April, 2010

Interview with Harry Shannon

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie digest is interviewing Harry Shannon, who is probably the most versatile person that we have interviewed to date. Harry, you have been a Songwriter, Entertainer, and Novelist that has a career that simply awes me. Tell us about your music from your High School days.

HS I used to listen to my father’s old Big Band records, and had a terrible crush on Ella Fitzgerald in the 1950’s, but it was really folk music that lit my fire. I ate up early Bob Dylan, started learning guitar and listening to bluesmen like Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee. It seemed natural to write songs, and of course the first were heavily influenced by folk artists. Two friends of mine joined me in forming a group dubiously dubbed The Laymen, and we played around town, bar mitzvahs, weddings. After high school I went on the road with The Kids Next Door.

ED- Tell us the other groups that you’ve been in, and about your advertising commercials for Ford.

HS-Well, from the Kids I went to The Back Porch Majority and did commercials for Ford with The Going Thing. Think that was 1972, when it stopped. I played bars for a few years before signing with ATV Music Group as a staff songwriter at 25.

ED- You have also been a Songwriter for such notables as Eddy Arnold, Reba McIntire, Englebert Humperdinck, and Glen Campbell. Tell us about your career during this time.

HS-The first couple of years at ATV I was just a lyricist, and several of those songs were recorded. Then I got interested in music publishing. The company gave me a job. I worked myself up to Executive Director, and along the way wrote a number of songs for television and films with my friend Billy Goldenberg. (more…)

Interview with Actor Ernest Harden Jr.

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

ED-We would like to introduce to our readers probably one of the most talented actors that we have introduced to date. We have with us actor Ernest Harden Jr. who has starred in many Movie roles and has been a regular in many popular television shows. Ernest before I reveal to our readers the splendid career that you have had, please tell us how you started you career.

EH-I grew up in a tough neighborhood in Detroit Michigan. I saw a lot of trouble all around me but inside I never felt that I wanted to take part. I loved sports and played a lot of basketball. You had to be good at some sport or be looked upon as weak. Even though it wasn’t wise to be caught in the wrong area at the wrong time or walk home from school in a nice new coat that your mother just brought you, down the wrong street, a lot of the people were good people. Many of them were great people. I was in a unique situation there. My mother and father were both college graduates. They were from Atlanta Georgia. Father finished Morehouse College and my mother finished Spellman. They moved to Detroit up north like so many others to get away from the then races south and to find a better way. But the neighborhood later went down and became a ghetto, and that is where me and my younger sister Cheryl were born and had to grow up in. At home my parents preached education to blast our selves out of the ghetto my father would say. My mother loves the arts and pushed us both into them. She taught English and art for a Detroit high school herself. My sister went on to get her PHD in music from Northwestern. She has since done some conducting for both the Chicago and Detroit symphonies. I wasn’t quite as good as my sister was in music but loved theatre. In grade school one day the teacher asked who wanted to be in the school Christmas play. Some of the kids raised their hands including a girl that I liked at the time very much. Even though I wanted to raise my hand I was afraid not to look cool in front of the fellas. For the rest of the semester the teachers left us in the dark while I watched my girl and the rest of the kids work on the Christmas play. I then vowed to myself that I would never miss another one and I never did. I went on to later get a BA in theatre from Michigan State University. As soon as I graduated, armed with a hundred dollars in my pocket and round trip ticked back home to Detroit I left for New York City to realize my dream of becoming a great and successful actor. (more…)

Interview with Composer Harry Manfredini

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

ED- We are very lucky today to have with us today Harry Manfredini. He is a well known Hollywood music composer who has scored more than ninety films. Harry, we want to thank you very much for doing this interview with us today. Tell us about how you got started in the field of music.

HM-  Well, oddly enough, I always wanted to score films from the time I was pretty young.    I had pretty much given up on the dream, when the possibility opened up while I was working on my doctorate at Columbia, and off I went..  So be careful what you dream.

ED- We also found out that you are a jazz soloist. Tell us a little about this.

HM-  I used to play the sax, and I guess I got pretty good.   I made a living playing it, I don’t thing that Coltrane, or Getz, or Paul Desmond were worried that I was going to move in on their territory..

ED- How did you begin composing the scores for feature films?

HM- Like is said, I started in NY.. mostly doing short children’s films which I still do to this day.  They are great fun and very rewarding to me.. Most of them are non verbal, so the music pretty much has to tell the story… Great training, and experience… (more…)

Interview with Actor/Filmmaker Kenny Johnston

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

ED- I know that our readers will be extremely happy that we have actor/ filmmaker Kenny Johnston with us today. Kenny, we have learned that you play the lead in ‘Kingdom’s End’. This is fabulous. Can you tell us something about this project and your part in it?

KJ-Thank you! “Kingdom’s End” is a short film written and directed by Ammar Rasool. I play the lead role, a homeless man named Aaron,

ED- Tell us the story behind ‘Kingdom’s End’.

KJ- Aaron, the character I play, has given up on the pursuit of happiness in the traditional sense of it’s definition. He once had a great job with a good company with a lot of potential and possibilities, but was very empty inside, so he gave it all up. He comes to believe that the whole corporate structure in America is a great deception and that the working class has been duped into believing that moving up the corporate ladder will bring you security and happiness in life, but realistically it’s a false sense of existence. So the movie begins with Aaron setting up camp in his friend’s office who is out of town for a while, and in return Aaron will take phone messages for this friend. A woman calls looking for someone else but is intrigued by something in Aaron’s voice so she keeps calling him. After a series of conversations, they establish a closeness, and this woman, who won’t tell Aaron her name, inspires him to climb back into life. With a new sense of purpose Aaron is very set on meeting this woman in person but she never calls again and Aaron spirals.

ED- Tell us about some of your past projects.

KJ-I have done a good deal of television shows over the years, “Law and Order”, “Ned and Stacey”, “Newsradio”, and I played ‘The Flash’ in a CBS pilot of “The Justice League Of America”. One of my latest film projects is “Los Bastardos”  (The Bastards) by Mexican new wave helmer Amat Escalante from Mantaraya Productions. “Bastardos” premiered at Cannes last year and is just out on DVD. I just finished shooting another film from Mantaraya called “Rio De Orro” (River of Gold), due out later this year where I play a Union army captain during the civil war that has been assigned to claim new U.S. land in Mexico. That was a lot of fun, riding a horse and shooting a rifle. I felt like John Wayne for a couple of months. (more…)

Interview with Actress Kathleen Teresa Scott (aka Katie)

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

ED- It is rare that a young actress has made such an impact as does Katie Scott, who we have the pleasure of introducing to our readers. Katie, I understand that playing in a commercial was the start of your career. Tell us about this event and some of the similar work that you have done.

KTS-I was 13 months old then. But, for a few years we didn’t look work in acting again. I am so glad I begged to return when I could ask. Acting has given me huge opportunities to learn, grow and meet people I would not have met otherwise. While I am pretty normal. I think the responsibilities to work as an actress on tv/film/stage are extraordinary. Actors usually say that it is less glamourous. It is! I study 3 hours on the set, which can be at any point of filming. One minute I do fractions or spelling, and the next minute it’s all fantasy. The waiting has given me patience. I play chess and with my DS. Just about everyone we know is in entertainment in some way, and they are grounded. When my front teeth fell out I began doing plays. I was given a tiny part in a powerful Christian play that always remains with me in everything I do.  If I wasn’t acting I wouldn’t have that particular experience. I would not have even known about that play, theatre or actors who became family to me.

ED- Tell us about your role along actor James Garner in ‘8 Simple Rules’.

KTS-I met him very early in my career. I wasn’t familiar with his work yet. Looking back I was pretty lucky.  So, tossing the ball around with him and David Spade was just fun. David I did know from Saturday Night Live. It’s a favorite show I plan to host one day. I have many ideas for that. (more…)

Interview with Publicist Sarie Morrell

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

ED- For all our writers who follow our magazine, we are excited to present Publicist Sarie Morrell for them. Sarie how did you get started in this business?

SM- I pretty much grew up in the world of publishing.  My father, best-selling thriller author David Morrell, published his award-winning first novel, First Blood, in 1972 when I was 6-years-old.  At the time, I was too young to comprehend that my father was a writer. It wasn’t until several years later, when I was able to read well, that I happened upon a magazine article about my father and really became aware of what he did for a living in addition to being a professor of English at the University of Iowa.

I remember coming across a clipping on a coffee table during a family gathering, and with great indignation saying “What’s this?  I didn’t know my Dad was a writer!  Why didn’t anyone tell me?”  The answer from my aunt with a shrug of her shoulders:  “We thought you already knew…” His work was such a part of our life I guess nobody felt the need to actually sit me and my brother down and explain it.  On reflection it was a pretty funny moment.

Books were always a huge part of our life.  Reading was encouraged in our household, and there were literally thousands of books from every genre to pick from.  Both my brother and I were advanced readers at a young age and read voraciously – mostly suspense, thrillers and horror.

Later, discussions about plot variations, characters and storylines, became commonplace dinner table talk amongst our family, though my dad would never discuss what he was writing, or let anyone read the manuscript until he was comfortable with the direction of the book.  He never wanted to dilute the story he was building in his mind.  And we never talked about it outside of the home.  Now, when I visit their home, he will print out manuscripts for me to read, if he is at the point of wanting to share the work.  I relish this treat.  And I am always touched by his reaction – he is so humbled when I ask if he has anything for me to read, as though he expects that I wouldn’t want to.  He delivers me the box, I read and make notes, and we eagerly discuss any suggestions I have.  I usually read at night, so the next morning I find him eagerly waiting for my pages of notes in the margins of the manuscript, though his work is so clean usually they are just plot questions or suggestions.  My mother also does the same thing, though she and I don’t read the same notated manuscript.  These are treasured memories for me. (more…)

Interview with Jo-Anne Vandermeulen

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

ED- With us during this interview is author, and writing promoter, Jo-Anne Vandermeulen. Jo-Anne, we keep reading the phrase *Conquer All Obstacles* with your name. Can you explain this?

In April of 2006, I got sick. I went from the doctor’s office to my classroom (where I’d been teaching full-time) to clean out my desk. Two days later, I sat shivering in my quiet living room, staring at the walls, totally dumbfounded.

Through counselling, I came to realize there where two ways I could handle this unexpected twist in my life: A – I could consider it as a devastation and be totally down and out…or B – I could take this sudden turn as an opportunity; merely a different path to head down. It was exactly 3 weeks after my illness diagnoses that I decided to follow through with a dream I had never had time to do before…I was going to write a book and *Conquer All Obstacles*.

ED- Jo-Anne, we understand that you have been writing suspense/ romance novels. Please tell us about your first book.

JV- My first published suspense/romance novel, “Conquer All Obstacles” was released in November, 2009.

BTW – “Conquer All Obstacles” is completely fiction.

About “Conquer All Obstacles”:

A WOMAN WHO WANTS TO FIND LOVE … WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR A HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER … EVEN TANGLING WITH A PSYCHOPATH … YET, LOVE HAS THE POWER TO … CONQUER ALL OBSTACLES. Middle-aged divorcee, Tara Robstead, wants more than a secret love affair with her boss, Josh Henderson. Yet, her search for a happily-ever-after costs her more than a price paid in blood-her soul is slaughtered. Now confined in a mental hospital, she must confront her greatest fears in order to break a ­psychopath’s control over her fractured mind. Against the ticking clock, Josh must face his true love for Tara before it’s too late. Together, Tara and Josh can stand united to … CONQUER ALL OBSTACLES. (more…)

Interview with Author Michael Jecks

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie Digest is very pleased to introduce an author who writes about Medieval murders. Michael Jecks’ novels speak volumes about times past, and are rich in history. Michael, this is a new twist for many of our readers and a delight to introduce you and your work. Please tell us how you started your work in this field of mystery.

MJ- I had no plan to be a writer when I was a kid. I always loved books, but I wasn’t dumb enough to think that there was a decent living to be made by an average guy, so writing was my third career choice. I was forced into it. First I planned from the age of twelve or so to be an actuary, because I hadn’t at that stage heard that an actuary was someone who found accountancy too exciting. So I went to college, full of the joy of learning, and failed every exams I took (apart from one, which included marks for coursework . . . bribery, I learned, helps you through life!).

After that, I went into computer sales. Which was great fun – at first. Money, cars, loose women – well, more along the lines of money and a car. But the trouble was, although I liked the industry, the industry wasn’t so taken with me. I had five years in one firm, then five more at Wang, but after thirteen years, I’d had thirteen jobs. The recession of the late 1980s/early 1990s hit me hard. Basically my wife and I both lost all the savings we’d built up, and it was clear that we had to do something radical.

Well, there is not much which could be more radical than sitting down and writing a novel when you already have a huge mortgage and no savings. (more…)

RobEric MEDIA Update

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

RobEric MEDIA, LLC previously featured in the December 2009 issue of the Eerie Digest report that their first major project, a comedy science fiction webseries is now in full production. So far they’re very pleased with the results and believe it will be groundbreaking.  RobEric MEDIA founders Eric Schumacher and Robert Linden promise to keep the Eerie Digest updated as the series nears launch.  You won’t want to miss it.

Todd Ciaciuch of CKfilmworks has just made this announcement for the new dark commedy ‘Death Interrupted’

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Death Interrupted has seen some new script changes. Please check out the official site link below to read up on the new changes!