Archive for Canadian author

Interview — Sheryl Fletcher

Sheryl Fletcher is the author of a series of pre-teen books (Vow of Friendship, My Creepy Summer, and Secrets I Know). She’s the creator of four tween based television series which are under consideration with two major networks. Her screenplay, “The Papergirl” has been optioned by Dolphin Bay Films and is set for a fall/winter production. Sheryl is a married mother of three who lives in Ancaster, Ontario. She freely admits that she is most content when holed up in her writing cave. Recently she completed her first comedy “A Better Man” and is now enjoying a much needed writing break.

How did you get started writing?

I’ve been writing since I was about seven years old. I began with short poems and stories. I was passionate about it immediately and thought it was the greatest escape in the world. My family life was very dysfunctional so writing became my savior.

The main character for your pre-teen series, Tissy Matthews is based on your daughter. Can you describe the character of Tissy and why she appeals to young readers?

Yes, she’s based on my daughter at that age. The character of Tissy is an overall good girl who always tries to do the right thing but messes up a bit along the way. She’s smart, sporty, accepting and an excellent role model for tweens. One of the best compliments I receive from children is that they feel Tissy and her friends are so relatable. Children always want to know if the characters really exist. I love that!

Your screenplay “The Papergirl” is set for production this fall. What is “The Papergirl?”

The Papergirl tells the stories of three characters. It’s a disturbing story of abuse, secrets and survival. I will admit that it’s dark and the audience will not leave the movie feeling happy. However the premise of the story is to educate and open the audience’s eyes to what we so often choose to ignore.

Friends have said that when you go out for dinner, you never come by yourself, but that you bring your “entourage”. Tell us about your entourage.

Gosh, they’re driving me nuts right this second as I try to answer your questions! My “entourage” is a group of characters I drag around with me. Most are those who I’m nurturing during my current write but now I’m babysitting several of my son’s characters from his first screenplay while he relaxes at a cottage. Some are needy, crazy or just plain old naughty so they always must be watched.

Have you ever thought of writing a character based on a fiery red-headed women who was a mild-mannered bank employee who traded a life of finance and customer service to pursue a “higher calling” of seminary studying and ministry in the church?

It’s so funny you should ask. I just finished writing about her and she was the most challenging, interesting, exhaustingly delightful character I’ve ever created. I think I’ll title the screenplay, “A Man Duh!”

Random Blog Posts and News

The Word Guild announced this year’s winners for the Canadian Christian Writing Awards. Among them, Bonnie Grove won “Novel-Contemporary” for her “Talking to the Dead”. This is a great book! I tend to dislike most Christian fiction, but this book is fantastic!

Rachel Held Evans has blogged about her experience at the Biologos conference. It is an organization that is focused on discussing the interaction between faith and science, and it is the go-to resource if you are wrestling through how Genesis (particularly the creation narrative) fits with the contemporary understanding of evolution.

Similarly, Tim Challies has blogged about attending the Ligonier Ministries’ Conference, and in particular Al Mohler conference presentation defending a literal 6-day account of creation.

Faith-Theology blog has a Bible for Smart-Asses primer. My fav: Ezekiel: The Electric Kool-Aid Kid

From comes news that hollywood is working on a Fraggle Rock movie. The bad news: The script has been sent back for re-writes because it wasn’t “edgy” enough! Fraggles need edge?

Jesus is One thing, But Anne?????

I previously blogged about how in our post-modern worldview we tend to interpret literature (Scripture, fiction, even history) not based on what the author originally intended, but on how we feel when we encounter said literature. I wrote:

We do the same thing with Jesus. Jesus becomes a hippy-republican-pacificist-warrior-’manly man’-androgynous-revolutionary-libertarian guru, depending on how we “feel” about him. It’s not about the original audience. It’s not about the author’s original intention. It’s about us. We know best. We are the hermeneutical centre of everything.

Well, in the latest issue of Maclean’s there is an article about a new theory behind the mischief and motivation of Canada’s beloved heroine Anne of Green Gables. The thesis: Anne had Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The essay was written by Helen Hoy, professor of English at University of Guelph. (I am wanting to track down the original essay, but for now I’m interacting with the argument as it is presented in the article).

Hoy admits that her thesis is personally motivated; her adopted daughter has FASD and so her goal is to “use Anne as a bridge to create greater tolerance toward a condition that afflicts at least one percent of Canadians.”

Her “proof” for Anne’s FASD (it should be noted, as the article does, that FASD was not an early 20th century malady. It became a diagnosis in 1973):
*Anne’s “flights of fancy”
*Anne’s “theatricality”
*Anne’s “impulsiveness”
*Anne’s small stature and small face
*Anne’s use of language

The article then notes some “non-proofs”:
*There is no evidence anywhere in the narrative that Anne’s biological mother drank
*LM Montgomery has written about alcoholism in other writings, but nowhere mentions alcohol in Anne’s backstory
*“There’s also the fact FASD affects a part of the brain that can’t be changed. But Anne changes markedly throughout the novel and achieves her goals. And though FASD sufferers often require lifelong support, Anne herself becomes a caregiver when she sacrifices going to university to stay with Marilla…” (pg. 84 in print, page 2 in web edition).

I grew up on Anne of Green Gables. I grew up as she grew up, and I always wanted (and still want) to grow up into an amazing woman like Anne did. I always dreamed of finding my “Gilbert” (which I have). I learned from Anne that it was okay to be imaginative and playful and that it was okay for a girl to want to know more about the world and to pursue an education. I cheered when she broke the slate over Gilbert’s head, and cried when she mourned the death of Matthew. I was glad that there was a girl who had the same spunk that I had. Does that mean that I had FASD? Does that mean that Anne did? Why can’t we just enjoy Anne for her fiery red-haired personality and her desire to have a family? Why do we have to assume that there was something wrong with her? And why do we have to explain away all the things that made her endearing?

Film Production Announcement

From Dolphin Bay Films:

Dolphin Bay Films is pleased to announce its next feature film project written by Canadian novelist and screenwriter Sheryl Fletcher. This is projected to shoot in fall 2010, and a search is on through film festivals and major university filmmaking departments to find a talented filmmaker to helm this project as Director.

The Papergirl — Silence Is The Final Deadly Crime
A mentally handicapped young man stands accused of the murder of a 10-year-old newspaper delivery girl. Secrets, rumors, and lies work to destroy the young man’s life even as a killer still walks the town free

Sheryl Fletcher is a gifted Canadian author and she is also a dear, dear friend of mine. This upcoming project is going to be fantastic, so stay tuned for more details!