Search This Blog

Friday, May 20, 2011

Action at Last!

Well I had a lot happen in the last few weeks. My co-op ad appeared in the new Boston Review. The ad is a full page ad on the last page of the new issue. My book is in the second row in the center. Maybe because I was looking for it, my eyes went right to it but I thought it stood out against the rest. Let me know what you think, if you see it.

A new article I wrote is now up in Working Writer. The name of the article is called Write What You Love. Here is the link; . It is a subject that I have discovered that I am passionate about. I really believe now that you have to follow your passion.

This is a very special article I wrote that was just published today in Its called A Stolen Letter led to a Lifetime Together . . Its about how my Mom and Dad met. Its romantic, sweet and I think touching. I know I am a bit biased; so you be the judge and let me know.

I also have an ad in Valley Scene Newspaper. Here is the link for the ad; . It is kind of cool because my ad is right next to a great pic of Kirk Douglas in Spartacus, which is a great film and there is my little ad. Really cool!

Please welcome one the kindest and most approachable people its been my pleasure to meet in show business. He is Writer/ Producer Steven L. Sears. His list of credits is to long to put here but he wrote for many wonderful T.V. series and I met him through the wonderful world of Xena. So please give a warm welcome to Steven Sears...

What was the first piece you ever wrote?

First thing you're going to learn about me is that I'm nuanced. I rarely have simple answers. For example, first thing I ever remember writing in a performance context? Or first thing I wrote in a screenplay format? Or first thing I wrote that I was paid for? See What I mean?

So, one at a time. The first thing I remember writing was a short sketch for a Sunday School event. Honestly, I think I was about five and I wrote a skit about a man who wanted to make a gold cross for God but couldn't afford the gold, so he had to make it out of gold, silver, tin or whatever he had available. He was ashamed to give it to God but when God saw it, he loved it because it was so different and came from the heart. Hey I was five.

My next memory was less noble. It was in seventh grade and I wrote a skit for a Talent Show that involved a really bad computer date (how bad? I played the girl).

So fast forward to the beginnings of my career. I didn't start out writing full scripts. In fact, I had no intention of actually being a writer. I was an actor and I was doing auditions around town. Instead of doing the same scenes from the same plays/movies that everyone knew. I decided to start writing my own three minute audition scenes. Keep in mind, this was for auditions, not to get a job as a writer.

A little while later, I started writing TV scripts purely for the fun of it. The first one of those was a BENSON script. Again, just for the fun of it, no one paid me, it wasn't a part of the series. I still had no intention of being a writer.

I met another guy at the restaurant I was working at(I mentioned I was an actor) named Burt Pearl. He and I decided, purely for the fun of it, to start writing scripts. Through a series of events(which I won't bore you with here), Burt and I managed to get a meeting with the producers of a series called RIPTIDE. Off that meeting, we were given an assignment to write a script. That RIPTIDE script was called THE CURSE OF THE MARY ABERDEEN. That one started my professional career as a writer.

After that, the only other thing of note was the first time I was paid to write a script on my own (Burt and I were a team, but we separated later). That was an A-TEAM script called FAMILY REUNION.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an affect on your own writing today?

I enjoy reading a wide variety of books. Unfortunately because of my schedule, and the fact that I am also a writer, it becomes hard to read long fiction books. So a lot of my reading is non-fiction. I'm a fact and knowledge junkie. Science, history, trivia, etc. I can pick those books up, read a bit, and put them down to come back to them later. They are quick bits, not long involved stories.

When I am reading novels, they tend to be full biographies, historic drama, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, comedy, psychology/sociology books and so on. For example, right now I'm reading William Goldman's THE PRINCESS BRIDE and Jeff Shaara's World War II novel THE FINAL STORM. I love anything by William Goldman and Jeff Shaara. I also have two Zombie short story anthologies, one Apocalypse anthology and five history magazines sitting on my bedstand and in my iPad.

Do they have an effect on what I write today? Everything in my life affects how I write. Always has, always will.

Of all your work what is your personal favorite?

Ah, the second thing you will learn about me. I don't have "favorites". I'm not wired that way. The eclectic nature of my mind and my fancy doesn't allow for favorites. It's like asking which is your favorite child. If you love them all, it's hard to answer unless you get really really specific. The first script for RIPTIDE will always be a favorite because it was the first. The first script I wrote for Xena (DREAMWORKER) will always be a favorite because it set up major arcs for Gabrielle's character. The first screenplay I ever sold, HARRY O'FELL (not produced) is a favorite because it was my first screenplay and was optioned for a pilot. So, you see "favorite" isn't a word that applies to me.

Do you have a favorite character that you created?

heh heh, you can imagine what this answer will be. Yes. And no. They are all characters I invested a part of myself in so they are all special for different reasons.

What is your favorite character from another writer?

Woo hoo! I'm really not trying to avoid your questions, believe me, this happens a lot. Many of the questions I get are of the "favorite" kind and it frustrates people because I can't answer the question. I've loved all sorts of characters and remember a lot of them. Honestly, if I didn't like the character, odds are I didn't read much of the work and forgot about it. Here're some names that register: The Hardy Boys, Brains Benton, Jupiter Jones, and most of the heroes of the books in my childhood. But there have been many more characters that I have enjoyed whose names elude me at the moment.

Do you prefer one genre to another?

My preferences change with time. I've always enjoyed science fiction because, when well written, they create questions in the reader's mind. The golden age of sci-fi was fantastic with that, usually putting a spin in the last page that made you think. I've enjoyed zombie stories for the longest time because zombies are just zombies, but the real stories deal with the psychological effect the living dead have on the living. Historical dramas, when well written, are always attractive me. David McCullough writes some exceptional books on history. His book on John Adams was wonderful! Jeff Shaara writes books based around real historical characters in real events, dramatizing only the details. He (and his father before him) write wonderfully immersive stories.

Do you like the feel of a book in your hands or do you prefer an electronic devise?

Interesting question. I had one of the first electronic books. It was an RCA device and if I didn't have a dog lying on my lap as I type this, I could turn around and grab it from my bookcase. It was a gift from a girlfriend's family back in 1999. I loved it! Because I could carry a mini-library with me wherever I went. Keep in mind, my reading habits are eclectic and go back and forth, so instead of being stuck with one book or carrying several with me, I could travel with this one ebook and read them all. Today, I have an iPad with my kindle on it as well as on my android phone and I enjoy those for the same reason. The iPad gives me the additional luxury of being able to download scripts onto it to take with me wherever I go.

Now do I love the feel of a book in my hand? No, not especially. Don't hate it, but it doesn't call to me as a literary purist. What I like is having books on bookshelves; something about that calls to the child in me where I dreamed of being able to have my own "library". The books I really DO enjoy having are the autographed copies that I have. I have a few shelves of autographed books that I'm quite proud of. Somehow having an author sign my iPad just doesn't seem as satisfying or practical.

Can you tell us about what your working on now?

I haven't had a series on the air in almost a decade. After finishing my last series (SHEENA)I was so burned out as I had been working non-stop for a couple of decades. So I told my agent I wanted to do development for a while. The risk of that is of course, that you drop off the radar as far as working on series. I accepted that, I needed to. So I started developing and doing projects here and there. Fortunately I was paid for most of my development (many times you aren't), but I'm now itching to get back into things.

So, currently, aside from hawking myself to new and existing series, I just finished a multi-series pilot deal with Cookie Jar Entertainment (one of those pilot scripts is being taken out to the networks as we speak), I'm in discussions with Cookie Jar for another project right now. I'm doing consulting work with Artists, Inc. (an animation house, I wrote a short animated feature for them two years ago). I'm writing a spec pilot script titled SNAP right now (an edgy look at the world of the paparazzi) as well as a series about two women on a quest in a dangerous land. And so on so on and so on. It never stops. Then again, when it's a passion you never want it to end.

Wow! Great interview thank you so much Steven for taking the time to speak to us:)

If you would like to get in touch or ask me a question please tweet at @rithebard or email me at

Till next time...