Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Allison Whitmore. She is an aspiring screen writer as well as the author of Forget Me Not; a powerful coming of age story starting in 1933 and spanning decades. Read the author interview below.
Q: When did you start writing?
A: I started making up stories and plays when I was four or five and writing maybe at seven or so. I don’t think I thought could write seriously until I was about seventeen, however.
Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?
A: Not really other than not being too tired and being a relatively good mood. I tend to write a lot, so it’s become very routine for me. Some days are better than others.
Q: Tell me about your novel, Forget Me Not. What was the original idea behind it?
A: I don’t know. I think I read a short story written by a friend set in the time-period and wanted to write something like it but all my own. I wanted to tell a love story, but at the same time make a comment on social issues of the time.
Q: You are also a screenwriter. What have you written?
A: I’m actually an aspiring screenwriter. I’ve written one feature film, two television pilots, a spec script and several short films. One short film has been produced and one of my pilots optioned, which means a production company was interested enough to put it on reserve for a year. My writing partner and I are currently going for the WB Writer’s Workshop this year. It’s a tough program to get into, but we think it would be amazing if we did make it. If not, we plan to keep pitching our work and writing as much as we can. We have a lot of ideas and concepts waiting in the wings. I have also been hired to write some screenplays that have been produced as a ghostwriter. That’s a bit different, but fun in its own right.
Q: How is being a screenwriter different than being a novelist?
A: Screenplays are faster, but I feel like we revise them a lot more. But the revision process can be somewhat easier in many ways. With screenwriting as well as TV writing, the process eventually becomes highly collaborative, so that makes a difference. Novel writing is great because you can really delve into a world that’s all your own — even with the book I worked on with two other authors is different. Novel writing is much more independent. Also, novelists have to create a public brand for themselves, whereas screenwriters are only doing that within the film industry. It’s different. I definitely appreciate and love both. Definitely.
Q: Which of your characters are you most like? How so?
A: I’m probably the most like Teddi. Nosey. Sometimes shy. Stands up for herself when pushed. I’m usually not like the heroine in my work, but I would definitely say of all of the things I’ve written I’m most like Teddi.
Q: If you could visit any place at any point in time, where would you go and why?
A: I’d kind of like to jump into my book and visit Calvin and Teddi during their time period — the 30s and 40s — just to look around. I would not want to stay there. I’m also interested in taking a look at LA in the 1960s and Paris in the 1920s.
Q: What advice do wish you had gotten when you started writing?
A: Pay attention to structure. Please do this. It’s so hard in rewrites when you don’t. Trust me.
Q: Where is the craziest place you have ever got an idea?
A: Once I wrote a story while I was at Disneyland with my parents. I wouldn’t say it was crazy, but it was really weird that I had a pen and notepad with me and writing my crazy romance story the whole time. I think I was 15.
Q: What is something you want the world to know?
A: I have two books out right now, and I am very humbled by that fact, but I would like to do more, produce more, and tell even better stories than I already have. I think that’s what I am meant to do….at least, I hope so. Thanks for reading, and be as wonderful as you’re meant to be.
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