Christina Hamlett is a writer, Her credits to date include 41 books, 171 stage plays, 5 optioned feature films and squillions of articles and interviews that appear online and in trade publications worldwide. She is also a script consultant for stage and screen (which means she stops a lot of really bad plots from coming to theatres near you) and a professional ghostwriter (which does not mean she talks to dead people).
Let’s hear her inspiring journey in her words!
1. Please Describe Christina Hamlett:
Answer: When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer and an actor. Happily, I’ve been able to do both and they have complemented each other well. My very first job out of high school was as a movie and play critic for a weekly newspaper. Coincidentally, this led me to audition on-the-spot at a popular melodrama theatre; the heroine was painting her house on the day I attended a rehearsal to write some publicity for the upcoming show and someone had to stand in to read her lines. I must have made a stellar impression because I was not only made understudy for all of the females but also got written into some song and dance numbers. Once bitten by the acting bug, I stayed in theatre for the next 16 years, half of which involved the management of my own touring acting company, The Hamlett Players. Since I was already writing all of the one-act plays we performed, it was a natural progression to become a playwright and start getting my work published. When I’m not penning new scripts, I write novels, business books, and books on the craft of screenwriting.
2. Please Describe your art and skills:
Answer: Writing books and plays, doing script consultations, working with clients around the world as their silent partner ghostwriter, and teaching online classes in playwriting and screenwriting. I write full-time and have a gloriously eclectic home office that would probably make anyone else’s head explode. I’m also fortunate to have a husband who is an excellent writer and editor and can always be recruited to read new scripts aloud with me over adult beverages at the dining room table. Since we’re both adept at doing accents and really throw ourselves into the roles we’re reading, I suspect the neighbours sometimes wonder if there are 17 other people living with us.
3. What inspired to pursue your passion?
Answer: I was an only child and a voracious reader. I was always fascinated by the power and longevity of the written word and how it could magically transport readers to other worlds. I wanted to be a part of that … and I am. With a Communications degree that emphasized Audience Analysis and Message Design, I’ve been able to work in all aspects of media and apply the dynamics of effective messaging to everything I do in my own projects and those I develop for clients.
4. What are the difficulties you faced and how did you overcome?
Answer: When I started out, there were not nearly the resources and networking opportunities available for aspiring authors. Mind you, this was during a time when everything was sent out via snail mail and one sometimes had to wait for several months to get a reply. It was further a challenge to try to figure out what publishers really wanted and how best to accommodate them. It’s all about patience, honing one’s craft, learning from rejection, and not accepting a “no” from someone who isn’t in a position to say “yes.”
5. Your message to the audience/beginners?
Answer: Have a clear and focused understanding of WHY you want to write. If it’s because you want to become rich, say “neh neh neh” to anyone who has ever discouraged or disparaged you, or become the next (fill in the blank), you’re approaching this for all the wrong reasons. If you’re truly meant to be a writer, it’s because you are passionate that you have something to say, that you are committed to learning everything this craft requires and that you simply can’t imagine doing anything else that would make you feel happier or more fulfilled.
6. Where can the people find you?
Answer: My Website.
I also have a website in which I do interviews with authors in all genres and levels of expertise: https://wordpress.com/view/fromtheauthors.wordpress.com. Thus far, I think my three favourite interviews were with actor David Selby (Dark Shadows, Falcon Crest), actor/artist Loretta Swit (M*A*S*H), and Peter S. Fischer, creator of Columbo and Murder, She Wrote.
Thank you, Christina Hamlett, for taking the time to participate in our weekly column “Writer of the Week“.
Best wishes from Phonic Words for your future endeavours.