Novel Transcript of Mei Meng: The Lost Panda by Andrew Fisk

Performed by Val Cole

 
What is your novel about?

This novel is about an adventurous young Panda named Mei Meng. She travels with her parents deep into the mountains of China to escape the destruction of her habitat by human beings. When she is swept away by a raging river, she meets all sorts of fantastic animals on the journey home. Some of them want to help her. Some do not. Surprisingly, her best allies are the human children she meets along the way.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

It is definitely a fantasy. It is a children’s book, aimed at the middle-grade audience. It is one hundred twenty two pages without any illustrations. It defies classification as most children’s books are not that long.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Child explorer. If this story was on Disney Family Channel it would be something like “Panda Meets World.” Mei Meng leaves her little corner of the mountain where she lives, and becomes a world explorer. At the end of the book she even has a telescope so she can keep track of her human friends.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

It is a tie between “Forrest Gump” and “American Graffiti.” The Forrest Gump character exemplifies the triumph of the simple man, the pure at heart.

American Graffiti has a great story line and a cast of a dozen or more actors who went on to have outstanding careers.

An example of why I like this movie: when Harrison Ford (aka Bob Falfa) drives into town in his jalopy to challenge Paul Le Mat to a race, his license plate is THX 1138. Why is that important? This is the title of the first George Lucas feature film, a science fiction classic. I probably saw “American Graffiti” ten times before I picked up on this.

How long have you been working on this story?

It took me a few months to write. I did a lot of research on interesting Mandarin names for the characters. For example, Mei Meng’s good friend is a funny snow leopard named Chun Bao, which means Silly Leopard. A scary Siberian tiger is named Di Zheng, which means earthquake. He is so huge that every step he takes shakes the earth.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

I’ll nominate two books. One is “The Magic Barrel” by Bernard Malamud (although it is a collection of short stories that won the National Book Award in the nineteen fifties) and “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.

What motivated you to write this story?

I felt like writing something lyrical, fantasy-world that would go deep into mythology and have a totally sympathetic main character. It was also meant as a “welcome to the world” present for my daughter. This is not “Kung Fu Panda” by any means. It moves at a slower pace and is more emotional and mystical than slapstick. It also emphasizes the importance of the family, both panda and human.

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

Leonardo Da Vinci. I would ask him, “How did you accomplish all the things you did in so many different areas?” Unlike Da Vinci, I write my ideas down in spiral notebooks, instead of an ornate leather bound Codex (which Bill Gates paid millions of dollars for). Maybe that’s the secret.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Being outdoors. Hiking in the hills, kayaking, white water rafting, paddle boarding. I am a fan of American college football and find the games more exciting than the usual NFL product.

What influenced you to enter your novel to get performed?

I wanted to hear different voices speak the lines of dialogue and the narration. I also hope to attract some interest for the book. At the very least I would like to find an illustrator. I would like to have the illustrations done in the style of traditional Chinese paintings. All the different animals and natural environments would allow an artist to create many interesting canvasses. If I were to engage in a little “exponential thinking” I would like to:

Have the book translated and published in China.
Have the book made into a movie for the Chinese market.

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

Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. Sometimes your subconscious pulls together elements from events in your own life and combines them with elements from literature and mythology. There is a flash of lightning in your head and suddenly you know what your project is about. This has been my experience.

*****

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Novel Transcript of THE FOOTSTOOL INCIDENT by Stephen Karnaghan

Performed by Hugh Ritchie

Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

My novel “The Footstool Incident” traces a character’s discovery of identity. He changes from a person devoid of any hope to a poet. His poems arrive as mystical visions and finally he acts upon them.

Why should this novel be read by people?

Follow the development of a character without ambition to a mystical artist.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Mystical Journey.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

‘Naqoyqatsi’ (Life as war) by Steven Soderbergh.

How long have you been working on this story?

Eighteen Months

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

“The Flanders Road” by Claude Simon

What motivated you to write this story?

I was motivated to write this novel because the idea was so strong in my mind. The discovery of identity can lead to interesting developments. What would happen to a character if they had a mystical vision? What would this do to the character’s life quest?

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Phillip Glass.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Apart from writing I am passionate about composing electronic music.

What influenced you to enter your short story to get performed?

As a writer I want my work to be before a reader or viewer, the Novel Festival is the best way of achieving this.

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

When you think that you have finished, edit again.

*****

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Excerpt from – A Chance For Life by Laura Anne Ewald

Performed by Michelle Alexander

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What is your novel about?

Sam has never wanted children of her own, but when she is given an ultimatum, can Sam give up life as she knows it for another woman’s child she never wanted?

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Contemporary women’s fiction, little “R” romance, Christian worldview.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Pro life.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

It must be White Christmas–at least once a year since I was a little girl.

How long have you been working on this story?

From start to published, it took about 15 months.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

It must be Anne McCaffrey’s The Lady (Ballantine Books, 1987). It’s a lovely story of family set in Ireland’s horse country in the early 1970s..

What motivated you to write this story?

A dream. Seriously, I woke one morning with the cast and story line just screaming to be written.

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Sue Coleman. She’s the only artist I’ve consciously collected. Her juxtaposition of naturalistic painting and Northwest Coast Native American formline draws me into the woods, onto the beach, back to the Pacific Northwest. I can study one of her paintings, of which I have several prints, and almost smell the salt water and fir trees.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Puppets and puppet theater! I’m smack in the middle of prepping for our third annual Festival of Lessons & Carols with Puppets this week. The brand new 3 kings are dressed and waiting for their eyelashes, makeup, and hats!

What influenced you to enter your novel to get performed?

My background in theater, I’m certain. There’s just something very special about hearing the words you’ve written read aloud by someone else.

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

Creatively speaking, never stop reading, never stop writing, and never let anyone tell you either one isn’t worth doing. Technically speaking, save your work—often—and use a reliable back-up tool (flash drive, external hard drive, cloud—or all of the above)!

****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

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Excerpt from – Zombie Turkeys by Andy Zach

Performed by Michelle Alexander

Author’s Website: http://zombieturkeys.com/

Watch Transcript Reading:

Get to know the author:

What is your novel about?

Zombie Turkeys that can’t be killed and the bloggers that pursue the story.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Comic urban fantasy

How would you describe this story in two words?

Turkey Terror

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

It’s a Wonderful Life

How long have you been working on this story?

Eleven months

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

What motivated you to write this story?

We were eating turkey for supper and said, “What would happen if this turkey came back to life?”

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Escher

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Christianity

What influenced you to enter your novel to get performed?

I love audio books and I love dramatic readings. I think my book’s humor is very suitable for a dramatic performance.

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

Get started and persist in writing.

****

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

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!

Chapter 1 Reading of THE MAGIC PILLOW: The Passage of Light by K J Kratz

BUY the book online:
https://www.amazon.ca/The-Magic-Pillow-Passage-Light/dp/1462410626/190-9257478-5758323?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Watch Transcript Reading of THE MAGIC PILLOW:

Performed by actor Amaka Umeh

Get to know writer K.J. Kratz:

1. What is your novel about? 

Jenna receives a mysterious package from her great aunt who died several months prior. Jenna quickly discovers that what appears to be just a decorative pillow turns out to be a portal to another world. As Jenna visits the other world, she discovers her hidden talents and forms an unbreakable bond with a diverse team. Jenna and the team use futuristic technology as they take an incredible journey to save their world from the evil aliens.  

2. Why should this novel be read by people? 

This book is the perfect story to lift you out of your daily routine and take you down a road of creative adventures ensuring a perfect inspiring escape for your mind.

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

Inspiring Adventure

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

Batman Begins

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

 Roughly 5 1/2 years

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

“Where the Red Fern Grows”

7. What motivated you to write this novel? 

I was inspired by my nighttime dreams. During the daytime my life was very robotic and boring, but the simple act of placing my head on the pillow at night transformed me into a different person. In my dreams, I was a star-fighter killing aliens in space, a spy killing terrorists, I was an assistant to the president of the United States dialing up Vladimir Putin. These were just a few of the dreams that I experienced. I always woke up feeling like my dreams were trying to tell me something. That was the spark that led to the story and its characters growing inside my head. I didn’t see myself as a writer at that time so I tried to ignore the story. Eventually, I just started writing the story and it turned out to be the most exciting adventure I have ever experienced.

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

Chris Martin

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

Being a good mother to my son.

10. What influenced you to enter the Novel Festival?  

After doing nothing with the book for an entire year due to being caught up in my stressful job and juggling a new baby, a stranger reached out to me and told me that if I finished the book it was probably because I intended on sharing it with others. She sent me the link to the festival and urged me to submit it. I followed her advice.

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

1. Write from the heart.
2. Remember that when you create a story, you are only held by the boundaries located within yourself.
3. Don’t force the writing. I was working a 50 to 60 hours per week job so the only time I could write was early in the morning on weekends. I would wake up at 4:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays to write. Because of my limited opportunity to write, I felt anxiety around using every moment that I had to write. I quickly learned that sometimes you just don’t feel it so it’s best to take a break from it.
4. Don’t be scared to share your writing with others. As writers we know that what we write can be a portal into ourselves. Even though it is fiction, it’s still a part of you. I found out that sharing allowed me to see this the book from a different perspective. Sometimes what I intended for the audience to see wasn’t what the reader was seeing.
5. Always have a notebook or blank paper and a pen handy. One of my favorite parts of this book was inspired after a long day of repeated delays at the airport. When I finally flew into Denver I noticed the most beautiful display of clouds that seemed to have mysterious tunnels. As I travelled in the cab to meet my coworkers for Margaritas, I quickly wrote down all of my ideas for the tunnel of clouds. I was so thankful for that delay!

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL
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Watch Transcript Reading of Chapter 1: In the Wake of War (The Ballard Chronicles Book 1) by Stephen L Nowland

Performed by Amaka Umeh

Watch Transcript Reading of IN THE WAKE OF WAR:

BUT Stephen’s BOOKS Online:
http://www.amazon.com/Stephen-L.-Nowland/e/B005GRRPP0

Get to know writer Stephen L Nowland:

1. What is your novel about?

In broad strokes, this book is a fantasy adventure about a young girl’s journey from a wartime survivor to a person of courage, willing to stand up for what she believes in.

2. Why should this novel be read by people?

In addition to being an engrossing adventure, the story touches on topics of gender roles in society, the heroes that influence us in our daily decisions and the things we’ll go through to protect those near and dear to us.

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

“Riveting Adventure”

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

Back to the Future – roughly 25 times! I’ve dissected it and rate it as one of the best movies every put together, in terms of structure, flow and just plain fun! Yes, I want a Delorean some day.

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

I’ve laid out the preliminary work over the course of a few years, as I was developing the fantasy world in which the story exists. The actual writing, from start to finish took me around 10 months, but I had also been distracted by other work during the year.

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

I can’t go past ‘Magician’ from R.E. Feist, which blew my mind back in the day!

7. What motivated you to write this novel?

I wanted to create a character who might inspire younger readers, particularly girls, to believe in themselves, to be more courageous in life, and to solve problems without resorting to violence or other methods where possible. I have, hopefully, achieved this with Aislin Ballard, the protagonist of this book.

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

Turner, who’s work I saw at a gallery when I was young and who inspired me to try my hand at landscape paintings of my own.

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

I’m quite passionate about art, particularly the thoughts and emotions which can be evoked with it. Writing and art are similar in that regard, though art seems to seep into one’s consciousness almost of its own volition, while writing needs to be digested, as such. I’m also a game designer, as I find the mechanics of how they work seems to come unbidden to my mind which I guess counts as passion!

10. What influenced you to enter the Novel Festival?

I received a tweet from the novel festival and after seeing the results of other readings, I thought ‘they’re on to something here’! I was also looking at different ways to ‘get my book out there’, and having the 1st chapter read was a brilliant idea. I really should get the whole thing done, for audiobook purposes!

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

The noise of modern life can shout-out your inner voice, the muse from whence comes all your creativity. I find it helpful to seek a quieter life, to allow that voice to come through clearer. I also advise making each and every sentence count towards character or action – edit out anything that doesn’t add to either, as it’s just filler text. Keep it concise and on-message.

***

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL: https://novelwritingfestival.com/

Novel Transcript Reading: INTO THE SHADOWS, by Marie Jones. Performed by Amaka Umeh

BUY the book now on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Into-The-Shadows-Marie-Jones-ebook/dp/B019QNR4PA

Watch INTO THE SHADOWS Transcript Reading:

Get to know writer Marie Jones:

1. What is your novel about?

‘Into The Shadows’ is a romantic suspense, woven with mystery and family drama. It is one woman’s journey to take a brave step to change herself and her situation, literally going into the very shadows of herself, and by doing so drawing others own shadows out as they are intricately pulled into her story.

Arriving home from a short holiday in Dingle, Lily Crossways makes a staggering discovery on one of her photos taken on ‘Inch Beach’, a woman’s desperate face is staring directly at her. Yet Lily knows she was alone that day on the beach. Who is she, is she even real, and why has she appeared to Lily? Unable to let the woman go, Lily makes the uncharacteristic decision to leave behind her safe world in England and return to Dingle to try and find her. Her search eventually leads her to cafe owner David Carson, this woman’s brother, who hasn’t seen his ‘missing’ sister in five years. Lily must now convince him to trust in her, taking bold steps to prove herself to him, and together track down his sister before it’s too late. Yet are either prepared for the hidden secrets they are about to uncover in their earnest desire to find her, and the impact it will have on those they love?

2. Why should this novel be read by people?

Although the character of Lily is fictitious, her doubts and lack of confidence in herself is something I see in so many of us – our inability to see our own potential. My hope is that as people read my novel, as well as enjoying a fast-paced suspense and heart warming romance, they will also be able to really relate to Lily, and by doing so, appreciate their own potential and worth.

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

Woven mystery

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

The Sound of Music

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

Over two years!

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

Persuasion by Jane Austen

7. What motivated you to write this novel?

My novel, ‘Into The Shadows’, was actually birthed the day I stood on Inch Beach in Ireland and quite simply had my breath taken away by this beautiful stretch of sand; so full of mystery and intrigue.I could picture Natalie standing there before me, and it was from here the rest of my characters came to life.

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

I would love to sit down with Jane Austen to ask her what inspired her to write her stories and what it was like to be a woman writer in the 19th century.

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

I love with a passion all things creative – photography, drawing, graphic designing – you name it! Whether I am writing stories, photographing or drawing, everyday men and women with all their amazing complexities will always fascinate and inspire me. I’m also passionate about church and community. My faith is important to me.

10. What influenced you to enter the Novel Festival?

As a debut writer, its so important to be as proactive as possible in helping to get your book known and promoted, as well as receive (hopefully positive!) feedback. I’m learning my craft all the time and appreciate every comment I receive. The Novel Festival is a fantastic way to do this.

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

Be determined, don’t give up. And make every single word count.

***

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL: https://novelwritingfestival.com/