This is where I feature special guests who find themselves at various stages of their creative endeavors. We will share with them insights from their experiences, projects, and ideas, and be inspired.
Click here, at the end, or on the menu, for links to all my amazing guests from previous months.
Graham Streeter – see Post
Graham Streeter is an American film director, screenwriter and cinematographer, and I’m stoked that he’s one of my two Spotlight Features in March!
Graham was raised in northern California until high school, which is when we met. Yep. We go way back. He lived in Osaka, Japan for 10 years while working in film and television. He was the reason I got to travel to Japan for three months, which was a pivotal experience in my life. We were supposed to meet up and travel together, but it didn’t happen. That’s a long story for another day.
He returned to the United States and attended California State University, Sacramento, earning a double degree in international business administration and Japanese, then worked for Nippon Television in Los Angeles as a television field producer and ultimately founded Imperative Pictures in Hollywood.
His 2018 film I May Regret was selected for the San Diego International Film Festival and won the Grand Prix at the Vienna Independent Film Festival.
We’ll be chatting about his journey into filmmaking, day-to-day life as a creator, and his amazing body of work. So, stay tuned!
Max and Teona, the creators of Writing Battle, will be stopping by from Nova Scotia to talk about this phenomenal peer-powered writing competition, how it came about, and the amazing community of writers taking part. Meanwhile, get a glimpse of how it started, straight from Teona!
Once upon a time, Max was a software engineer for a large defence company and unhappy in the lack of creativity he was able to exercise in his job. As an amateur screenwriter himself, he had come across writing contests before but knew there was room for the framework to improve. His wife Teona, was coming to the end of her maternity leave and so Max, with the long term goal of making this his full time job, took over as full time parent by day and used the very little time in between kiddo naps and nights to mould the contest. With iteration after iteration, integrating suggestions from his brother, the writing battle community, and a lot of long nights full of doubt, he has finally gotten to a place where the contest works remarkably well. Battle season nights can now be spent enjoying wine, reviewing feedback and chatting with Teona instead of sweating over the keyboard to ensure the forums that he built from scratch are ready for the next day (yes that really did happen). Now we are in year three, just wrapped up battle number 9 and Teona has been officially “hired.” We are so excited to watch the community grow and thrilled to hear people enjoy the tournament as much on the writers’ side as we do behind the scenes.
A huge thank you goes out to our community and supporters like Darci who make this dream work for us! 🙂
Coming in April
I am so excited to have my friend Sci Fi Fantasy Writer and reviewer Dustin Frueh drop by in April. We will have some great topics to discuss around a writer’s life, including coping with life’s toughest challenges while pursuing our creative passion. And I can’t wait to talk about the mind-blowing number of books he’s tallied up on Goodreads.
Dustin grew up in a small town in the beautiful Pacific-Northwest, where he found solace in the macabre stories made popular in the 1980s and 90s. In addition to his fascination with dark and seedy things, he strove to understand why evil had to happen. His work in progress is a fantasy-science fiction hybrid, featuring elements of horror, which attempts to explore the fallacy of human nature, our innermost fears, and the surprising connections between science and magic. Dustin Frueh still haunts the Pacific-Northwest, alongside his family and four rambunctious felines. Connect with him online: Instagram or on Goodreads
Sci Fi writer Nicolas Lemieux was one of those really nice surprises on Twitter last year. When he shared his free story Cradle with a signup to his newsletter, his story pitch really grabbed me. Then, I read the story and it grabbed me. I can’t wait for the full series. We’ve been chatting on a regular basis, digging deep into a writer’s life and our respective creative journey’s. We’re excited to share our take-aways with you in April, and we plan on doing something a little different, which will involve my side of the interview being shared in Nicolas’ newsletter. A true conversation.
Nicolas lives in Montreal with his wife Marie-Claude in a third-story apartment overlooking an interesting, green back-alley. Although French is his first language, he likes to write in English primarily. His chosen writing genre is science fiction, principally space opera.
He gets his kicks out of dreaming up astonishing worlds packed with a sharp palette of badass, quirky characters who get tangled up in all manner of meaningful trouble. Often funny, sometimes disquieting, always exciting.
You can sign up for your free copy of Cradle here or click below.
Coming in May
Jessica Jayne Webb
One of the best things about being part of the Fantasy Sci Fi Writers Alliance, is being able to chat with writers from so many great locales around the world. In May, you will get to meet Jessica Jayne Webb, a Fantasy Writer from New Zealand. Jessie is the mother of two high functioning boys and is also studying. She says her book, The Secrets of Wilderfort Castle, was monumental for herself and her family as both her sons have learning challenges. She believes no matter what is thrown your way anyone can accomplish what they want to do, they Just need to put their minds to it and be determined. Webb loves to forage, fish, walk, be in her garden, play with her sons and have quality time with her partner. Since writing this first novel she has four others in the process of being written
Michael C. Carroll
Anyone fancy listening to Beowulf in Old English? Well my May guest, author and Podcaster co-host of Required Reading Beowulf and Old English Scholar, Michael C. Carroll, will share how he provides that for his listeners. I can’t wait for him to share the insights of a day in the life of a scholar and narrator of Old English right here on my Sunday Spotlight. Oh, and we will talk about his own amazing stories, too. You can follow Michael and listen to his fantastic clips on Instagram.
Born and raised in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley, author Michael C. Carroll has always loved storytelling. After graduating from Boston College, Michael moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he teaches and lectures on the epic poetry that inspires his writing. It was not until his master’s program through the Bread Loaf School of English brought him to Oxford University, that Michael knew he had found the story he would spend the rest of his life telling.
In Professor Francis Leneghan’s tea-scented office, Michael C. Carroll began studying the Old English manuscript of Beowulf. That literary exploration lead to Michael’s thesis that addresses the allegorical significance of the dragon fight that concludes the Anglo-Saxon epic poem.
Not long after earning his Master’s degree, Michael began writing Beyond the Fall of Kings, the incredible true story of the war behind the poem of Beowulf.
Currently, Michael lives in Atlanta, Georgia where—when he is not giving lectures on Beowulf—he can be found making dinner for his wife and daughter, coaching his school’s football and swimming teams, and working through his own translation of the Old English Beowulf Manuscript.