It’s ten weeks until “Shine!” time at the 2015 Write2Ignite Writers’ Conference. We’re preparing for fantastic workshops, led by bright stars of the writing profession.
While we’re waiting for the big weekend to arrive, we’ll feature some reflections of those stars on the blog.
This week’s shining star interview is with award-winning actor, screenwriter, and producer, Torry Martin. He’s also a talented author and comedian.
A former Alaska resident, Torry now makes his haven in Tennessee. He kindly took a short break from his busy schedule of speaking, instructing, and filmmaking to answer a few questions.
Torry, the year has flown by since we saw you at last year’s Write2Ignite Conference. What were three of your favorite moments in 2014?
- Getting the opportunity to act in the movies “Mountaintop” written by Robert Whitlow and “Skid” by Rene Gutteridge.
- Completing the romantic-comedy screenplay of “So Broken Up” [and] that my writing partner and I were hired to write for Vetter Brothers Production.
- Receiving a book contract from Harvest House Publishers for my book “Of Moose and Men”.
What was your first paying job? How old were you?
My first paying job was cleaning horse stalls. I was twelve. If you mean as a writer, my first book was published by Lillenas Drama Publishers when I was not twelve. Both jobs still involved sifting through manure.
At what point in your life did you know you wanted to pursue writing?
When I wrote my first spec script for the TV show “Roseanne” and it was received favorably. Roseanne said in a very monotone and very nasal way- “Yer funny.”
Looking back over your writing journey, what is one thing you wish you had known earlier?
That you don’t need an agent to get published and that networking is a vital skill.
What do you hope to learn this year?
How to focus more on God and not get distracted with my career.
Do you remember one of your favorite books from your childhood? What made it special?
My favorite book of all time is “Anne of Green Gables”. L.M. Montgomery told a fascinating and funny story and created a whole community that I still love. Her characters felt so alive to me that I could almost hear them breathing.
What was one of your favorite books when you were a teen?
“The Chosen” by Chaim Potok. I must have read it 4-5 times. I loved the language and the emotional depth of the characters. Plus, it was a book about friendship and since I was a nerdy loner, I liked living vicariously through the characters.
If you were awarded one day to talk with three authors (from any time period), whom would you choose?
L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, John Wayne. (Okay, so John Wayne never wrote a book but he has had a lot of them written about him and I think that should count.) If you are going to be a stickler then I will change that answer to Beatrix Potter. (But only if she looks like Renee Zellweger in the movie “Miss Potter”.) If she doesn’t look like Renee, then I change the answer to Mark Twain.
The theme for Write2Ignite 2015 is “Shine!” What three helpful hints would you recommend to writers to make their work shine?
- Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
- Be willing to make yourself vulnerable in what you write. It will have a more sincere emotional connection with the audience.
- Don’t think of your book as your baby. You will have to do things to your book that are illegal to do to babies.
Torry, Roseanne was right. Yer funny. Thanks, for taking time out to share with us. We look forward to seeing you in March.
Friends, you can catch more of Torry’s comedy and wisdom in the following workshops at this year’s conference:
“Comedy Shorts for Stage or Screen” (Teen Track & Adult Track)
“Creating a Compelling Protagonist and Antagonist” (Teen Track)
“Write For Your Life” (Teen Track)
To catch up with Torry’s latest antics and God’s blessings visit Torry’s facebook page.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://write2ignite.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Sally-Matheny-1F1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Encouraging others is Sally Matheny’s mission in life. She enjoys “reflecting on ordinary life under God’s extraordinary Light.” A member of SCBWI and ACW, her articles have appeared in children’s magazines such as Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr., Cobblestone’s Appleseeds, and in the international devotional Keys for Kids. Sally also writes articles on parenting, homeschooling, and Christian living for on-line publications as well as print publications such as Practical Homeschooling, The Greenhouse Report, and Homeschooling Today. One of Sally’s most rewarding projects was writing Who is Jesus?, a VBS evangelism curriculum for missionaries introducing Jesus to children. A former public school teacher, with a M.Ed., Sally has homeschooled for over 15 years. Married for over twenty-five years, she and her husband make their home in western North Carolina. Their greatest blessings are their two daughters and one son. Find encouragement from Sally on her blog: http://www.sallymatheny.blogspot.com/ and Twitter: @sally_matheny [/author_info] [/author]