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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
 
 
Jane Espenson is a writing machine.  Not only did she write and work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my favorite TV shows of the nineties (and I’m not afraid to admit it), but she also helped me out and shed light on where the word ‘frak’ originated. Yes, according to Jane, frak is a Battlestar Galactica phrase; and by the amount of times ‘frak’ has arisen in these interviews as a writers favorite curse word, I’d say we have quite a few Battlestar fans here.
 
So, who is American script writer and television producer, Jane Espenson?
 
Born in Ames, Iowa in 1964, Telly loving Jane first chased her dream of becoming a writer at the age of 13 after realising army medical  TV show M*A*S*H accepted spec scripts. Even though she was still in junior high, and without the promise of a dime, she scribbled out a draft episode….. Still yet to be submitted.
 
Years later, while Jane was studying computer science and linguistics at University of California, Berkeley, she decided to try her luck at writing again. This time her target was Star Trek: The Next Generation. As part of a script submission program open to amateur writers, and which Jane refers to as the “last open door of show business”, she submitted several spec scripts.
 
In 1992, Jane landed a position with the Disney Writing Fellowship. From here, she worked on a number of sitcoms. These included ABC’s comedy Dinosaurs and Touchstone Television‘s short-lived Monty.

 
Now in her early thirties, Jane moved to TV’s Ellen as both writer and producer. However, after only a year, she decided she needed something different to comedy. Dramatic writing caught her attention and she applied to Mutant Enemy Productions for a position on the hit show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
 

Spike: Jane's favorite Buffy character.

Joining season three, Jane remained until the shows climactic end five years later. These five years saw her promoted from both writer and executive story editor to co-executive producer and in 2003, Jane shared the Hugo Award for Best Short Dramatic Presentation with co-writer Drew Godard for writing the episode “Conversations with Dead People“.
 
All in all, Jane wrote 23 episodes for Buffy, starting with “Band Candy“, and finishing with Buffy’s penultimate episode, “End of Days“; and was the only staff writer to be credited on more than five episodes in a single season.

2005 saw Jane editing BenBella Books Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly. And in 2009, co-wrote several comic book stories for Tales of the Slayers, Tales of the Vampires and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, the one-shots Jonathan and Reunion and the limited series Haunted.

Having already wrote a third season episode, and co-writing another, Battlestar Galactica welcomed Jane in 2008 as co-executive producer. She worked on every episode for the fourth series and wrote webisodes, and in 2010 moved over to Battlestars spin-off series Caprica, where she was co-executive producer and took on show runner duties midway through the first season.

She left Battlestar with a Streamy Awards after winning Best Writing for a Dramatic Web Series for Battlestar Galactica: The Face of the Enemy

In 2010, after claiming to be a fan of Torchwood, in particular the third series, “Children of Earth“, Jane joined creator, Russell T Davies, for Torchwood: Miracle Day, writing episodes 3, 5, 7 and co-writing episode 8 with Ryan Scott. Both writers also collaborated on the webseries, Torchwood: Web of Lies, starring Eliza Dushku.

Jane co-wrote and produced her first independent original web series with co-creator Brad Bell, entitled Husbands, which revolves around the life of two newly married gay men and premiered at http://husbandstheseries.com on Sept. 13, 2011.

Even though Jane has written episodes for dramas The O.C., Jake in Progress, and Gilmore Girls, she is without a doubt, best known for writing science fiction and fantasy. TV shows such as Battlestar Galactica,  Game of Thrones, Torchwood, Angel, Dollshouse, Warehouse 13, and Once Upon a Time have all received her magic touch and are a force to be reckoned with in the ratings.

Jane is currently working as a consulting producer and writer on the ABC‘s series Once Upon a Time. 

So, what did the woman who invented the name of the drink “Zima” while working for a marketing firm make of our questions?

 1.  What is your favorite word?  Bubble
 
2. What is your least favorite word? Bitch
 
3. What turns you on?   Wordplay
 
4. What turns you off?    Waiting
 
5. What sound do you love?   Peeping
 
6. What sound do you hate? Peeing
 
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Frak
 
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Zookeeper
 
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Assassin
 
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   ”One more time around.”

 
   
        
So, what was your favorite Buffy character? What was/is your favorite Espenson show?
 
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For more information regarding Jane Espenson, please check out her Website, Facebook, twitter

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
 
What does Spitting Image, Have I Got News For You, Miranda, and Al Murray’s Happy Hour all have in common?
 
Answer: Comedy writer, Paul Powell.
 
With a Chelmsford education behind him, Paul began writing while studying Engligh at Oxford University. In 1991 he appeared in the Oxford Review and from then on in, was smitten with the written word. Radio Four’s ‘Weekending’ gave Paul his first writing job, where he rubbed shoulders with Ben Millar, Al Murray, and Harry Hill.
 
Since then, Paul has notched up quite a resume, working on some of the best and well-loved comedies on the box. Shows such as Minute to Win It, Miranda, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Top Gear, Hell’s Kitchen, and Dead Ringers have all had the golden touch of Paul’s humorous imagination. And stars such as Ant and Dec, Granham Norton, Bradley Walsh, Paul Merton, and Girls Aloud have all worked with him.
 
In fact, Paul’s comedy skills are so good, he has even reached the dizzy heights of Hollywood, working alongside the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett, and very recently, Barry Manilow on ‘An Audience With…’. He even happily admits to cornering Buzz Aldrin at London Studios.
 
And it doesn’t stop there. Paul has won awards….. and lots of them. He picked up a Comedy Award for Al Murray’s Happy Hour, an RTS award for Miranda, starring the brilliant Miranda Hart, and the title of 39th Greatest Comedy Sketch for ‘Saying Goodbye’ from Smack The Pony.
 
 
As well as writing for television, Paul has also written numerous shows for Radio, and he is so passionate about his writing, he even starred in one of his own TV shows, Stuff the week.
 
Oh, and he’s also a non-executive director of Author’s Licensing and Collection Society, an excellent organisation which was formed to protect the rights of writers. And, there’s more…. he co-owns his own production company, Black Dog Television, with Dan Gastor and Will Ing.
 
So, when he’s not at the BBC, or out lunching with women who want a 30 Second Interview, what does Paul get up to? He hangs out at his local coffee shop and co-writes best-selling books: i.e. ‘Top Gear: Alternative Highway Code’, and ‘The Vicar of Dibley’.
 
Phew. The man’s a writing machine!
 
His new show ‘Alexander Armstrong’s Big Ask’ starts Monday 6th February at 9pm on Dave. Don’t miss it!
 
 
So what could this man, who’s engaged in a pepper growing race with me, have to say for himself?
 
1.  What is your favorite word?  Louche
 
2. What is your least favorite word? Chillax
 
3. What turns you on?   Wife
 
4. What turns you off?    Cynicism
 
5. What sound do you love?   Glug
 
6. What sound do you hate? Sniffing
 
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Arse
 
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Musician
 
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Undertaker
 
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   ”High-Five.”
 
New Series of Alexander Armstrong's BIG ASK February 2012  
        
  
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For more information regarding Paul Powell, please check out his Website, Production Company, twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, ALCS

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
 
Before I start on Robert, I must just tell you this. Many years ago, I was fortunate to attend one of his personal appearances. I remember a story he told like it was yesterday. That story is this. Robert’s friend had (decades earlier) offered him the chance to invest in a little unknown venture called ‘the internet’. Robert didn’t think it would amount to anything, and declined the generous offer. Thank god he did or today he may have been too busy counting his zillions to take part in the ever popular 30 Second Interview.
 
1956 saw the birth of one Robert Llewellyn. He never had any desire to perform and at the age of 16, was expelled from school and became a ‘hippie’.
 
At 24, and with only a Christmas charity puppet show under his ‘belt of experience’, Robert entered the world of show business.
 
What began as a hobby, Robert’s amateur cabaret evenings in a riverside warehouse overlooking London’s Tower Bridge, soon became a great success. Together with Bernie Evans, Nigel Ordishand, and Graham Allum, Robert formed the alternative comedy group, The Joey’s. The first year alone would see them tour the UK and Europe, clocking up a massive 260 performances; thousands more over the following four years.
 
Spurned on by their success, Robert turned to novel writing. But ‘All Quiet in the West End’ was never published. A good thing according to Robert, “as it was total trash.”
 
Robert was an avid writer for the show, and as their success grew, so did their singing talents.
 
After the Joey’s split, Robert, along with Chris Eymard, wrote and starred in Channel 4’s comedy, ‘The Cornerhouse’. Robert remembers it as a “true disaster that just wasn’t funny.”
 
Undeterred, and inspired by Paul Verhoeven ‘Robocop’, Robert wrote comedy play ‘Mammon’. It premiered in 1988 at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival and was a great success.
 
‘Mammon’ was seen by Paul Jackson, the then producer of Red Dwarf, who immediately offered Robert the part of ‘Kryten’. But Robert’s show, ‘Mammon’,  had been commissioned by Channel 4 and he nearly declined the offer.
 
Luckily, he didn’t. In 1989, Series three of Red Dwarf aired. Robert joined fellow cast members Craig Charles and Chris Barrie, and stayed until the show ended in 1999, five series later.
 
But, Robert’s career didn’t stop there. As well as appearing in TV classics such as  Bottom, Discovery Channel’s How Do They Do It?, and the ever popular Scrapheap Challenge, Robert started a web series called Carpool. Carpool  was simple. Robert picked up a ‘famous’ person and drove them to work. During their journey, Robert and his passenger would chat and laugh. The series was an instant hit and in November 2010, UKTV began broadcasting the show on Dave.
 
 
So, now for the long awaited questions. A funny man with very funny answers.
 
1.  What is your favorite word?  Cunnilingus
 
2. What is your least favorite word? Ananas
 
3. What turns you on?   Hands
 
4. What turns you off?   Touchiness
 
5. What sound do you love?   Laughing
 
6. What sound do you hate? Diesel Engines
 
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Tosser
 
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Sewage Work
 
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Singer
 
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   “Tosser. In you come.”
 
   
        
  
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For more information regarding Robert Llewellyn, please check out his Website, Facebook, twitter

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
 
 
On 8th October, 1943, in Columbus, Ohio, the first of three Stine siblings was born; Robert Lawrence Stine, known to friends and family as Bob, would go on to become the worlds teenage literary answer to Stephen King.
 
Bob was nine years old when he unearthed an old typewriter in the attic; a discovery which, unbeknown then, would change his life for ever. Never one to play outside, Bob took the typewriter to his bedroom and began to type the first of many stories and joke books.

School did not see Bob as a great student. He hated math, he hated gym (the only sport he was ever good at was ping pong!), and he hated studying. Instead, he spent most of his time writing stories and joke magazines. 

After graduating from Ohio State University in 1965, Bob headed to New York City to become a writer. He wrote dozens of joke books and humor books for kids, and created Bananas, a zany humor magazine. If you look for that work now, you’ll have to look under the name, Jovial Bob Stine.

In 1962, Bob married Jane Waldhorn. Jane became an editor and writer, and together they worked on several children’s books. Later, Jane and her partner formed their own publishing company, Parachute Press, and helped create all of husband’s most popular book series.

In 1986, Bob became R.L.Stine and turned scary!

He wrote his first teen horror novel, Blind Date, which became an instant best-seller. Many scary novels followed, including Beach House, Hit And Run, The Babysitter, and The Girlfriend.

In 1989,  Fear Street, the best-selling, young adult series in history was created. Fear Street boasts approximately100  books about teens facing all kinds of terror.

Then, in 1992, the Goosebumps  series hit the bookshelves and instantly became a hit around the world. To date, it’s been translated into 32 different languages and made R.L. Stine a worldwide publishing celebrity. To follow this success, The Goosebumps TV show was created and became America’s number-one kids’ show three years in a row. The episodes are still shown at Halloween time and many of the shows are now on DVD.

Other R.L. Stine book creations include: Ghosts of Fear Street, Give Yourself Goosebumps, The Nightmare Room (also a TV series), Mostly Ghostly, and Beware!, a collection of all his favorite stories, poems, comics and illustrations. Rotten School was a series of funny books about the rottenest school on earth. He has also published two creepy short story collections– The Nightmare Hour and The Haunting Hour. Also, two teen vampire novels– Dangerous Girls and Dangerous Girls II: The Taste of Night.

R.L.’s books are read all over the world. So far, he has sold over 350 million books, making him one of the best-selling children’s authors in history.

These days, R.L. is busier than ever. He’s working on many books, including the Goosebumps HorrorLand series. R.L. lives in New York City with his wife Jane and his dog Minnie. His son Matthew is a composer, musician, and sound designer. 

So, did we scare Bob with these questions?……of course not! This is a man who happily announces: “My job is to give kids the CREEPS!”

1.  What is your favorite word?  Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts)
 
2. What is your least favorite word? decrepit
 
3. What turns you on?   Bomboloni
 
4. What turns you off?   Worms in my salad
 
5. What sound do you love?   MMmmmmmmmm
 
6. What sound do you hate? Ackackackackack
 
7. What is your favorite curse word?   None. They’re all fine with me.
 
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Ballerina
 
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Deodorant company armpit tester
 
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   “Guess what – no more deadlines.”
 
     
        
  
Contact Information

If you need other info about R.L. Stine, check out his autobiography– It Came From Ohio— published by Scholastic.

If you would like to see R.L. Stine, he will be signing books on March 10th, 2012, at Tuscon Festival of Books.

For more information regarding R.L. Stine, please check out his Website, Facebook, twitter

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers. 
 
29 year old, Noelle Carbone has one of the best jobs in the world. How did she get there? With a whole lot of talent, and a little bit of luck. Born in Windsor, Ontario, Noelle’s job almost seems inevitable. Having graduated from the University of Western Ontario, Noelle decided to enroll in a summer screenwriting workshop at Humber College.
 
It was here that she met Professor Donna O’Brien-Sokic. With much encouragement, and demonstrating endless hard work, Noelle went on to complete a further three years in Humber’s film and television programme.
 
During this time, Noelle made many friends and contacts and in her third year at Humber, she landed an internship with Capri Films Inc. While here, Noelle was introduced to Ilana Frank, President of Thump Inc & Norstar Filmed Entertainment Inc… and landed the job of a lifetime as Ilana’s development Executive for ABC’s hit Canadian television series, ‘Rookie Blue’.
 
Ironically, the day before Rookie Blue aired, Noelle was out with two off-duty police friends when a couple of shoplifters tried to leave a convenience store with a back pack full of unpaid goods. The officers leapt into action and apprehended one of the suspects.

Now a writer & executive story editor on the show, which is now heading for its third season, having friends like these has its benefits – and real-life ideas. Click here for a behind the scenes look at the show.

So, what would a girl like Noelle make of our ten questions?

1.  What is your favorite word?  Forza!
 
2. What is your least favorite word? Mucus
 
3. What turns you on?   Pencil Skirts
 
4. What turns you off?   Bad Grammar (Yep, I’m that guy.)
 
5. What sound do you love?   Justin Rutledge’s Voice. (It’s like someone playing with your hair while you fall asleep.
 
6. What sound do you hate?  Raccoon fights
 
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Balls
 
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   I’m too unemployable to do anything else
 
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Flight attendant. (I barf on planes.)
 
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   ”Nicely done.”
 
  
        
  
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For more information regarding Noelle Carbone’s work, please check out her Website, Facebook, twitter

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
 
 
I’m excited.

Why?

Because this 30 Second Interview has a special place in my heart.

 
Stephen Collins is such an accomplished man, I hardly know where to begin….so, I’ll start at the beginning and whizz through to one of my favorites; Tales of the Gold Monkey.

In 1880, Greenback Party presidential candidate and the 1892 Populist Party (“People’s Party”) candidate for president, General James Baird Weaver would, some 67 years later, become a great-great-grandad.

 
Born  in 1947  in Des Moines, Iowa and raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, Stephen Weaver Collins was the youngest of three brothers and an extremely shy child.
 
Stephen’s first love was baseball. He would later go on to get a high school batting average of 143. Then, with the Star Trek softball team, 301. But neither this, nor his love for music (he played bass guitar and rhythm guitar in a number of rock and roll bands), could deter the acting ‘bug’.

Stephen took to the stage and, with an acting award for his portrayal of Kilroy in “Camino Real“, was offered the small role of Valentine in “Twelfth Night“. Stephen graduated College an employed actor.

 
With approximately 25 years of theatre productions under his belt, and at 27 years of age, television knocked on Stephen’s door with The Michele Lee Show. He has never looked back . 

After much success with hit shows such as Charlies Angles, The Waltons, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Stephen landed the lead role of pilot Jake Cutter in Tales of the Gold Monkey. Set in 1938, the story revolved around a pilot who finds adventure while transporting cargo in his well-worn airplain, the Grumman Goose…..and in case you hadn’t noticed, is a massive favorite of mine.

But others may know Stephen more as Rev. Eric Camden from TV’s 7th Heaven, which ran for eleven seasons, until finishing in 2007.
 
To date, Stephen’s acting career has earned him many awards, including his portrayal of John F Kennedy in the miniseries  A Woman Named Jackie. He also has several directing credits to his name.
 
As an author, Stephen has written two novels. In 1994, Eye Contact was published by Bantam Press. This success was followed by Double Exposure in 1998, which was published by William Morrow.

In 2006 OttoPenzler’s Mysterious Books, an imprint of Warner Books, published Stephen’s ‘Water Hazard‘ as part of a short story mystery anthology, Murder in the Rough.
So, a musician, songwriter, actor, novelist, director, and poker player who qualified for the first tournament of Celebrity Poker Showdown in 2005….. I bet this 30 second interview has, by far, been the most challenging of Stephen’s life.
  
1.  What is your favorite word?  Yes
 
2. What is your least favorite word?   “Whatever” (used to stop a conversation)
 
3. What turns you on?   Humor
 
4. What turns you off?   Unwillingness to consider a different opinion
 
5. What sound do you love?   The sound of the crowd in the background of a baseball game on the radio

6. What sound do you hate?  Whining (especially my own)
  
7. What is your favorite curse word?   “Fuck.”
 
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   The Law
 
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Work for Monsanto
 
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   “Surprise!”
 
 
      CD cover  
  
Contact Information

For more information regarding Stephen Collins books, TV work, and films, please check out his Website, Facebook, twitter

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.

Hold the phone!
This cannot be true.
Ryne Douglas Pearson, writer extraordinare, has never tasted strawberry ice cream? *Shudders at the thought.*
Californian Ryne, who once claimed the most fun job he’d ever had was when he worked as a plumber, married into a large Irish Catholic family. A practicing Catholic himself, Ryne is not only well known for his novels, he is also recognised in the movie industry.
Novels Cloudburst, October’s Ghost, Capitol PunishmentTop Ten, The Donzerly Light, All For One, and Confessions have confirmed his status as being a great author. But when novel Simple Simon was picked up by Hollywood and turned into the 1996 hit movie Mercury Rising, starring Bruce Willis, it opened another door for his writing.
In 2008, Ryne worked (uncredited) on scripts for Keanu Reeves movie, The Day Earth Stood Still  and Jessica Alba’s  The Eye, and in 2009, he was one of four writers who wrote the screenplay Knowing, a concept he himself created.
Although first frowned upon by the critics (what do they know?), Knowing went straight to number one at the box office. American film critic and screenwriter, Roger Ebert boasted it being one of the best sci-fi films he had ever seen. Knowing went on to make more than $180 million worldwide.
Ryne is a member of Writers Guild of America-WestScience Fiction & Fantasy Writers Of America and International Thriller Writers. When not writing or spendng time with his wife, children, and two dogs – a Doberman Shepherd and Beagle Vizsla, you can find him twittering with friends.
So what would a man, who is described by Entertainment Weekly as having a ‘sweet, disarming quality’ make of our ten questions?
1 .  What is your favorite word?  Hello
2. What is your least favorite word?   Stupid
3. What turns you on?   Fishing
4. What turns you off?   Guano
5. What sound do you love?   Laughter
6. What sound do you hate?   Whining
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Crapweasel
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Chef
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Doctor
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   You’re Late.
   

Contact Information

For information regarding Ryne Douglas Pearson books and films and please visit his Website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads 

You can find all of Ryne’s books at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and  Apple iBooks

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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