Mark Glamack

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 FlipperG.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.

Sara Hassler
Reviewer

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…

BLOG:   http://www.littlunsblog.com

WEBSITE:    http://www.littluns.NET

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!

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Matthew Ball

Today’s guest is children’s author, Matthew Ball.

Shelagh: Please give us a brief bio.

Matthew: I’m a former attorney, a children’s book author and founding editor of William Joseph K Publications, and a blues & boogie woogie performing artist under the stage name of The Boogie Woogie Kid

Shelagh: When did the writing bug bite?

Matthew: I’ve been writing short prose therapeutically for years, but never with any specific intent or direction before.

Shelagh: Briefly tell us about your latest book.

Matthew: My latest book is a children’s book about friendship and teasing called Minnie & Melvira.

Shelagh: What’s the hook for the book?

Matthew: The book contains a life lesson about choosing friends. It was also a collaboration with my father Larry Ball who is a 22 year veteran of the auto-worker industry, recently laid off with the economic downturn.

Shelagh: How do you develop your ideas?

Matthew: I have an idea or concept that I share with the illustrator, who then offers their thoughts, and the end product is a combination of visions.

Shelagh: Who is the most likable character?

Matthew: The caterpillar from my book The Worm & The Caterpillar because he is the indomitable optimist against the voice of the cynic.

Shelagh: Do you have a specific writing style?

Matthew: My writing style I would describe as a whimsical rhyme, I’m always, however, trying convey within my writing a meaningful message about life.

Shelagh: What are your current projects?

Matthew: I’m writing another children’s book called The Adventures of Fred d Fly.

Shelagh: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Matthew: Folks can always find out what I’m doing next through our website: www.williamjkpub.com

Shelagh: Thanks for joining us today, Matthew.

Matthew: Thank you.

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Tony Peters

Today, we have a new, young, children’s author, Tony Peters, visiting Literature & Fiction.

Shelagh: Hi Tony, please tell us a little about yourself.

Tony: I guess I can start at the beginning. I was born in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, and I was raised in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. I have my Youth Care Worker Certificate, and my General Biblical Studies Certificate. I love working with kids, so having written a young reader book kind of suits as it gives me a chance to interact with kids. I have been married for two years as of May 12 (I know I am only 21, but I am proud to be happily married to my high school sweetheart). I love reading, and have been reading novels since as far back as I can remember. Being a published writer is a dream come true and I hope to make a full time career out of it.

Shelagh: When did you begin writing and in what genre?

Tony: I think I started writing when I was eight or nine, I am not sure which. When I learned how to write stories I was hooked, I couldn’t stop writing. Looking back they seem really lame, almost funny, but hey we all have to start somewhere right? I started taking writing as a serious career path when I took Creative Writing in high school, and I haven’t stopped pushing onward since. I love to encourage kids to write if that’s what they are passionate about. Pursue the dream, and don’t let any failures get in the way. Persevere through the trials and you can’t go wrong, the only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes/experiences and carry on. When I first started writing it was in a whole bunch of genres. My first two books though are kid’s mystery, one is published and the other I am in the process of seeking out a publisher.

Shelagh: What was your inspiration for Kids on a Case?

Tony: My inspiration… good question, I guess that I remembered reading a lot of mystery books growing up that dealt with really childish mysteries and I always wanted to find a mystery writer who wrote more adult situation mysteries for kids. When I couldn’t find any (with exception to the Hardy Boy Series) I decided to create one myself, and so began the creation of characters, setting, and plot (all before I thought of writing as a career choice). The characters in my book come from a combination of my school friends. None of the characters are created from one person. They are all little pieces of people’s characters.

Shelagh: Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

Tony: When Kimberly Mockton is kidnapped by a gang of hardened criminals, it shakes her school down to its foundations. Her family is terribly distraught and their cry for help goes out to the community. Tyler Bowen, Kimberly’s good friend, fellow classmate and local trouble maker, gets caught up in the fray when he overhears a conversation at an abandoned house that leads him to believe he has discovered Kimberly’s kidnappers. Knowing no one would believe such a story coming from a child, he pleads to his classmates for help. The few who believe him form their own group of private investigators.

It’s Tyler Bowen and the “Kids on a Case” to the rescue! The group of friends find themselves searching for the kidnappers and with the help of Police Chief Goodall they are hot on their trail. They must use quick and strategic thinking in order to keep up with the moves of the criminals. It will lead them to use methods someone of their young age shouldn’t have to result to. With their lives at risk, they will use both determination and perseverance to follow the investigation where it leads them.

Their investigation will challenge them to search within themselves for the strength to go beyond their age. It will stretch their minds and physical strength to limits they never imagined they had. Their young lives will never be the same again…

This is a short series (there may only be two; I have not decided yet).

Shelagh: What’s the hook for the book?

Tony: The hook for Kids on a Case is that it is adult style mysteries taken on by children. This draws in the attention of children as they really are miniature adults who want very much to be like us in every way. Also my characters are all very different bringing many aspects to the table making it easy for the readers to find someone they can connect with.

Shelagh: How do you develop characters and setting in your books?

Tony: I will deal with setting first. Since my books all take place on a planet very similar and yet very different than ours, I have created detailed maps of the planet. When I bring up a city I must create a map for it so that it will match up in every book. These maps help me develop settings and keep them congruent with the previous work.

Characters are a lot of fun for me to create, I especially like coming up with fun names. I will have to keep in mind the characters role in the book and try to come up with characteristics/personality traits that will suit their role. I come up with as many little details as I possibly can, although many of these details never come onto the paper, they are still kept in mind when molding them. It’s kind of fun to picture the character in your mind, the hard part is getting that picture into the minds of your readers.

Shelagh: Who is your favorite character?

Tony: My favorite character so far is Tyler Bowen, my main character. Maybe it is because he reminds so much of myself when I was younger (with a few major changes of course). I have molded him into a brilliant young boy with a heart of gold, who cannot keep himself out of trouble. He goes where his curiosity leads him with no regard of the consequences.

Shelagh: Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

Tony: When I write I make sure that I have a clear picture of the plot before hand, writing down as many details as I can. Of course things do change as I write, but then I still have my outline to fall back on. I am a compulsive organizer so everything must be done just so. Keeping an outline and detailed plot in mind focuses my attention when writing so that I will always be able to keep the end goal in sight.

Shelagh: Do you have a specific writing style or preferred POV?

Tony: I actually do not have any particular Point-of-View that I stick to. I like to write a variety. I guess first person makes it easier to relate with your characters, but it does limit what you can do with secondary and tertiary characters.

I think that my style also changes with each book, it kind of depends on what I hope to accomplish with each book. I do prefer fun and easy going, but I can be serious. I enjoy reading sarcasm in books, so that may have affected the style of Hunting Black Dragon. As Tyler ages he is becoming more bright and sarcastic. He does not like stupidity and the reader sees it in his thoughts, which I hope will bring some chuckles from my young readers. Sarcasm also slips into my next YA drama through Liam Kerrigan and his dealings with two inconsiderate detectives.

Shelagh: Share with us the best review that you’ve ever had.

Tony: This review was done by Ariel at bookatopia.blogspot.com/:

Tyler is well known for having a knack for getting in trouble, and when his friend Kim goes missing he gets together a group of friends to try and find her. The police are on the case, however they always seem to be one step behind the kidnappers and the kids’ help proves to be indispensable to track them down.

When I was reading this book I couldn’t put it down until I reached the end, the plot is well thought out and the author is great at using imagery in his descriptions. I would have liked to get to know the characters better and for Donuro to be explored more, it sounds like it has the potential of being an interesting place but it isn’t mentioned much, it left me curious about it. This is the main reason I have given this book a rating of 3.5 and not 4 as I personally like some level of detail where relevant. I only wish that this book was longer and I am looking forward to the release of the sequel.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in young adult mystery novels. Visit the author’s website for more information http://tonypeters.webs.com.

Shelagh: What are your current projects?

Tony: My current projects are my sequel, Hunting Black Dragon, where Tyler and his friends are hunting down a gang of ruthless criminals. He must free a friend’s father, while working with the police and government agents. It ends up being much more difficult and dangerous than he could have ever imagined.

I am also working on an adult war novel called The Swenoran Rebellion. This one is about Admiral Juan Alvarez. He must free his country from the hands of a ruthless tyrant. All because of a promise he made to the previous Emperor. Although it may very well cost the lives of everyone he holds dear, he will honor his oath.

Another project is a young adult drama about a pair of young boys. Six year old Jordan Connor, whose parents are divorcing, while he suffers from leukemia; and Liam Kerrigan who has been abused by his drunk father for many years, whose parents are also divorcing. The pair develops an odd friendship and must help each other through these hard times that no child should have to deal with. The question is who is helping who?

Shelagh: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Tony: To find out about my books and events they can go to my website, http://tonypeters.webs.com

I am also on www.facebook.com www.shelfari.com www.gather.com www.myspace.com and www.goodreads.com

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