Friday, May 09, 2008

Interview With Author Deborah Painter and Her Book, The Dog Hero in Film Coming Out

Today, I am interviewing Deborah Painter, a nonfiction writer who has her first book, The Dog Hero in Film coming out from Midnight Marquee Press . It will be out sometime this month, but you can preorder it from the publisher. I've known Deborah for over eleven years and am excited and proud for her first book coming out. She has done numerous articles in magazines over the years.

Deborah Painter's Bio:
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, mother, Kay Sewell Painter, father, Floyd E. Painter, brother Floyd Sewell, sister Pamela Kay. Attended Norfolk public schools, won Spelling Bee for Suburban Park elementary in 1968; graduated Old Dominion University, 1980, taught earth and space science three years. Worked as proofreader for a law publishing company in Charlottesville, Virginia. Returned to Norfolk to begin new career. Have worked since 1988 managing environmental studies, including the completion of National Environmental Policy Act documents, Phase I environmental site asessments. Design wetland mitigation sites and acquire water quality and navigation permits from state and federal agencies for clients. I began professional writing career in 1979 with articles for Famous Monsters of Filmland; continue to write about science, animals, nature, film for approximately forty magazines, including Classic Images, Filmfax, Horse and Horseman, Big Reel, Prehistoric Times, Scary Monsters Magazine, Route 66 Magazine, Rock & Gem, Fossil News, Earth Science, Grit, Movie Collector's World, Horsepower Magazine for Young Horse Lovers.

1.) -Please tell us about your latest book.

“Hollywood’s Top Dogs: The Dog Hero in Film” is the result of four years of research and interviewing movie industry professionals, film preservationists and relatives of famous directors and other folks who made those wonderful dog hero action adventure films. I had a blast doing it and had a good excuse to sit down and watch some obscure and great movies!

2.) -What can we expect from you in the future?

I am finishing a book on horses in the movies and am planning one on eastern Virginia ghosts and spirits.

3.) –Where can your book be bought? Give links to where it can be bought.

Midnight Marquee Press 9721 Britinay LaneBaltimore, MD 21234410-665-1198 (8 am to 6 pm EST) or through their website:

4.) -How may readers contact you?

E-mail me at

5.) –What is your favorite movie dog from your book?

That’s a good question and it is probably Strongheart because he was so very smart, and was the dog that inspired author J. Allen Boone to write books on animal communication.

6.) What motivated you to start writing in this book?

I was curious about the dog hero in motion pictures and why no one had ever made a serious attempt to study this genre. It is a very popular one all over the world and yet the movies themselves seem to be neglected by most film scholars.

7.) -What kind of research do you do?

Library research, on line research, visiting places and interviewing people.
8.) -Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

Wow, I wish I had a set schedule. I try to squeeze it in the evenings.
9.) -Where do your ideas come from?

I meet someone who tells a story of something out of the ordinary that interests me, or I see something in the paper that makes my imagination go to work.

10.) -Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?

My father, Floyd Painter, was an archaeologist and publisher of an archaeological journal. He liked to sit and think while sitting in his folding chair in the yard, and voila! A great idea would pop into his head for some paper he could do. Then, he would type well into the night until the main idea had been expressed. He really influenced me a lot because he was always publishing his journal and I would help him get the issues packaged and mailed.

11.) -How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?

I was “writing” before I knew how to write. At the age of six I would dictate my stories to my mom, dad or sister and they would write them down. I would illustrate the stories. Later, when they taught me to write, I did it all myself and stapled little books together with construction paper covers. My first magnum opus was “Dog Town”, a 40 page story on lined notebook paper with crayon illustrations. I got my first article published in a national magazine at 24 years of age and have been doing it ever since.

12.) -What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Being able to talk with interesting people and go behind the scenes at movie studios, inside old houses and such where not everyone is able to go, all based upon my credentials and credibility.

13.) What was the most interesting fact you learned about any movie dog?

Some would risk their lives to please their trainers and masters. The original Rin-Tin-Tin risked his health and safety many times to do what Lee Duncan directed him to do. One time, he almost fell off a crest of a dam, but pulled himself up just in time. Had he fallen he would surely have been killed in the raging waters below. In those days, there was no American Humane Association monitoring the movie industry.

14.) -Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)

I am the youngest of a family of three and have lived all my life in Virginia. I have a Masters in Science Education and have been working as an environmental scientist for the past 16 years. I like photography, horseback riding, being outside, and I love a good old classic monster film.

15.) -Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Ray Bradbury once put it well when he said “you have to first get the bad words out, and then after that, the good ones will flow unceasingly.” By that, he meant that you need to write as much as you can and let all your feelings and thoughts go onto paper, and one day your writing will be something that will be professional and published!! You don’t know when that magic moment arrives and neither did I, so keep writing and keep aiming for publication!

16.) Tell us your website, MySpace, Blog, any urls so the readers can find out more about you.

I don’t have a web site at this time.

17.) Now for something fun:

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.

Favorite genre to read? Ghost stories.

Favorite color? Green.

Favorite movie of all time for you? Eeek, I have too many favorite movies! And the list keeps getting bigger.

If could go anywhere in the world you never been to, where would it be? East Africa (Kilimanjaro)

All time favorite actor? Lon Chaney Sr.

Actress? Jean Harlow.

All time favorite book? The Making of King Kong.

Favorite TV show? My Favorite Martian.

What makes you laugh out loud? Cute animal antics.

We know this book and your next book, but what subject would you like to write about someday for a book?
The Making of some movie based on something I wrote

Thank you Deborah, for letting us interview you for my blog.

No comments: