inspired you to write your first audio play?
I had been working in the music industry as a percussion
technician in one of the oldest rooms of its type in the world. The
original proprietor, Carroll Bratman, was an innovator in Golden Age
Radio foley effects. I was literally surrounded in this warehouse space
by relics of radio sound effects! Creaking doors, clanging machine
parts, marching feet, coconuts...you name it. I was asked by earstage to
contribute a play as they were aware of my writing aspirations and I
remember looking around the room at the thundersheets and boing boxes
and thinking to myself, “this is what I need to be doing.”
Do you have a specific
I write earthy soft hearted fantasy and horror with
thematic percussive dialogue. Punchy and two fisted scripting.
How did you come up with
There's an awesome band called High on Fire out of
Oakland who put out an album called Surrounded by Thieves. I thought the
title to be very evocative of the general (sad) distrust I feel towards
other human beings. The title of my play (Surrounded by Monsters) was a
rip off of that.
Is there a message in your
audio play that you want readers to grasp?
That you're not always right.
Are experiences based on
someone you know, or events in your own life?
It came from a fear I have that human beings are quite
plainly, monsters. That I can't trust people and how sad I am that I
feel that way. I wanted to say something about the selfishness of
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I never thought I could write dialogue until I saw
“Marty” with Ernest Borgnine and realized that
created themes for each of his scenes that are almost musically
repeated. After that I began to use my love of music and rhythm to
construct dialogue. I could never have written an audio play without the
insight I got from that film.
What book are you reading
Dogsbody, by Diane Wynne Jones. It's a batshit
crazy science-fantasy novel about a star trapped in the body of a dog.
What are your current
I've been writing karaoke card game called
Scary-oke, reviews of graphic
novels for Graphic NYC,
blogging about the writing process for the
Sequential Art Collective, and
writing radio plays for Audio Movies.
Of course, I've also been working on more scripts for
comics and trying to get short stories published as well. Keep your
If you had to do it all
over again, would you change anything in your latest audio play?
No. I think it stands. I'm a forward thinker. If I didn't
like something about it, I'm sure I'll improve on that aspect in a
Do you recall how your
interest in writing originated?
It was discovered by my teachers as I was growing up in
Iowa that I was pretty good at it. Being a kid in Iowa who can string a
sentence makes you like a star football player anywhere else. They are
so proud (and rightly so!) of the Iowa Writer's Conference that if you
exhibitt any talent at all the community gets behind you and you are
treated like you're something special. I liked feeling special. They had
me going to the Young Writers Conference and reading short stories on
public radio. It was an amazing place.
Is there anything you find
particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting the drive to sit down and make the donuts. Once
I'm there it comes pretty easily but the act of shutting off the
distractions in my room, life, and mind can be a herculean effort. It's
a wonder I'm writing this right now!
What was the hardest part
of writing your audio play?
Getting confident in my dialogue. I had to learn to
really linger over word choices in a new way.
Did you learn anything
from writing your audio play and what was it?
I learned to love the medium for one. It is a distinct
and special way to tell a story. And to those who favor it, nothing can
compete. It rewards the listener in very potent and real ways.
Do you have any advice for
This is actually advice for myself but I'm sure someone
else may benefit from it.;;
Write hard everyday. Expect rejection and take it well.
You can't be what every editor or producer is looking for so don't let
it slow you down. The rest is easy. Especially if you aren't expecting
to make a million dollars.
Do you have anything
specific that you want to say to your listeners?
I value the opportunity to share my voice with them and
hope they are entertained... and maybe a trifle frightened.