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Gary Blackwood, LISP Film Festival 2023

LISP Film Festival 2023 Stage Play Finalist 'Beauty' by Gary Blackwood



- Can you please tell us about you and your daily life?

After decades of bouncing around the U.S., I've finally settled down on the beautiful North Shore of Nova Scotia, where I'm more prolific than ever--which is saying something. Not only am I writing up a storm, I'm directing (and, if forced to, acting in) plays for the local theatre.  -


-When and how did you get into writing?

I've been writing and submitting my work since I was a teen. I sold my first book, a middle grade novel, at the age of 40, and have been going at it hammer and tongs ever since. I think I'm up to 36 published books now--it's hard to keep track. I've also had a dozen or so stage plays produced/published. I tried my hand at screenwriting a long time ago, with no real success but, never one to give up easily, and never one to get stuck in a rut, I dove into it again recently with both feet, and am starting to make, if not a splash, at least a few little ripples.


- How often do you write/create? Do you have a working routine? And what inspires you to create?

I read a lot of nonfiction, and it's the source of many of my ideas. Though I'm taking an extended leave of absence from writing in order to send out submissions and queries for my existing work, I ordinarily complete at least one new play or novel or screenplay each year. I approach the writing business like just that--a business--so I generally write every weekday, for three or four hours, or until my brain turns to mush, whichever comes first.


- How does it feel to have your work recognised?

Writing is such a solitary endeavor, it's always a delight to receive a few cheerful words from the world out there, whether it's in the form of a good review, a laurel, a fan letter, or an acceptance from a publisher. (The first three are the most delightful in some ways, since they don't require any more work on my part!)


 - What's the best and most challenging thing about writing a StagePlay writing?

I know that many writers find the first draft to be a slog and enjoy the rewriting. Not me. I rewrite lavishly as I go along, and am always dismayed when asked to do some more of it! 


-  How did you develop the idea for your LISP-selected play? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it?

Beauty, like much of my work, was the result of stumbling upon a random bit of trivia--the fact that Moliere's housekeeper was a source of inspiration for him.  After much research, I turned that germ of an idea into a plot.  After that, the writing process was relatively quick and painless. The pain began when I started submitting it to competitions and theatres and having it turned down over and over and over and . . .  


- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a Stage Play?

My best advice, which elicits groans from most of the people I offer it to, is to spend a good long time planning and researching and making notes before you begin actually writing.


- What's the best thing and the most challenging thing about competitions and festivals?

The best thing is that hope springs eternal. The most challenging thing is having those hopes dashed. 


- Lastly, do you recommend the writers submit to LISP?

Hard to say, until I see what comes of it!




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