

 

Performed by Rachel Rain Packota

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your novel about?

“Lemmon’s Journey” is the story of a geriatric, in this case it’s Lemmon Grandee, recently retired and finds himself lost with regards to his life and what else to do.  His wife soon passes away which makes things even worst for him. He stumbles upon a collection of corresponding letters between his deceased wife and runaway daughter that he had been unaware of and takes it upon himself to set things right by traveling to the city his daughter resides and to convince her to return home with him.  But there’s a dark secret waiting for him down the road and it’s going to take plenty of courage not to succumb to it.
 
2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Contemporary Literature.


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

Redemption & Courage.


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

The Godfather.


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


‘As’ – Stevie Wonder.


6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?
Not necessarily.  But if I were to pick one, it would be ‘Grapes of Wrath’ – John Steinbeck.



7. What motivated you to write this story?
I once was homeless in New York City.  One afternoon while sitting at Central Park, I saw an older man (possibly a grand father) feeding a pair of ducks in a pond alongside his grandson.  I imagined that as the sort of relationship I wish I’d had with my Dad, and thought it would be great to write something related to the two of them.


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


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

Collecting Books and Comic Books.


10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I’ve struggled to find a means of promoting my novel from which the story is about, but have been unfortunate in that aspect.  I wish to use this as further means to get people to know about it.  Also to let the world know that I’m the next best writer out there.


11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
 
Always write blindfolded.  Don’t think about the story, but instead let the story guide you through the darkness into the light.

 

Novel Reading of Sweet Dreams: Searching for Roy Buchanan, by Tory Gates

Get to know the writer: 

1. What is your novel about?

Sweet Dreams: Searching for Roy Buchanan is the first of the Sweet Dreams Series. It follows the life of Aki Sato, a Japanese teenager who is gifted (or is it cursed?) with the ability to time travel. It is called “Amida Syndrome,” and was passed down by her mother. But Aki’s mother and father were killed in an accident before she could be instructed in it use.

Aki is beset by terrifying nightmares, but in these, she hears a strange, musical progression that she cannot identify. This, plus Aki trying to help her older brothers, Kenji and Hiro keep the family business, and them, together.

A breakdown of her family’s vehicle leads to the discovery of that sound on Earth…a retired blues musician named Kazu offers to teach Hiro guitar; he also reveals to Aki that he, too, carries the Amida, and knew their mother.

Through a series of misadventures, Aki tests her powers and leads her brothers on a wild ride through time, and the blues. From the streets of Chicago, the Mississippi Delta, 1960s London and elsewhere, they meet legends before their time, and those who were never known until after their passing.

On the way, Hiro discovers his musical calling, an old flame from Kenji’s past comes back into his life, and Aki discovers her own voice…and they all learn of the power of the blues.

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

This is Young Adult Fiction, with Emphasis on Coming of Age, Adventure, and SciFi/Fantasy. (But I’ve had readers from 13 to their 60’s tell me they loved it!)

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

Transformative Storytelling.

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

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I used to perform in two Boston area casts. I lost count how many time I’ve seen it long ago!

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

“Blues for the West Side,” Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters

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

“Lord of the Rings,” J.R.R. Tolkien. I read “The Hobbit” at nine, and LOTR at ten, and I know that had the most profound influence on me. The telling of a tale in a place that took decades to create is something that I don’t think will ever again be approximated.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

A series of threads wound together in my mind, and they should never have. Music, especially the blues has always moved and inspired me; my interest in Japanese history and culture, and the idea that if I was going to commit fully to writing, I was going to do “something different.”

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

Hayao Miyazaki. His films are the kind of stories I tell, the world he wants to see, and that’s the kind of world I write about…the one I/we want to see, not the one we’re told to see.

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

Too many things! I’ve been in broadcast radio for over 30 years; I’m currently a news anchor for the Radio Pennsylvania Network, which serves more than 60 stations; I also host an online blues program for the London-based Radio-Airwaves Station (they call me DJ`Riff), and I also play guitar and write songs as well.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I am interested in seeing how this story translates to the stage. When I write, I “see” the story, and imagine it in a film or play form. I’m especially intrigued by how others would “read” the story, and how they see the characters as being portrayed.

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

Write! Even if you are not writing a story right this minute, it’s perfectly okay to dream, think of your story, talk with your characters, interview them, listen to their conversations. Do character sketches, do timelines, storylines; all of this is writing. And write what you want written; never write to anyone’s orders, but yours.

 

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

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox