Genevieve Sipperley, author of Lights, Camera – Wait, What?, talks about her approach to writing and her plans for the future.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently?
I was born and raised in Alaska. My town, North Pole, was pretty small and I spent many nights writing away in my room as I watched snow fall outside my window. I started off writing mostly poetry and short stories and was first nationally published when I was 16. Two years later my first volume of poetry was. I had some minor success as a poet and short story writer, but after I graduated high school and left home for Chicago, I went to film school and that is when I knew I wanted to make the transition to screenwriting. During film school I studied Motion Picture and Television Screenwriting and I’ve been writing screenplays and scripts full-time ever since. I’ve sold a handful of short scripts and currently have a feature script being optioned. Writing is something that I have always loved and wanted to do, and I am very happy to be following that path in my life now.
Tell me a little about your books.
Lights, Camera – Wait, What? is more than just a book of short scripts. There are notes on filmmaking that are ideal for new or independent filmmakers, as well as a quick guide on how to read a script. This book is filled with screenplays to film, scripts to read as short stories, or notes to use as a guide when writing or filming a script. Enjoy all of the different genres, characters, and ideas in this book of collected original short screenplays.
Are there any authors who inspire you?
I have appreciation for many writers out there, but I can’t really say that one or another inspires me. I am a fan of Edward Gorey though; his work and artistry is very original.
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
I need to be submerged in an environment like a bar to really concentrate. When I’m by myself at home I always find something to distract myself with, but with a glass of wine (perhaps two) and random voices filling a room, I seem to find a flow and just go with it until I reach a stopping point. I’ve tried to be a “disciplined” writer and write a certain about of pages or words per day, but that felt so restricting and forced. Some times I go weeks without writing, however, once I get an idea or in a thought I run with it until the final punctuation mark.
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
I enjoy the self-publishing route because there is so much more freedom with marketing and distribution as well as a possible higher profit margin. On the other hand though, there is a much better possibility for recognition and sales through an agent or publishing house and long term I would be interested in pairing or working with either, or both, of those options.
What goals have you set yourself? Do you want to sell a certain number of books in 2012? Is there some way you measure success, on your own terms?
I have many goals to be honest. Long term though I would like to write screenplays for profit as well as writing books in the same format as my current book. I do have a concept and layout for a 7 book series surrounding the aspects of screenwriting, film, and film genres that will include short scripts, script breakdowns, and information about the film and screenwriting process. I don’t have a particular number in mind of books I would like to sell, I know that I just want to sell them. I measure my success by my continued efforts to produce more work and how much my work is circulated. I don’t measure success by a monetary value, though I’m not saying long term financial success wouldn’t be great.
How have you marketed your books?
I’m currently working with a marketing person that I found online. She assists with trying to my book recognized, trying to grow book sales, and booking various interviews. I’m not the best with social media so I would definitely rather have that in the hands of someone who knows that they are doing. It’s been several months now and I think things are going well and picking up. I would recommend her (Tiffany Brown) and her services to any independent writer out there looking for a place to start with their marketing and promotion.
What’s next? Are you working on anything at the moment? Do you have anything new coming out in 2012?
I am currently working on a feature screenplay and the second book of my series. Book wise I do not have a date as to when anything new is coming out, but I am hoping the second book with be near conclusion and at the editing stages by next Summer. Also, I am planning on attending some PtichFests to help promote and hopefully sell some of my feature screenplays.