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Kathleen Rucker, LISP Feature Screenplay FINALIST

LISP Feature Screenplay FINALIST, DARLING BY Kathleen Rucker

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

I’m California born and raised. I currently live in Palo Alto with my husband, daughter and several critters. I went to UC Berkeley and prior to my writing career, I was a producer at a film production company.

- When and how did you get into writing?

I started writing about twenty years ago. I would describe myself as a playwright mostly. Writing DARLING was my first attempt at a screenplay. It is based on my play of the same name. I have been lucky to have productions in Los Angeles, London and Bristol. I have had readings of my plays in New York, Alaska, San Francisco, Nebraska, Tennessee and London.

- How often do you write? Do you have a writing routine? And what inspires you to write?

I love to write in libraries but that has not been possible since the pandemic. Now I find myself each morning at my dining room table, cup of coffee at hand. And after reading everything on the Internet, I write.

- How does it feel to have your work recognized?

Getting any sort of response to my work is always a treat. Often times I feels like I create something and then I send it off into the void, never to hear a peep. But when I get feedback, like being a finalist in a writing competition, it jumpstarts those creative juices. What a feeling to be seen and heard! And when a play is produced, I am in heaven. I love working with actors, designers and directors who bring my words to life.

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

The biggest challenge for me is finding the story. I like to read local papers, listen to podcasts, and eavesdrop at restaurants or public places. The characters form, the story unfolds and then I’m off. But it can take a while to find the story because I know I will be living with these characters for quite a while. My favorite part of the process is the rewriting. I like the cutting, the tweaking, getting to the core of my story. And finally, the joy (and agony) of hearing the play read for the first time. It is a long process but I relish each step.

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

I have always been intrigued by stories of the big con and con artists. Darling is based on my research of con artists and their victims pre-Internet, when catfishing was just an outdoor sport. I finished the play in 2019 and it was going to open in London in July of 2020. Well, we know what happened there. During the lockdown, I decided to turn the play into a screenplay after hearing several friends and colleagues tell me that they thought it would make a good film. The jury is still out. The play, coincidentally, will open this November in London at the Hope Theatre.

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

I don’t really feel qualified to give advice about writing. I’m learning every day. I read plays and film scripts. I listen to podcasts from other writers. I seek out colleagues to share and commiserate with. And I sit at my computer each day and write. It’s all about showing up.

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

It is so lovely to receive an email that doesn’t open with – Thank you so much for your recent submission, unfortunately… It is a boost to the creative ego. The challenge is to decide which competitions are worth their entry fee. Unlike play competitions, I have found that you can spend a small fortune entering screenplay competitions.

- Lastly, do you recommend the writers give a go on LISP?

I would recommend LISP because I actually feel like I have been invited to a community that I might not have known about before.



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