Today’s guest is Mark Glamack, animator, businessman, director, producer, writer, and patented inventor. Mark has worked in every area of the animation industry. Over the last twelve years, he has created, written, and developed two motion picture projects and a television series.
Shelagh: Hello Mark, please tell everyone a little about yourself.
Mark: Born and raised in Rochester, New York, I attended Art Center College of Design, UCLA, PCC, Sherwood Oaks Experimental College and various animation courses. Currently, I’m the creator, author, and illustrator of the novel, LITTLUNS: and the Book of Darkness: the “Mom’s Choice Awards” Gold winner for 2009.
Earlier in my career, I worked at Walt Disney Productions and went on to work on the animated classic The Jungle Book, and animated many of the special effects for the combination live-action/animation, Bed-Knobs and Broomsticks. I also worked on the EPCOT promotional film, animation inserts for The Wonderful World of Disney, and The Story of Walt Disney: a Disneyland attraction.
Drafted out of Disney to serve in the Viet Nam War, I spent a year as a medic with the First Air Cavalry Division based thirty miles from the DMZ. I also photographed and directed an ambitious documentary entitled Is Freedom Just a Word? I was awarded the Bronze Star.
Back home in the United States, I continued my career working on countless projects for Hanna-Barbera, Filmation Associates, Film Roman, HBO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and others. Some of the titles I’ve animated, directed or produced are: All Dogs Go To Heaven, Life with Louie, He-Man and Shera-Princess of Power, Oliver Twist, Bobby’s World, Zazoo – U, Spawn, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Do, Tom & Jerry, Dyno-Mutt, Future Flipper, G.I. Joe, A Flintstone Christmas, Last of the Curlews, the animated inserts for That’s Entertainment II, and many more. Also, the direct to video projects: Gen 13, Christmas Classics, Tom Sawyer, All Dogs Christmas, and All Dogs Go To Heaven. In 1999, I was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Special Class–Animated Program for Life with Louie.
During those years, I created the Over One Hour Program Category for animation and the first annual individual achievement awards’ categories (Emmy’s) for the following talents: Animators, Background Artists, Background Stylists, Layout Artists, Production Designers, Storyboard Artists, Voice Over. In 1996, I successfully brought the daytime Emmy awards structure for animation consistent with primetime.
Appointed by the President as Vice-Chair for the ATAS Activities Committee 1991 – 1992, I later served on the Budget, Awards, and Membership Committees.
In 2002, I completed my sixth term as Governor for The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Shelagh: When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?
Mark: The writing bug hit me early on in my film and television career when I realized that if I wanted my ideas and imagination to be fully realized, and done right, I would have to do it myself. Well, I had written scripts and other writings, but a novel? Not in a million years would I have ever considered writing a novel. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted to do so, but I always thought there were far better qualified people than I to take on yet another new difficult and demanding journey. And then I had an epiphany; a vision and experience of pure love asking me to write “Littluns.” After this brief, profound, and powerful exchange and calling I shelved all my other projects that were most important to me, and dedicated full-time while understanding the huge odds against such an endeavor. I guess only time will tell why He wanted me to do this.
For me, the genre is determined by inspiration which has mostly been in fantasy and science fiction – a place where my imagination has no limitations or boundaries.
Shelagh: When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?
Mark: For some time now, many parents and others have voiced their concerns about popular books that send the wrong messages to impressionable minds. Most of these people talk about their concerns, but few new options exist that have any appeal to both Christian and secular; young adult and grownup readers. Also, some titles have become more a peer issue than anything of substantive value. Some of these works have significant dangers where, as one example, some people would have everyone believe that there is good and bad evil. Hopefully most parents can explain the difference. And hopefully young and old alike will discover “Littluns.”
God as my guide, was with me every moment, and provided many miracles to enable me to survive while working on “Littluns.” I don’t say this lightly. Three years later amongst every imaginable deterrents, obstacles, negative distractions, and relentless invasions on my life, seemingly to stop me at all costs, the novel “Littluns: And the Book of Darkness” was born; then published, and now finally available for sale.
I smile in the knowledge that whatever God has in mind, it will be good.
Shelagh: Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?
Mark: “Littluns” stands alone, but there is a possibility of one of two sequels. Sales will determine what will happen next.
Shelagh: What’s the hook for the book?
Mark: The hook is in the peradventure and the decisions we must all eventually make in this life for right or wrong, good or evil, for the Light or for the darkness. To this end, “Littluns” is everyone’s journey.
The end of days begins when five Littluns journey down from their isolated and secret mountaintop homeland on what should be a cautious, but pleasant ‘Scavenger Hunt’ outing.
For these pure ‘little people,’ they could not have anticipated or even imagined what awaits them. The results and consequences are however unavoidable. Darkness has come, and is spreading its evil influences to the land below on the eve of destruction and extermination.
Disguised as a human and Necromancer, he has placed most of his dark powers into words; words reserved for his wicked purposes. But ‘The Evil One’s’ ominous Dark Book becomes lost, resulting in him becoming trapped somewhere between the living and the corrupted dead. He must have his book back at all costs.
Shelagh: How do you develop characters and setting?
Mark: My life’s experiences and gifts have enabled me to unite my vivid imagination into a visual representation of my written word. Each character becomes a literal and visual embodiment of the human condition that has touched my life one way or the other. As people and events have crossed my path, it is all what it has become, as I have seen it, and into our not too distant future.
Shelagh: Who is the most unusual or most likable character?
Mark: There are many likable and very unusual characters, but I think it’s important for readers to discover their favorite(s) for themselves. In “Littluns” it becomes an integral part of the reading experience.
Shelagh: Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?
Mark: From sub-plots to unpredictability, to unexpected plot-twists in their mission, “Littluns” takes the reader on a peradventure where it’s becomes impossible for the reader to predict what will happen next.
Shelagh: Do you have a specific writing style or preferred POV?
Mark: I wrote “Littluns” in the third omniscient voice present-tense to give the reader a NOW experience every time they pick up the book. It is in every writers unique voice found that a one-of-a-kind writing style is born. When all is said and done it becomes what it is.
Shelagh: How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
Mark: My environment and upbringing set the stage and prepared me for this moment in time. God did all the rest through me with all His colors of the rainbow.
Shelagh: Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve even had.
Mark: I am humbled by ONLY wonderful reviews for “Littluns” which can be found on our website and blog. FYI, this is the most recent review from MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWS.
Littluns and the Book of Darkness
Mark Glamack, Author
Mark Glamack, Illustrator
EZ Gift Shopping
PO Box 285, West Bloomfield, NY 14585
9780615169972 $29.95 www.littluns.net
Adventure, courage, and determination surround loyal friends in the fantasy novel Littluns and the Book of Darkness. Movie Producer and Director now Author, Mark Glamack, uses his background in animation and writing to create this family friendly and Christian based young adult novel. With a mission to positively motivate, educate, enlighten and inspire through entertaining content, Glamack uses his own spiritual guiding light to draw his readers into the struggle between good and evil in this debut novel. The Littluns and the Book of Darkness will entertain audiences of all ages with its fast paced, intriguing storyline and elaborate illustrated life of the Littluns world in the Hollow Hills of the land, Terra Fermata. Author, Mark Glamack, shows off his artistic talent with colorful and meticulous illustrations. His veteran motion picture experience shines with expertly written detailed scene changes and engages readers with screenwriting skills that make his audience feel like they’ve been deep inside a high production animated movie. Glamack has exceeded his goal in depicting the journey of life, how to choose between the light and dark side of the world while showing the gifts of friendship and how they can influence us in the shadows of our own life choices. Littluns and the Book of Darkness is a delightful, skillfully written novel that will capture both young and mature readers and leave them with full hearts and the tools necessary to know the difference between good and evil. Littluns and the Book of Darkness is a wonderful gift for lovers of fantasy, for parents and educators who want to offer a faith based book and for librarians who want to expand their offerings.
Shelagh: What are your current projects?
Mark: For now, I’m just trying to figure out how to get readers to find us, connect, and experience “Littluns” for themselves. I’m finding that marketing has become yet another full-time challenge. Truth be told, I’d rather be doing what I do best and through God, writing the sequel to “Littluns.”
Shelagh: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
Mark: For more information about “Littluns” you can visit us at…
Shelagh: Thanks for joining us today, Mark.
Mark: Thank you Shelagh for this opportunity to get the word out about “Littluns.”
God Bless and Good Light!