Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Guest Post: Mary Lowry, the author AND screenwriter

Introducing the author of The Earthquake Machine, Mary Pauline Lowry...

Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, construction worker, open water lifeguard, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women.

She currently works as a novelist, screenwriter, and regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

Onto the 'screenwriter' guest post...

First I want to thank LiLi for having me guest post here at the fab book blog ChicaReader. She’s asked me to write about my work as a screenwriter.

I am a total accidental screenwriter. I never aspired to write scripts. I’ve always been very driven to be a novelist. But when famous Hollywood producer Bill Mechanic read my yet-to-be-released novel THE GODS OF FIRE (based on my experiences as a forest firefighter) he loved it. So I flew out to LA to meet with him and he decided to option the book for film.

Bill Mechanic and another producer named Suzanne Warren asked me to write the screenplay! I was thrilled, but also nervous. I’d barely even ever read a screenplay, much less tried to write one. But I immersed myself in movies and scripts and started writing. After about a 100 drafts, the script went out to directors. Director Peyton Wilson is now attached to the script, which will soon go out to actors!

One thing I’ve learned is that only 10% of screenwriters of major motion pictures are women. That’s about the same percentage as female forest firefighters! That’s a shocking statistic and one that we as women and girls need to work to change.

I feel very strongly that women should have a chance to have adventures, make art, and get their art out into the world.

For more from Mary Pauline Lowry on women and art, check out her Huff Post article Art & Adventure: a Manifesto for Women and Girls.

The book every girl should read; and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.

The Earthquake Machine, a fun, fantastical and exhilarating tale, explodes the distinction between Young Adult and adult coming-of-age novels, even as it explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish.

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.

Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a kind man named Juan Diego convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the Juan Diego’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.

Thank you for the guest post, Mary!


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