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Interviews

Exclusive Book Pipeline interviews with emerging authors and playwrights.

Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg

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Both Andy and Greg bring a wealth of theater and writing experience to their contest-winning play Application Pending, a marvelously penned one-woman comedy set against the backdrop of an elite Manhattan private kindergarten—a story that, for Book Pipeline execs, had doubtless potential as a TV series. I wouldn’t know where to begin when it comes to your backgrounds in theater—from writing to producing to directing to acting. . . . The reality is few of “The Aspiring” get a chance to attempt half of what you both have already accomplished. What were the career-defining moments for each of you before you become playwrights and involved in theater? AS: Like most, we both started as actors. I continued acting professionally my first few years out of college, but I had started directing and writing as early as high school, and when you write or direct in high school and college, you…

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Paula Pedene and Doug Williams

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Paula Pedene, with writer Doug Williams, penned her provocative story as a whistleblower working for the Phoenix VA hospital. The pitch for Veteran’s Day won over Book Pipeline judges immediately, as it’s a stark admission of corruption and self-serving greed in one of America’s most critical institutions.  Paula, while there’s no fair way to summarize Veteran’s Day in a soundbite, give us the overview. What prompted you to call out the deception of certain execs in the Phoenix VA system? PP: I just couldn’t stand by and let them continue to hurt our veterans and our staff. As a long-time Phoenix VA employee, I had worked hard to help build it into a “top performing hospital.” Now when we could have been healing from the prior missteps of the former director, we were being thrown into another mess. I cared so much about the staff and patients, we just had…

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Choon-Ok Harmon and Ana Rodriguez

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Finalists in the 2018 Book Pipeline season, Choon-Ok Harmon and Ana María Rodríguez teamed up for The Iron Butterfly: Memoir of a Martial Arts Master, detailing Choon-Ok’s rise to the highest-ranking woman in Kuk Sool Won, a traditionally male-dominated form of martial arts. The Iron Butterfly is a fantastic memoir. Thoroughly motivating. How is it you two joined forces on the book? Ana, what were some of the pieces of Choon-Ok’s life that stood out most—the “clincher,” so to speak, that made you realize you have to write this? COH: Ana María is a Black Belt in my martial arts school. My husband knew she was a writer, and we decided to ask her if she would be interested in writing my story. So, I told her a little about it and she decided that it was unique and needed to be told. AMR: After Choon-Ok introduced me to her…

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Darlene Parris Young

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Finalist in the 2018 Book Pipeline season, Darlene Parris Young’s introspective autobiography Unzipped shines a rare and candid light on an industry most know little about. Her oftentimes heart-wrenching story highlights a crucial time in the NYC world of fashion and the hurdles she faced for decades as a model, compounded by an array of troubles that make her a true survivor. I know the cliff notes version won’t do it total justice, but. . . in a nutshell, what was it like being a fashion fit model in an era immensely different from the present day? Or was it that different? How have you seen the industry evolve from the day you started to now? Concerning social dynamics in the modeling industry, I have seen quite a few changes in the last 50 years. As a fit model, we were called “coat hangers” by trade, as well as being considered independent…

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M Dressler

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Mylene Dressler’s Book Pipeline winning novel, The Last to See Me, has seen an array of critical acclaim since its publication in 2017. The unique literary horror effectively reimagines the genre, and its cinematic hallmarks thoroughly impressed Book Pipeline’s execs, who instantly saw its appeal as a film. Both a college professor and a writer, Mylene’s sophisticated-yet-accessible narrative style speaks volumes about her approach to storytelling. You’ve been writing fiction for years, and there’s no better evidence of such seasoned experience than The Last to See Me. One of the most immersive books we’ve read, and a story that screams cinematic. But was this the novel that finally “clicked,” in a sense? Both critically and personally?  It was, and my readers and fans, and especially new readers, seem to feel the same “click” as I do. As soon as I started writing the book, I marveled that I’d never tried a literary ghost…

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Milo Behr

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Winner of Book Pipeline’s inaugural season (2014), Milo Behr’s Beowulf: A Bloody Calculus pulls the reader deep into a noir future with heavy commentaries on social construction and the politics of violence and criminal justice, yet all wrapped in a surprisingly fun, nuanced genre narrative. Milo’s multifaceted background continues to shape the subject matter of his writing and further carve out a niche all his own. Obviously we’re a fan of your writing in Beowulf: A Bloody Calculus, and we’re not alone—the book has had its fair share of critical praise. How did the concept come about and what were the driving forces behind its (many) layers, both in terms of the narrative and the style? It did land well critically. Thrilled about that (Best Sci-fi at IPPY, IPA, London, and Beverly Hills, and most importantly, ahem, Grand Prize Winner at Book Pipeline). It’s impossible to know for sure why that was—a…

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