Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Author Pandora Poikilos


International best-selling author, Pandora Poikilos has been writing for more than 10 years for various media which include newspapers, radio, television and various websites.

A social media enthusiast who is passionate about blogging and finding her way around the virtual world, she wills away time in the real world by reading, writing and people watching.

What is the current project you are working on? 

My third and fourth novel, a few short stories and my non-fiction pieces which are titled Dora's Essentials. My third novel is titled "I Am Not You" and features a son who leaves home in disgrace when he is not able to take over the family business and the long road home that he faces. This will be released in April 2012. My fourth novel is "Today, Tomorrow, Never" and is the second book in the Cathy Dixon series.

How do you define success? 

Ten years ago, I would have said success is when you're rich. Now, I say success is when you are happy.

How do you handle rejection?

I keep moving forward. Sometimes it stings a lot but staying in one place mourning about it isn't going to make things any better.

Did you always want to be a writer?

For as long as I can remember. My first article was printed in a local paper when I was thirteen and then I kept writing.

What inspired you to become a writer?

When I first started I had something to get out of my system and in some ways, this is what keeps me going.

What is the best thing about being one?

You get to meet so many different people and when someone says your work helped me through a tough spot, that's just icing on the cake.

What is the worst thing about being one?

Misconception. Some people insist that being a writer is not a way to pay bills. If you're not paying my bills then I think I should be the judge of that.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Hundreds. For a long time, I also worked on radio, tv and corporate documentary scripts. I did media junkets, worked on magazine and website articles.

Who is your favorite author?

Charles Dickens.

How has your life changed since you became writer?

 I stick to a routine these days, something I've really done before. Two hours social media networking, two hours writing and two hours editing.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to be a writer?

Grow a thick skin and keep moving forward.

What do you like to do besides writing?

I love listening to music, making beaded jewellery and sewing.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a writer

For most of my life, I've been writing. But I've had a string of jobs to pay my bills. I've worked in a cinema, as a public relations executive in a hotel, as a proofreader, a typist to name a few.

How would you describe your education?

I received a BA Mass Communications from Curtin University and I consider myself lucky as some people these days find tertiary education unattainable because of increased fees.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

I love Curb Your Enthusiasm and the new Sherlock series has me salivating. Other than that some of the series I follow are the Army Wives and the Good Wife.

How would you describe the writing "scene" where you live?

I'm from the UK but travelling through Asia at the moment. Here, self-publishing is slowly catching on but there aren't as many writer cafes or book clubs as I would like.

How has social media changed the publishing industry?

There's Amanda Hocking, Joe Konrath and a host of others who are now paid writers. I think this and Amazon's continuous efforts to improve their services are proof enough that social media has drastically changed the publishing industry. I am confident that more changes will definitely take place over the next five years or so.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream? 

I would like to say it's all budget issue but I also think it's becoming an avenue to discover more talent and to inspire others.

You could have any first edition book. Which book would it be and why?

Great Expectations. I've always believed that there was a little bit of Dickens in that book and it is one of my favourite books of all times.

Do you believe in life on other planets? 

Honestly, I don't know.

What's your favorite movie quote and why?

Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free.-Shawshank Redemption because it's the absolute truth. I had a VP Shunt inserted in my brain and while the surgery was successful, the pain I felt beyond neurosurgery was out of this world. Most days I was terrified, hope got me through. 

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

I'm not a big fan of remakes, it usually turns out to be a disappointment because they are now focused on special effects that the story becomes different. Chicken Little fighting off aliens? Hmmm, just not my cup of tea. Sequels I don't mind.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

Some work and some don't. The Notebook was a great adaptation, Great Expectations wasn't.


Thank you for doing the interview Pandora. I hope to read your work in the future.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Laura Pizzuti: Actress, Business Woman, Mom, Blogger, Reporter, Host, Print Model

Laura Pizzuti, a graduate of Lynnfield High School and Bentley University, works for her family business in Real Estate. It was while working for the family business that a location scout contacted her looking for space to film scenes for the film Mystic River.  It was during that conversation that he offered her background work on the film. She ended up working as an extra in the film dressed up as a State Police Officer.  This was when she was officially bit with the acting bug. Laura pursued acting for a little over a year before walking away to start a family.  By the end of 2009, Laura went back to fulfilling her dream of working as an actress.  The road has been so interesting and has led to many other amazing and fun opportunities.

Laura has done shoe modeling, print modeling, music videos, hosting, reporting, commercials, voice over, independent films, webisodes and also blogs. Laura is extremely hard working and very professional. She is so happy to find something that has fulfilled her and that she feels passionate about! Laura is constantly out there auditioning, so you never know where you may see her next!

What is the current project you are working on?

I'm involved in a bunch of independent projects right now.

I am "Lil Miss Repo," 135857323182128 Where I play a bad-ass repo girl...

I am Danni in "Pizzer Makers,"  where I play a tough Italian Chick

I play Donna Washington in "Fake This" An undercover FBI agent.

I am working on finishing touches on an independent film called "Disasterpiece" where I play Kim... Love Interest

I play Professor Greene in "Mark of the Dog Rose" Obviously I play a professor - but one of my students goes missing.

I work as a reporter/hostess on Dirty Water TV Put Laura Pizzuti-Gamache into the search engine on their page.

I also LOVE doing commercials. I hope to do as many as I can!

I am also working on doing voice over work!

How do you define success?

I define success in whatever makes you feel fufilled! I think finding what makes you happy to be a difficult thing... Ultimately, you need to figure out that only YOU can make yourself happy.  You cannot rely on anyone else. Even if you have plenty of LOVE in your life through a boyfriend/husband/children, ultimately each person is different and needs to figure out what will fufill them in order to find their complete happiness. Life is all about balance.

How do you handle rejection?

It is funny, I have pretty tough skin - it barely phases me anymore.  That is why staying busy is so important! That way I can just be like "Next!" and move on.  Why waste ANY energy at all on stuff like that? It is pointless! Of course there are always going to be times where you may be disappointed, but you have to just think there is a reason for this... something bigger or better will hopefully come along!

Did you always want to be an actress? What inspired you to become an actress? What is the best thing about being one?

I don't think I ALWAYS wanted to be an actress... I think I got lucky! I work for my family business in Real Estate and a location scout reached out to me in search for a site for the movie Mystic River. We didn't have the space he needed, but he told me he could get me in the movie as background. I played a state cop, but was never seen in the film. BUT the experience was all I needed to get bit with the acting bug! I pursued it for a little over a year, but then decided I was going to focus on having a family and continue my day job. In 2009, I decided I missed it and wasn't done with acting just yet. I cut down my day job to 4 days to give me more flexibility - plus you can't really make a living off of acting in the New England area! I took off running and haven't stopped yet. Acting is like my therapy... it gives me joy! Plus it is so interesting and has lead to different opportunities! It is definitely never boring and makes me feel alive....
What is the worst thing about being one?

Sometimes you don't get paid!
What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Hmmm.. I'm not sure! Probably 30?

Who is your favorite actress? Funny, I don't have an all time favorite!

I enjoy watching Julia Roberts,

Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Shirley MacLaine, Diane Keaton, Sally Field, Sandra Bullock, Susan Surandon

I'm probably forgetting some!

How has your life changed since you became an actress?

I'm just busier! I also have to pay more attention to my "upkeep" lol... I need to get my hair done more often and also my nails! I also have a much different and diverse wardrobe than ever before! I have almost every color and I also have clothes that I probably wouldn't normally own, but they come in handy for certain auditions or roles!

I think twice about donating my clothes - you never know if they may come in handy!

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in the movie business?

Get involved in anything and everything! You have to start somewhere! Talk to everyone you come in contact and pick their brain! Take a class...! Network, Network, Network!

What do you like to do besides acting?

I love PRINT work... and hope to do more and more of it! I also have a blog that is also something I am passionate about! I am the personality and the face behind the largest mall in New England!

How would you describe your film education? I learn a lot just by "Doing" and from watching and taking direction. I have taken a lot of classes through the different avenues available at Boston Casting, CP Casting, Improv etc. It is something that will never end! I plan on continuing my education on a regular basis. When I am not as busy, I sign up for a class.

What are some of your favorite Foreign films? American films? Television shows?

Shows: I was a "Lost" diehard... I was also super into "24" when it first came out but after a couple years got bored with it.  I do enjoy a good reality show in small doses!

I LOVED Titanic when it first came out... I laughed, I cried, I was completely lost in the film...

I also LOVED "The Sound Of Music" as a kid. I remember my mother telling me and my sister to stay up and watch it... I thought it was an old film and no way would I like it... wow was I wrong!

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

It is an interesting network of people! You start to see the same people over and over at auditions. It is nice to have made friends during the process! We all know we can't get EVERY gig, so it is nice to know that one of your friend's may get it... :)

How has social media changed the independent film industry?

It has made people so much more accessible! I think one of the biggest obstacles is letting people know you exist! So for me, I get to learn about so many more opportunities! It is a MUST.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Independent films have such amazing undiscovered talent! They have people who (most of the time) are not getting paid and are doing it for the LOVE of being creative. Which says soo much! I think you can see some amazing stuff in these films... I have worked as an extra in a few major productions and it takes sooo long just to get one 5 second scene done.  In independent films it takes a lot less time! And because independent films are lower budget, the cast and crew is much smaller and intimate.

What's your favorite quote and why?

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs

This quote sums it all up perfectly. Live your OWN life. Figure out what makes YOU happy. We only have ONE life and it is short. We never know how long we have... Life takes courage - don't waste it with regret. Take a chance!

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

It really depends! Sometimes you need to remake them so that they are more current and can attract a new audience... but it really comes down to how well they are done.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

Hmm... tough. It depends if you are someone who "reads"... if you are, then most of the time you are going to be somewhat disappointed by the film because you have created your own vision for the film in your own head! But, if you didn't read the book, then you are probably going to have a higher chance of enjoying it... Now, at the same time, the producers have a much higher chance of getting people to go see the film if they read or know about how good the book was!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am extremely flattered that you found me and asked me for an interview! Thank you to anyone who read this interview! Don't be afraid to go after your dreams!

Twitter: @laura_pizzuti

Monday, February 6, 2012

Filmmaker Nectarios Leonidas

Nectarios Leonidas was born in Rhodes, Greece and went to the University of Connecticut. He moved to New York City in the mid 90s to pursue filmmaking, where he attended the School of Visual Arts.

He is an award winning filmmaker, who shorts, specs and recent feature film, "Black Site," have appeared in numerous film festivals, throughout the world. In the last five years, he has focused more on editing independent films like “Blueprint,” which was nominated for an IFP Gotham award for best film in 2007 and “Salud,” which won Best Screenplay at the 2009 Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Additionally, he has freelance for different clients, including corporate, advertising and non-profit companies, where he has helped shape and manage their videos and media projects.

What is the current project you are working on?

I’m writing a short romantic script right now and will be shooting it, in early 2012. It’s about a girl that goes on two dates with two guys of different economic status.  I haven’t done anything in the romantic genre, so this is a way of me trying to pushing myself by doing something new and different.

How do you measure success?

This is a hard question to answer.  As I get older, If I’m doing what I love and I’m able to pay my bills and have a roof over my head, I consider this a success.

How do you handle rejection?

You have to understand the basis of rejection, anytime you create something, there’s always going to be somebody that going to judge it. Otherwise, you’re creating things in a vacuum.

It used to bother me a lot, but I have become more relaxed about it as I got older. I know not everything is for everyone. For me, as long as I’m happy with the end product or project, I know I did what I set out to do. It’s great when people come along for the ride but you can’t try to pander to audiences. I try to push myself in all of my projects by doing things different than before

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

I guess the filmmaking bug bit me at a young age, I was 8, we moved to the states in the late 70s, from Greece.  The first film I saw was a James Bond film on ABC “Live and Let Die,” I was hooked. From that age, my focus was on how the films where made. I would buy behind the scenes magazines, videos on all the great movies of the 80s.

What inspired you to become filmmaker?

I guess it was the allure of the whole experience of watching films.   For me, it’s important to tell my own stories and filmmaking allows me to give my take on what’s going on around us.

What is the best thing about being one?

One of the best things is you get to create your own worlds and have your own rules in these worlds. If you do it right, people will be entertained or see something from another perspective.

What is the worst thing about being one?

Sometimes, you finish something that’s a labor of love and audiences are indifferent or dismissive of it.  That’s where you learn to continue by growing and developing your skills and technics to improve your style.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

In terms of features, I have worked on four films, in terms of shorts films over 40 and countless miscellaneous video project, like industrials, music videos and news segments for different clients.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

It varies from year to year, I love the Coen Brothers for doing different things and genres.  I love visual directors like Luc Besson, Alfonso Cuarón, Gaspar Noé and Fernando Meirelles and many more. Like this year one of my favorite movies was “Attack the Block” by Joe Cornish.

How has your life changed since you became a filmmaker?

It has opened my world by allowing me questions things around me. I feel, it has helped me be a better person by listening to others and be more of a student and learning from everything and everyone that I come into contact with.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in the movie business?

Take a page from NIKE and just do it. Start shooting and editing your own projects. I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliners and he talks about the 10,000 hours.  Basically, the premise is the more you do something, the better you become.  Like anything else, you have to develop your skills sets and nobody is going to give you the money to do this. You have to do it on your own. With all the technology that we all have access to now, there’s no longer an excuse.  Even with out a computer you can use your cell phone to shoot something and edit it with YouTube’s video editor, by going to an Apple Store or a public library.   One of my favorite viral videos last year, was this teen in NYC who goes to the Apple store in Midtown and lip-sings to popular songs.  He gets over 100,000 hits for his videos.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I like to drink, play tennis, bike ride and travel, but not at the same time because I wouldn’t be here, now.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?

Yes, you name it I did it from, retail to mental hospital support staff.  That’s another great thing about filmmaking, you get to meet some great people and get some ideas by being around others that are different from you and the experiences are invaluable to you as a filmmaker.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

I’ll just focus on the last few years but I love all types of films.

American Films,   - Drive, - Rise of the Planet of the Apes, - Bridesmaids

Foreign Films,     - Attack the Block, - The Skin I Live In, -Shame

TV – Damages, - Curb your Enthusiasm, - Louie

How would you describe your film education?

Well I went to School of Visual Arts to get my training, and watching different movies from around the world. You see what’s possible and how other filmmakers tell their stories.

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

NYC is great. It’s the independent capital of the world. If you want to try something you have endless resources and crews to work with you.  It’s one of the main reasons, I live here.  If you have an idea, you can get a lot of people to help you make your project possible.

How has social media changed the independent film industry?

It’s breaking all the barriers to the industry.  You can now find your crew, money, equipment, cast and create your film. You can even distribute your finish product and let it find it’s audience quicker. Look at Louis C.K., he did a comedy special and sold it for $5.00 dollars online. Not only did he make money, he was able to keep the cost low because he got rid of the middle man.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

I think it’s great but I feel it might be reaching it’s tipping point.  Like everything, if you’re first to the party you get all the good stuff, eventually when more people come, there’s less cake, cookies, dirks and everything else.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

In the last five years, you couldn’t tell the difference.  You had major stars doing so call “indie” films but I think with the recession. We are going back to the true indie scene of the 70’s and 80’s.

You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film
would it be and why?

Wow, this is an interesting question, I guess, since I’m the product of the 70’s and 80’s I would choose one of the pivotal films from that time.  I would have loved to be on the set of “Empire Strikes Back.”  That’s the best of the series and somebody (thinking) the director had George in check. Just because you can do something digital, doesn’t mean you have to.

What's your favorite movie quote and why?

It’s from one of my favorite movies of all time, “Cinema Paradiso.” - “I don't want to hear you talk anymore. I want to hear others talking about you.”

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

It all depends on the stories and who does them.  Look at “Empire” and “Godfather 2” those are great sequels or Coen Brothers’ “True Grit” and “The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo,” are great remakes.   When you have a great story and great directors, they work. But when you have people who just want to make more money from the same material you get things like “Hangover 2,” and “The Thing.”

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

I’m in favor of them. Books have been around for centuries and most of these stories can be adapted and updated to today’s society.  Look at “Godfather,”  the book was kind of a main stream popcorn novel, but the movie is one of the best films in the last 100 years.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just if you’re not following on twitter make sure you add me @flippantfilms.


Thanks Nectarios for doing the interview. I wish you all the best writing your romantic script. I will be following you on Twitter so I will be up to date on your projects. I'm going to see Attack Of The Block at a local convention. I've heard nothing but good things about it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tamara Lowery Author Of The Waves Of Darkness Series

Tamara Lowery is a former maid and current auto industry worker. She is a graduate of Soddy-Daisy High School and Chattanooga State, where she majored in Journalism. She is a new author. She currently lives in Tennessee with her husband and the Rottentots, her cats.

To learn more about Tamara and her work please visit the following websites:

What is the current project you are working on?

Several, actually. The foremost is the reformatting of the manuscript for Demon Bayou, the second installment in my Waves of Darkness series, which is slated for release from Gypsy Shadow Publishing this October. (My publisher has adopted the Smashwords submission style guidelines to make for easier ebook distribution.) I also have three ongoing manuscripts I'm working on: Hell's Dodo, the fifth book in the Waves of Darkness series; A Dream of Water, a YA fantasy inspired by a dream I had last Spring; and The Adventures of Pigg and Woolfe, a Steampunk serial.

How do you define success?


How do you handle rejection?

I look for the positive. Why was something rejected, and what can I do to improve it? Also, rejection is sometimes a Godsend. Blood Curse, my debut novel and the first in the Waves of Darkness series, was rejected by several agents and publishers before Gypsy Shadow signed me. Last year I saw a lot of stink being raised about one particular publisher that had rejected the MS over their ill-treatment of several of their authors. I figure I dodged a bullet there.

Did you always want to be a writer?

No. I wanted to be a ballerina when I was five. I HAVE always had an interest in the written word and have been an avid reader from an early age. In Junior High, I wanted to go into Journalism, and even majored in this in college. But, as far as I'm concerned, real journalism is nearly dead. Given the choice of tabloidism or writing honest fiction, I'll go with the fiction. Also, "Real Life" side-tracked my writing aspirations for a couple of decades, but it gave me a better perspective from which to write.

What inspired you to become a writer?

Put simply: reading. When I read, I tend to get totally submersed in a book to the point of having to put it down for a moment and "walk it off" when I get too emotionally wrapped up. My mind was writing fan fiction years before I'd ever even heard the term.

What is the best thing about being one?

World building. I love when I sit down to write, and what appears on the paper surprises me. Often it's as if I am just a channel to scribe out what my characters are telling me or are seeing or experiencing.

What is the worst thing about being one?

Organizing my thoughts. That, and having inspiration hit when it's not convenient to write. (I work a full time job to pay the bills, and write during work breaks.) It can be very frustrating when my mind starts scrolling through scenes faster than I can write it coherently.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Around 15 narratives, some of which are only school memories. (The MSs were lost in one of my many moves.) I can't remember how much poetry I wrote back in school. Only one narrative has been published to date. Actually, The Adventures of Pigg and Woolfe is a revamping of an old creative writing exercise from High School. We had to pick a nursery rhyme or fairy tale and put our own twist on it. I had taken The Three Little Pigs and made it into a space opera. Rather than try to repeat that experiment, I decided to take the two main characters, Clyde Pigg and Draeger Woolfe, and adapt them to a Steampunk setting.

Who is your favorite author?

I have to pick ONE? Tolkien, Douglas Adams, Anne McCaffrey, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Janet Evanovich, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jean Auel, Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neal Gear, Elizabeth Peters, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Michael Romkey...shall I go on?

How has your life changed since you became writer?

Just in the last year I've entered a world I'd never dreamed I would. Just the wonder of feeling accepted into a community I used to only observe from the outside as a fan is WONDERFUL. It also has given me the access to lessons others have learned the hard way.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to be a writer?

Write what you like to read. Practice, practice, practice. DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR DREAM...EVER. I went through four years of rejections before finding a publisher. There are others who went through many more years than that. Watch your grammar. If you can find a used grammar textbook at a school or used bookstore, BUY IT. Do NOT rely solely on spellcheck programs. THEN and THAN are NOT INTERCHANGABLE! Make sure your manuscript is as clean and professional looking as possible before submitting it to a publisher. That is one of my biggest pet peeves and is a sure way to mark a writer as an amateur. Your editor will thank you. A sloppy MS is guaranteed rejection. If you aren't sure about a passage, read it aloud, or better, let someone else read it aloud, and see if it makes sense. Do not be afraid to rewrite. NEVER think that what you wrote is perfect; there is always room for improvement. Be prepared for a lot of hard work for very little monetary return. Authors who become multi-millionaires are the exception to the rule, not the norm. If you have a day job, for God's sake, DON'T QUIT! Most of the other authors I know can't afford health insurance, and some of them are big names in their genres. Lastly, build an online presence. Publishers do look at your "platform" of social networks. They are more likely to sign a new author who already has a large potential reader base. Publishing is a business. They don't publish books just out of the kindness of their heart; they expect to make money. They aren't going to invest a lot in something they don't think will give them good returns. Keep in mind, however, that self-publishing has become a very viable options for those who don't fit the current "market" model. If you decide to go this route, however, I would suggest finding a reliable and reasonably priced freelance editor: see comments about sloppy manuscripts.

What do you like to do besides writing?

Draw, sing, read, and once in a while piddle with crafts as the mood hits and time allows.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a writer?

Yes. I have worked retail. I was a maid for seven years. I've worked food service. Currently, and probably until I retire, I build Volkswagens, working in the Body Weld shop. Specifically, I'm part of the team that builds the hoods, fenders and trunk lids for the Passat.

How would you describe your education?

Worth it. I probably would have been a professional student, if I could have afforded it. As it was, I only achieved an Associates of Arts in Journalism back in 1988.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

To Kill a Mockingbird. (The movie was great, the book was even better.) A guilty pleasure used to be late 70s-early 80s barbarian flicks, swords and sorcery stuff. They were so cheesy. My favorite foreign film would be Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Besides being fantastic eye candy, it is a very good story with well developed characters. I'm also a Star Wars fan, although Episodes 1-3 were high on effects and low on story, kind of like a huge, beautiful wedding cake that turns out to be all icing with a stale mini bran muffin at the core. As for TV: both seasons of HBO's Rome, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, American Idol (sometimes I think the judges are drinking the blue toilet water in those cups based on some of their comments), and Deadliest Catch. I still miss Capt. Phil Harris.

How would you describe the writing "scene" where you live?

I'm not really sure. I haven't had the time to look into local writing groups or workshops.

How has social media changed the publishing industry?

It has put a lot more of the burden of promotions on the author, but it has also opened the industry wide to independant publishing houses and self-publishing.

You could have any first edition book. Which book would it be and why?

There was an old, ragged Christmas carol songbook that my grandmother had. I wouldn't have to have a first edition, but I'd love to find a copy. It had two variations of the carol The Holly and the Ivy, one with the traditional English tune you always hear and one with a traditional French tune I have NEVER heard anyone record. Personally, I always thought the French tune was prettier.

What's your favorite movie quote and why?

I don't really have a favorite.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

I judge them on an individual basis. Some are good, some should never have been done. Night of the Hunter, for instance, should not have been remade. Seeing the color remake lost a lot of the atmosphere and charm of the original. The original was made in black and white for a reason. Color technology had been available to the studios for decades when it was shot.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

Depends on the screen writer, casting, and director. However, if a movie captures someone's attention enough to make them look for the book, then it is definitely a good thing. Which reminds me, I need to add The Color Purple to my to-buy book list.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes, I'm still a bit giddy about my debut novel, Blood Curse, ranking #7 on this years Preditors and Editors Readers' Poll in the horror category. I was surprised to have been nominated, but to finish in the top ten was fantastic!

Blood Curse is the first book in the Waves of Darkness series, which follows the adventures and trials of Viktor Brandewyne, a bloodthirsty pirate in the truest sense. He draws the ire of a very powerful witch after killing one of her favorites in a dispute over a tavern wench. She curses him to become a living vampire: he has all the powers of a traditional vampire, but is unaffected by sunlight or holy items. Given his ruthless nature, one would think this was more a blessing than a curse, but there's a catch. The curse will eventually destroy him, starving him to death regardless of how much he feeds and robbing him of all self-control until there is nothing but his Hunger. To avoid this fate, he has to find the seven Sisters of Power, perform tasks for them in exchange for a portion of their magic, and bring it back to Mother Celie, the old witch (and eighth Sister) who raised him from an orphan, to free him from the curse. He is aided in his quest by Hezekiah Grimm, aka The Grimm Reaper, his first mate, Belladonna, a man-eating siren, and Lazarus, a shape-shifting creature that is sometimes a large black cat and sometimes a raven.

Each book in the series deals with a separate Sister. The Sisters will not be easy to find, nor will they be easy to please.

Blood Curse is available as an ebook from as well as from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Omnilit/AllRomance, and other ebook outlets. I have posted a book trailer for Blood Curse on Youtube at

Book 2 in the series, Demon Bayou, will be available from Gypsy Shadow this October.  Viktor's search for the second Sister of Power takes him to the bayou country near New Orleans. He encounters vampires not made by him for the first time. The bayous and swamps hold their own danger, as well. An ancient demon guards the way to the Sister. Worse, Belladonna starts dying in the black waters of the bayous. Viktor must choose: continue on or return the siren to the sea. Without magic from all the Sisters, he cannot break the curse. Without Belladonna, he will never find all the Sisters.


Thanks so much for doing the interview Tamara.   I wish you the best with your projects.   Also, I didn't know there was another variation of "The Holly and the Ivy".

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Actor Larry Laverty

Larry Laverty is an actor living in Oakland, California. Larry is known for the wide range of characters he plays and the unique way he brings his characters to life. He's appeared in over 100 films and over a dozen television shows. Most notably, he's appeared in John Frankenheimer's 'The Fourth War,' playing opposite Harry Dean Stanton, Gus Van Sant's 'Elephant,' 'The Hamiltons,' 'The Sanguinarian,' and 'Dead Tone,' playing opposite Rutger Hauer. His television appearances include 'Judging Amy,' 'The Practice,' 'Breaking Vegas,' 'The Tonight Show,' 'The Dating Game,' and numerous soaps including 'All My Children,' and 'Days of Our Lives.' Larry started performing professionally on stage at Oakland's Woodminster Theater playing in a number of Shakespeare's plays and numerous Broadway musicals. He prepared for his acting career by studying with The American Conservatory Theater, the Jean Shelton Actors Lab, The Groundlings, and Second City among others. He holds two college degrees, one in Business Administration, one in Political Science. Competitive in sports all his life, he ran on the track team at Oakland's Skyline High School, and spent 11 years competing in speedskating and bicycle racing. Larry was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland.

What is the current project you are working on?

Early in my career, I had the great good fortune of working on two films with Irish filmmaker Dermot Tynan who was living temporarily in California at the time. We've kept in touch for the twenty years since that time and finally, we get to work together again, this time in Ireland. Dermot is feverishly writing away and I'm anxious to get a look at the script very soon. He knows how much I enjoy playing oddball characters and he has a dandy in mind this time around. The film will be titled 'Green Star Liner.' We have no dates set yet but it's not too far off, especially since we've both been waiting for twenty years so far.

What is it like working with Gus Van Sant and Rutger Hauer?

I had just taken a leave of absence from Hollywood to focus on independent films all over the country. My agent in Portland, Oregon called to say she had an audition for me for a film called 'Elephant,' to be directed by Oregon resident Gus Van Sant. I went and later worked a week on the film. The timing was good as I'd recently spent a number of years studying Improv which was a good thing as Gus encouraged us to flesh out our characters from the script in our own ways. It was such a pleasure being given free reign by a director of Gus' stature. He's such a calm spirit and very supportive. A few months later, I visited Gus in his downtown Portland office where he was cutting 'Elephant' and I look forward to the day we work together again.

Rutger Hauer is yet another story. I'd grown up watching 'Blade Runner' and a couple of other Rutger Hauer films so I was well aware of his legendary status. Funny thing though, the first day I reported for work, I couldn't find anybody to check in with except a hand full of the salty drivers who move the equipment trucks around. I hung out with them for a few minutes and then noticed that one of them looked familiar. It was Rutger, just hanging out with the Teamsters like I was. Later, on the set, he held court as most veteran celebrities seem to do, fielding a stream of autograph seekers and recalling stories from various well-known films he'd worked.

Did you always want to be an actor?

That's funny! It never dawned on me to even try acting until I was 24 years old and took an acting class on a whim during my last year of college. It just never crossed my mind and I actually thought the whole acting thing was strange. I'd been on a couple of children's television shows when I was a kid and had sung in church choirs all my life but I was far more interested in sports and doing things outdoors. What worked for me was that acting allowed me to explore all sorts of things that people do in life, a pattern that I'd gotten into as I worked a wide variety of jobs to pay my way through college. Never say never, it is said. Now I've been acting professionally for over 20 years, exploring all sorts of careers and many aspects of humanity, and I really can't imagine myself doing anything else.

What is the best thing about being an actor?

I love the art in it all. I love creating these characters I play. I love taking a script, chewing on it, and bringing the images on a page to life. And I get to travel to all corners of town, to every corner of the United States and Canada and later this year to Ireland to do it. I've always fed on challenges in life and it took a good ten years of performing before I actually felt like I'd gotten fully in touch with my imagination and felt justified in calling myself an artist, an actor. Ten years! Along the way, I've worked with lots of wonderful people and animals and I love the collaboration that goes on in making a movie. It's really inspiring when a group of talented people come together to make something. But there are more challenges I'm facing in the works, and that's OK, like re-establishing myself in Hollywood. I trained in Business and worked in business before becoming an actor so my mind's suited to the business side of acting too and its going to take every ounce of what I've got to get back to where I was in Hollywood before I left to focus on indie films.

What is the estimated number of projects you've worked on?

From the early days I started doing this professionally, I became aware that some actors have careers that amount to only a few dozen films or select Tv shows. And then there are others who like to be working all the time and end up working in over one hundred or even two hundred films. I've now worked in over one hundred films and over a dozen television shows and I feel like I'm just getting started. When I was in L.A. the first time, I focused on television, but once I left the establishment to work

only indie films, I had to find work in as many as I could to make it pay financially.

There were times where I was preparing three or four films at the same time. It was crazy-making. I'd spend an hour or two a day prepping one character, take a break, and then go to work prepping the next character and so on. I loved it, I was doing what I loved to do and doing it all the time. But then the economy turned a few years ago and investors backed out of independent films in large numbers. So I'm working in fewer films these days and am aiming to supplement the film work with a few television roles.

How has your life changed since becoming an actor?

When I was working my way through college, I really had no firm idea what I was going to do for a career. At first, I thought I'd work my way up through a corporation like so many other folks. Then, after getting a good taste of the corporate world, I thought I might work in the public sector, trying to positively affect policy toward our environment and animal life. After a thorough search, I eventually drifted into the arts and found acting. I do my best whenever I can to support others who care about our environment and animals but I became consumed by the challenge of being an artist, both technically and financially. About five years into it, I felt I'd never be able to work in an office again. At ten years into it, and having fought hard for legitimacy, I knew there was no turning back. Having experienced all that I have and experienced it so fully, I know that acting has made me a much more aware and sensitive person. Sometimes the pain in life finds its way to my core a little more readily than I'd like.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I love exploring places with friends. One of my favorite past times is going for a walk in a park, a park like Yosemite, Yellowstone, along the beach, through the forest, with someone I feel close to. I love sharing the sights and sounds of our world with other people. And in the same vane, I do what I can to make our world a little better place. I pick up litter, I help anybody who needs help, and I support those who are doing good deeds also. I'll always love being out on the road on two wheels, on a motorcycle or on a bicycle. And I love hanging out at coffee shops, catching up with old friends.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become an actor?

Let's see. I've delivered newspapers, maintained a botanical garden, checked groceries, sold keg beer, worked for a moving company, worked in a window factory, milked cows, worked in a warehouse, driven a forklift, been a telephone operator, a bank teller, stocked women's shoes, and mowed people's lawns. Most of these jobs involved a fair amount of sweat and I have to say that I'm grateful that I don't have to sweat very often as an actor.

How would you describe your film education?

There was that first acting class, during the time I was finishing up my second degree. The two instructors were veterans of New York and thought I had something special. To them, I'm forever grateful. Their comments and support planted a seed that really didn't sprout until several years later. After doing a few plays, I figured I'd better get to work and figure out what acting was really all about so for the next ten years, I was in and out of scene study classes, university classes, and classes about Improv. Then I ran across an interview of Anthony Hopkins in which he described the way he went about what he does and the lights bulb went on for me, there were fireworks. Between having reconnected to my imagination through Improv and realizing that absorbing the dialog of a script could be effortless, it all came together. At the same time, I'd been supplementing my acting income by working low-level crew positions on big-budget films with Academy-Award winning directors and cinematographers. From the hundreds of days on set with those folks, I got a feel for the process of making movies and soon felt just as much at home on a set as anywhere else in the world.


Acting is just plain great fun, most all of the time. How wonderful to be paid for doing something that you'd almost be willing to do for free! But there's a catch. For me anyway. I'm well aware of lots of nasty things going on in the world and they bother me every day of my life. The pain that some human folk cause to animals. The way some human folk have no respect for the natural world, for their communities, for other folk. I've seen and experienced more than my share of terrible things and I imagine I'll see a bunch more while I'm here. So as a carefree actor, I'm smiling at the pain, laughing in the rain, and keepin' on smilin.'

Two films of mine will be released this year, 2012, 'Treasure State", a wonderful family film, and 'Sisterhood of Death,' an outrageous comedy, despite its title.


Thanks for doing the interview Larry. Below are some stills Larry sent me from family film "The Wylds" he  stars in: