Brooklyn Hudson, Thanks for coming to Spotlight live event, can you please tell us why you like horror, and if that is also why you write horror, or there is other reasons in your life that make you write in this genre, maybe if you tell us a little about yourself then that would help us get a feeling of why you want to be a horror writer, please?
Brooklyn Hudson Hi...I'm glad to be here. I stumbled upon horror when I was ten years old and found my older brother's copy of Cujo. I read it and fell in love with the art of writing horror and also found my idol in King.
Tricia Drammeh Can you tell us about "On Call" and how you came up with the idea for the story?
Brooklyn Hudson Actually, ON CALL has a funny back story. I received a phone call at 11pm from a producer friend. He was in a panic because he and a writer had a falling out and he needed a short script for the film festivals in (literally) 1 hour. He said it had to be a modern day take on The Twilight Zone and should have something to do with modern technology. 50 minutes later I had ON CALL from conception to completion in his email box.
Penelope Crowe When is the filming and who will be directing ON CALL??
Brooklyn Hudson We were first scheduled to film ON CALL this month, but the producers have decided to take it to the next level...they're waiting on some permits to film on a Los Angeles freeway. So now we're filming in the next few months, TBD. As for directing; I am directing this one. That was my deal. I've written, produced, and directed replica-rock shows for Las Vegas showrooms and touring companies for a very long time, but that couldn't get me an IMDB director's credit, so I held out with ON CALL...I NEEDED THAT CREDIT!
Shah Fazli Interesting, can you please tell us about yourself a little, a little about your background, and also about your present?
Brooklyn Hudson I'm a little Italian girl from NYC I started out ON STAGE in musicals, most notably RIZZO in Grease. However, my heart was always behind-the-scenes. I was fascinated by special effects and quality horror films from a very early age. I did some radio a while back, hosting a show called The Truth About Pets&People. Kind of a Jack of all trades...I'm never happy unless I'm juggling.
Tricia Drammeh That's very exciting news about ON CALL! Congratulations.
Tricia Drammeh How do you juggle everything? Do you sometimes become overwhelmed?
Debby Pence What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
Brooklyn Hudson Thank you, Tricia! Emmm...I'm so used to chaos. I thrive on it actually. I think I'm so used to it that I no longer notice. Downtime depresses me. Weekends make my skin crawl because, while I still work, most others don't, so everything has to wait until Monday.
Brooklyn Hudson Well, Debby...In the next 12 months we have ON CALL (the film version), WISHBONE II, GNAW, EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, and a few other little surprises
Tricia Drammeh Do you have any plans to go back to radio?
Debby Pence Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
Brooklyn Hudson Tricia, I would LOVE to do another shock jock kind of show. Right now, there's nothing in the works, but I would say yes in a heartbeat.
Tricia Drammeh What inspires you? Travel? Music?
Brooklyn Hudson Hmm...in 5 years, I'd like to be writing and directing big films. Oh, and living on a secluded lake in southern, coastal Maine. Aaaaah
Brooklyn Hudson The twisted mind of man inspires me most, but I do love music and write to a soundtrack...specific to each project I work on. It could be anything from Oldies to 80's Rock, Opera to jazz.
Tricia Drammeh Do you have any favorite authors?
Brooklyn Hudson Yes...of course Stephen King is my idol. I am a huge fan of authors who are masters of character development...Peter Benchley, Michael Crichton, William Blatty. Mostly cross over authors who wrote great books that became films. I love horror, but I'm more into the mind-benders like THE SIXTH SENSE than say, Friday the 13th.
Tricia Drammeh I love Stephen King too!
Shah Fazli Can you read from your book please?
Brooklyn Hudson Sure...let me collect an excerpt for you...
Brooklyn Hudson This is from the last paragraph of the 1st chapter, memory/dream sequence, of WISHBONE:
A deafening silence fell over the farm, all but the hollow sound of the tumbling, undamaged bottle, empty and rolling away over dry, pebbled, dirt. Jérome dropped with a thud over his father’s lifeless body. Julien couldn’t see a thing, his eyes burning from a mixture of spilled alcohol and tears. He rubbed at his eyes, blinking and trying to see. Too quickly, Jérome was up again. Julien could hear him coming closer, the smell of bourbon on his warm, huffing breath. His father, now close, cast a shadow over him. Julien blindly backed away. He could hear his grandmother’s screams far off in the distance.
She is coming to help, he thought.
Then, with a vice grip, Jérome grabbed hold of his son’s right bicep, forcing the child up on his toes. Sightless and trapped, Julien froze; his arms fell to his sides in submission. Jérome drew his elbow far back and with a fist meant to knock out a prizefighter, he delivered one crushing blow to his son’s diminutive face. The sound of crushing bone was the last thing Julien would remember.
Tricia Drammeh Great except. Gripping!
Catherine Mahoney Ditto
Brooklyn Hudson I'm glad you like it!
Penelope Crowe Love.
Tricia Drammeh Brooklyn, when you write, do you see the story play out as a movie in your mind? How do you visualize a scene like the one you provided for us?
Brooklyn Hudson Very much so, Tricia. Once a novel gets going for me, I really feel like I'm simply taking dictation...it takes life and I just type as fast as I can to keep up.
Tricia Drammeh It takes a lot of talent to write a gripping action scene. Personally, I hate writing them because it's a chore for me. So, I'm in awe of your ability to do this.
Tricia Drammeh What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Debby Pence How do you handle distractions when you're working?
Brooklyn Hudson Thank you, Tricia! I really appreciate that. Best book in the past year? This has been a year of re-visiting/reading for me. I re-read THE SHINNING, JURASSIC PARK, JAWS, CUJO, and (currently) THE EXORCIST. I would say JURASSIC PARK and JAWS were my favorite on this second go'round.
Brooklyn Hudson Ugh, Debby...I really DON'T handle distractions; or, at least, not well. Sadly, I end up off track and lose valuable writing time. Social networking and marketing have cut my writing productivity to about 1/4 what it once was.
Shah Fazli Where are you at the moment, and where are you heading in terms of your writing, you think?
Brooklyn Hudson I am actually planning to go back to a more traditional HORROR style (rather than the mind-bending sub-genre) with GNAW. It'll be fun to play with the more classic plots and techniques for a few months. As for where I'm heading...I hope straight to the podium at the Hugo awards, then over to the Oscars for Best Director Oy, from my lips to God's ears!
Debby Pence I understand you have a squirrel, named Willow. Does he have a future, as a character. in one of your books?
Brooklyn Hudson He does! Willow (I prefer to call him, my TREE DEVIL) will make his first appearance in GNAW.
Debby Pence How fun!
Penelope Crowe What was the hardest scene to write in Wishbone?
Brooklyn Hudson Ah, that's a great question!!! Without giving too, too much away...the scene with Julien coming in and out of consciousness was so emotionally difficult for me. It is far enough along in the book that I had long fallen in love with writing that character. Seeing him in such a state was truly painful for me. I would get up and pace around the house after each paragraph, dying with him. It was so difficult to witness. The rape scene (early in the book) has been called one of the most graphic rape scenes since Jodi Foster in The Accused. That was tough too.
Debby Pence Who is your favorite and least favorite character in Wishbone? Why?
Brooklyn Hudson My absolute fave character in WB is Julien (with Sarah and the golden retriever running side-by-side for second place) - side note, Matt get's an awful lot of fan mail though...LOL My least favorite is Rachael! I have a hard time writing a character that is so unable to "survive"...to get back on the horse, per se. Life's a bitch...get over it! However, when she changes...that was easier to write and as much as I hated the things she did to Julien, I found it easier to write that side of her.
Shah Fazli What makes you different from other horror writers?
Penelope Crowe Is it easier to write the characters you love or hate?
Brooklyn Hudson What makes me different...hmmm. I think we're all so different. The thing I'm praised for most is my character development and realism.
Brooklyn Hudson It's definitely easier to write the characters I love. Even if they're bad, for me, it's vital to give a character depth...no on is ALL BAD or ALL GOOD, so I can love the most evil characters as much as the good ones.
Debby Pence I know, you said, On Call was written quickly but I have to ask why you choose that subject?
Brooklyn Hudson Well, he said it had to pertain to technology and (to be honest), ON STAR has always tripped me out. While I see the safety in having it in your car, I don't like the feeling that they can listen to your conversations and all that paranoia jazz. It just seemed like a good topic to turn creepy.
Debby Pence You did that!!!!
Debby Pence Can we expect to see more screenplays?
Brooklyn Hudson For sure. I can write screenplays faster than novels. ON CALL is actually the first episode in a series called LITTLE LIVES. The next episode is called DOOR NUMBER THREE...Coming Soon!
Tricia Drammeh Have you considered writing outside the horror genre?
Brooklyn Hudson Actually, all of my books and screenplays contain a hefty amount of contemporary drama (like WHITE OLEANDER, MIDDLESEX, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, MY SISTER'S KEEPER), so I never feel pigeonholed in any way. I try to have a good dramatic story with a thread of horror running through it. I learned from reading great horror like JAWS or THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. I want to lock in the reader with believably first, then hit them with some supernatural.
Penelope Crowe Was there ever a time in your life that you did not write?
Brooklyn Hudson I began writing very young and have continued all of my life; however, there have been times where I made my money through other avenues, limiting the amount of time I could devote to writing. Those chunks of time were always the worst. I never felt myself and always felt like I couldn't wait to get back to writing.
Tricia Drammeh When you're not writing and directing, do you have any hobbies? How do you relax?
Brooklyn Hudson Yes...I am an admitted reality show contest JUNKY! There is nothing better to me than to shut down my laptop and sink into my couch for an hour of Gordon Ramsey screaming at competing chefs, or Idol, or Project Runway, or Face-Off...I love them all. These are my guilty pleasures.
Tricia Drammeh Me too! I love The Voice. And Face-Off. And.. no wonder I don't get anything done. LOL
Brooklyn Hudson HA! Tricia...that's what the DVR is for
Tricia Drammeh Name a movie you wish you would have directed.
Brooklyn Hudson There are films I wish I had directed because they're brilliant (JURASSIC PARK) and movies I wish I had directed because I could have done a better job (CUJO). Great question!
Penelope Crowe Where did our hosts go?
Tricia Drammeh How to do celebrate when you finish a book or screenplay/
Brooklyn Hudson I rush out and grab a Venti hot mocha with whip!
Tricia Drammeh Penelope, Shah retired for the evening (he's in Germany, so it's the early morning there), and Catherine is still here, working behind the scenes.
Tricia Drammeh Do you take a few days off, or jump back into the next project?
Brooklyn Hudson Typically I'm super anxious to start another project that has been cultivating as I write the current project.
Catherine Mahoney I am here, looking for the perfect horror movie, what would it be the closing of the promo?
Tricia Drammeh Do you work from an outline, or do you just sit down and write?
Tricia Drammeh Penelope has asked some very insightful questions this evening. Are there any other questions you'd like to ask, Penelope?
Mary Chasin I am so envious of your energy, Brooklyn! Not to mention your talent. Sounds like you've always been that way, but do you have any rituals or secrets (c'mon, tell us your secrets--they're safe here on Facebook ) for keeping pumped up?
Brooklyn Hudson I don't use an outline. I usually have a character or idea in my head and then just let it flow. I'm very much a seat of the pants writer. Sometimes I'm as surprised by the events that transpire as the readers. LOL
Tricia Drammeh I love that. I outline as I go, after I write the chapters, for the sake of organization, but I don't get too detailed ahead of time, or the characters end up derailing my plans.
Brooklyn Hudson My parents always said I was the only 3-year-old with a stereo and television in her room (in the 70's that was rare), but they had no choice. I never slept at night and they had to find a way to keep me in my room. I've always survived on about three or four hours sleep every two days. Weird, I know...it's my Lycan Gypsy blood. I do drink quite a bit of coffee and smoke...both are stimulants. My brain just never turns off so sleep has never come easy.
Mary Chasin I've seen Wishbone compared to Shutter Island, a book I love, but haven't seen you mention it yourself. Are you a fan of the book? Do you see similarities between your work and Lehane's?
Catherine Mahoney The creatures of the night are restless and the administrators are frightened and need to depart as they are whispering we are now their next marks. Tricia is a brave soul so she may return, otherwise all brave souls who are not afraid, stay and keep Brooklyn and Willow company and if more come, pls entertain them, but have them signed the waiver of liability release please. Good night, and ttyl
Brooklyn Hudson WISHBONE is often compared to book sand films like Shutter Island, The Sixth Sense, Premonition, Stir of Echoes, What Lies Beneath, Jacob's Ladder, The Butterfly Effect...if you think about it, these are all Horror, but mind-benders more than gore. I think that's the common thread there, more than anything. And yes, I did really enjoy Shutter Island!
Brooklyn Hudson Tricia, Debby, Penelope, Mary...thank you so much for the great questions! I had a great time. And to our hosts...thank you so much for having me!
Mary Chasin Thanks for being a good sport--as always, Brooklyn. You're an open book (pun definitely intended).
Penelope Crowe Yes! Would you ever consider writing a series?
Brooklyn Hudson, If you are referring to a novel series, WISHBONE is a four part series + a companion novel (Book and film). If you're referring to television, I have a series called, THE GYPSY PROJECT, which we are shopping to cable channels. It's pretty fun...a little touch of paranormal, a heaping of drama...everything from Nazi's to crystal balls, and the lead rides his motorcycle with a pet bear hugging his waist. Fun stuff.
Joseph Gelinas What is your biggest goal with your writing?
Brooklyn Hudson, To successfully write and direct films and have a long running cable series. I want to be a 42-year-old female who throws the boys club for a loop!
Lena Winfrey Seder Enjoyed reading the questions and answers. Sorry I couldn't make it live to ask you something. Brooklyn, good luck in all you do. You are amazing!