Friday, August 19, 2011

Shawna Benson

Writer and producer Shawna Benson has written for television, film and multi-platform (web). She co-wrote and sold a multi-platform series with Bernie Su, wrote scripts with her sister, Julie Benson and wrote, directed and produced a webseries pilot called #Follow. Shawna has maintained a screenwriting blog, Shouting Into the Wind since 2004 and is currently employed as Ashley E. Miller’s assistant. She also likes all manner of tea and is a budding oenophile. She also has a penchant for fireflies.

And now, like a leaf on the wind.

6 Questions with Shawna Benson:

1. What are your favorite and your least favorite words?
  "Favorite word: sonorous
Least favorite word: synergy"

2. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, emotionally?
  "I am a sucker for a good turn of phrase.  I find as I get older that my creativity is sparked more by the words and thoughts of others.  There’s something inspiring in the creativity of other people that helps to spark my own.  Of course, this runs counter to my tendency to keep to myself, so it’s a constant balancing act – spending time with others to become inspired so that I can go into solitude and utilize the inspiration for my own creativity.  Still, it’s the primary balancing act of my life, I reckon."

3. Turns you off creatively, spiritually, emotionally?

  "Nothing halts creativity faster than “I don’t think that’s possible” – whether it comes from others or from within.  The second you believe you can’t do something or that an idea is stupid is the second that inspiration dies.  An idea is never stupid – it may need further definition and refinement, but within every idea lies some kernel of golden truth."

4. You are to be reincarnated and you are given the choice of animal, vegetable, or mineral. Which do you choose?
  "Not sure I’m ready for non-sentient life, so I’m gonna go with reincarnation as a little purse dog (maybe a teacup terrier).  Those things are so pampered, I can’t imagine it being a bad life."

5. What is the closest you have ever come to giving up your craft? 

  "I nearly give up my craft every day.  There probably isn’t a day that I don’t think “I’m a fraud.  What on earth made me think I could write?” but ultimately, I always come back – the blank page is a siren song and I am forever damned to crash against the rocks (or something like that.  I swear, I am such a fraud.)"

6. What is the most fun you have ever had?
  "This is actually the most difficult question.  Fun is so fleeting, and usually only recognized once it has been had.  Some things are fun in retrospect but within the moment are not at all fun (thinking about “haunted” houses and seeing scary films here).  It’s so much easier to think of decidedly not fun times.  Okay, I’ve got one – most fun I ever had: 2 or 3 AM in the Driskill Hotel bar in Austin, Texas a couple of years ago for the Austin Film Festival and Screenwriting Conference.  I sat around in a circle with the likes of Shane Black, Terry Rossio and Danny Rubin who were all swapping stories and talking about writing.  I remember thinking in the moment that I never wanted that little party to end – that I was exactly where I wanted to be at that moment."

  7. Assuming heaven exists, what would you like to hear God (or Allah or Yahweh or Odin. Generally the Supreme Being of your choice.) say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

  “That’ll do, pig.”

Awesome. That'll do indeed. You are many things but fraud is hardly one of them. Thanks for doing this Shawna! If you'd like to know more about Shawna Benson choose any or all of the following:

And thanks to you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it! Tune in next time for author Michael R. Hicks.

See you next time!

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