Character-Driven Storytelling with Writer/Producer Diana Dru Botsford | Podcast #18

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Diana Dru Botsford

Story consultant, writer/producer Diana Botsford‘s recent work includes creating/producing the critically-acclaimed SciFi web series “Epilogue” and serving as consulting producer on the new comedy series, “A Little Help.”  Author of Stargate SG-1 novels: “Four Dragons” and “The Drift,” as of the fall of 2014, Botsford will be offering online, interactive writing workshops for burgeoning television and film screenwriters through her new website: beyondthemedium.com.  Her screenwriting credits include “Rascals” for ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and the cult favorite animated series, ‘Spiral Zone.’ Founder of the award-winning screenwriting program at Missouri State University, Botsford’s pursuit of great stories has taken her across the globe from Japan to Africa to Antarctica. If she could save up the $250,000, a seat on board Virgin Galactic would be next.

During our hour-long intellectually stimulating conversation, we discuss writing, science fiction, education, evolution and the end of apartheid.  Burgeoning writers sharpen your pencils and be prepared to take great notes!

Musings from the Virgin Galactic

What is your favorite song?
I love listening to all types of music, but my main jam is classical. I was classically trained, my father was a classical music producer, so… Prelude of Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 in G

Favorite Super hero?
A toss-up between Marvel’s Jean Grey and showrunner Dan Harmon (Community)

Fast food or home cooked meal?
Home-cooked, always! I’m a third generation gourmet cook.

What is your biggest quirk?
I hate wet socks!

Diane Botsford at Space City Con autographing my copies of her Stargate SG:1 Fanfaction novels.
Diane Botsford at Space City Con autographing my copies of her Stargate SG:1 novels.

What is the one thing that annoys you the most?
Passive aggressive behavior.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Coffee and reading the news.

Where would you go if you were invisible?
The International Space Station.

What’s your motto?
“Tomorrow”

Why did you choose to write?
I’ve always gravitated toward anything having to do with storytelling. Wrote my first story when I was five.

Who inspires you?
My father was my greatest inspiration, but I am inspired in general by people who stay fast in believing in themselves and pushing forward. My students inspire me, my family does, too. My husband especially.

What makes you different from other people in your industry?
Honesty. If your story needs work, I’m going to tell you. As a fellow writer, I’d want the same. My particular expertise is in character-driven work.

Why should choose you over your competition?
As a story consultant: More one-on-one time. I don’t just give you the basics, I’ll dig further.

As a writer: I’m a believer in deep point-of-view experiences whether it’s prose or a script. We, the readers/audience, are humans. We’re characters. We follow a protagonist on their journey in order to make better sense of our own.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Move forward after losing my father who was my mentor and best friend.

Diana Botsford and Kandas Rodarte at Space City Con
Diana Botsford and Kandas Rodarte at Space City Con

What is your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Overcoming the ISMs – whether it be sexism (yeah, I hit the glass ceiling a few times) or racism (ask me about my production experiences in South Africa during the end of the apartheid era – excruciatingly horrific.)

What will it take to overcome your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Writing stories that help perpetuate the belief that we are all people first, and our gender or race second.

Define your style?
Eclectic mix of NY style and California casual.

Tell me about your typical day.
Do those exist?

How do you juggle work and family?
With great difficulty.

Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?
Push forward. Believe in yourself. Network like mad.

What’s the best way to market your particular business?
By doing a great job (word of mouth) and social media.

How have you grown as a person since launching your career?
Will I ever stop?

If you could travel back in time and speak to your 18 year old self, what would you say?
Do exactly what you’re doing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In space?

For whom are you thankful? Who do you appreciate?
Family and friends. People who stand up for each other.

Connect with Diana Dru Botsford

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Diana Botsford on the set of epilogue.

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