Friday, April 10, 2009

A conversation with William Spear

WILLIAM SPEAR: Thanks for inviting me to Carolina Conspiracy, Joyce; it's a pleasure to be here. My writing at Lit Between the Ears - both the blog and my first book - develops characters and tells stories through sounds.

What are the types of sounds readers would find in your writing?

[Joyce Lavene] It would all depend on the book. In our NASCAR mysteries, it would be loud cars. In our Renaissance mysteries, it would be loud Huzzahs!

WS: Are there any sounds peculiar to the Carolinas?

[Joyce Lavene] You know, I haven't ever thought about it before. There is this loud bird outside my bedroom window that keeps saying 'percussion, percussion'.

JL: Do I get to ask any questions?

WS: One more from me - What radio dramas have you listened to and what did you enjoy about them?

[Joyce Lavene] I loved War of the Worlds. It was so dramatic. I also loved a series of Edgar Allen Poe stories dramatized on the radio. They were really creepy, in a good way.

JL : What made you so interested in sounds, William? Most people hardly notice sounds around them.

WS: When I was young, my family drove back and forth between Ohio and North Carolina. My parents would play old radio shows. The different beginnings hooked me.
By the way, I've directed The War of the Worlds ten times. Howard Koch's script holds up well. Also, Poe is a favorite here, too. My adaptation has been performed - complete with sound effects - and a version is posted at my blog. [ Spear: The Raven from the WGAE Big Apple Short Radio Drama Festival; link: ]

JL : What are your favorite sounds?

WS: Directing a studio full of actors and sound effects. It's kind of like DNA; the same ensemble of performers can create a comedy, drama, or horror. A performance can be big and expansive or modest and intimate. A more accessible definition is conducting a large orchestra.

JL : How do you develop characters and tell stories with sounds?

WS: It's about suggestion and inference rather than full descriptions. Set the characters in motion, share the stage with the listeners' imagination, and guide the whole play a series of plot points. The only fear is that the audience can change channels at any moment. That's a fairly strong inducement to make every line be meaningful.

Thanks for being here with us, today, William!

About William E. Spear
Mr. Spear published his first anthology, a collection of radio plays titled LIT BETWEEN THE EARS, VOLUME ONE: CHEKHOV, O. HENRY, SPEAR and TARKINGTON ON THE AIR, in July 2006. He is also Publisher and Producer of Lit Between the Ears, a blog which celebrates the power and people of dramatic audio. In 1999, he founded Hunterdon Radio Theatre, a 501 C3 community radio theatre corporation in Clinton, New Jersey.
His second anthology, title MAYONNAISE IN MY CAKE AND OTHER DELIGHTS, is scheduled for release on October 1, 2009.

He may be reached by email at:
Lit Between the Ears, Volume One (book):
Lit Between the Ears (blog:)

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