Isabella "Izzy" Church is an actress, singer, and writer: born in Sacramento, California, USA who is focused on film, television and music. Izzy attended Marymount Manhattan College graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Communication Arts, specializing in writing for film and television. To further her writing career she interned at DreamWorks for the head of the film and television department. Additionally, she pursued her acting studies with one of the top acting instructors in the country. Currently, Izzy is living in New York City and heading up a boutique Media Development Company called, Third Culture Creative.
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Here is my interview with the beautiful and talented Izzy Church about her debut novel, a romantic comedy titled Angry Movie Guy.
This is your first book. Why did you decide to write a book? What motivated you to write the Angry Movie Guy?
I love to read and I love telling a good story. At the university, I studied screenplay writing for film and television, which is quite different from tackling a novel. However, a few kind words from the right people led me to begin writing, Angry Movie Guy.
You have to be inspired to write, so you need to pick a theme or themes that motivate you or you’ll end up struggling to complete what you started. Angry Movie Guy combines several things that I love: romance, comedy, and movies.
I like the book cover. Can you tell us more about it? Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I’m glad you like it and to answer your question...yes, I do think the book cover plays a significant role in the buying process. It took several attempts before I achieved the desired results. Angry Movie Guy is a film critic who deliberately pans films, so I thought it was only natural to have him tied up by his love interest in film reel. Surprisingly, it was easier than I imagined convincing my friend to let me tie him up. George Campbell is a real trooper! Those are my legs on the cover of the book and the film George is tied up in is old sound tape, which was donated to me by the NYU film department. My design team at, Third Culture Creative completed the additional graphics on the book cover.
How many hours a day did you devote to writing the book? Did you aim for a set amount of pages per day?
Some days I would wake up and write till the sun went down. Other days, I would only write for a few hours. I never aimed to complete a set number of pages in a day however, I did create goals for myself when I hit the second and third phase of learning that writing is re-writing.
Once the first draft of Angry Movie Guy was complete I basically had to re-write entire chapters…. enhancing, clarifying, and revising what I originally wrote. Therefore, I would devote a few hours in a day to re-writing a particular chapter and once the chapter was complete…. I would do it all over again. It’s like sports or playing an instrument. You don’t become a great musician or ball player over night… you have to practice and focus and be willing to take a few hits.
How did you develop the plots and characters?
I am not an organized writer. I hear that many writers need to have the beginning, middle, and end in front of them before they begin to write. They have notecards with character traits, etc. I find this to be restricting. It feels like I’m writing a paper or preparing for a test. I just write… and allow for the story to unfold. Of course, it all begins with a good idea, but the rest is like a good mystery… like how life unfolds before our very eyes.
Plot holes can happen even if you plan out every little detail. Just like, how life hits us with unexpected twists and turns. It is essential, that when you discover a plot hole you don’t give up. There is always a solution. I suggest having your story read aloud to you. It helps to listen for plots holes or characters that need further development.
What do you think makes a good story?
The five elements of a good story are: inciting action, conflict, resolution, protagonists, and antagonist. Also, if your story surprises you every time you read it…. it’s a great story. If you laugh and cry every time you read it… it’s a great story.
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I learned how to be patient with myself.
What is your least favorite part of the writing process
I guess the re-writing. It is tiresome to go back to the same chapter over and over looking for what you might have missed the last time you worked on it.
If Angry Movie Guy were to be turned into a movie, which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead characters from your book?
I need a strong comedic actor to play the part of Charlie (Jack Waters). There are so many actors who I think would do a great job, but lately I have been leaning towards Jack Black or Zach Galifianakis. For the role of Harry…it would be great if Woody Harrelson or Sam Rockwell played the part. For the female roles… I would love to play the role of Alex (Evie Greene). I wrote this as a vehicle for myself as an actress. And for Samantha, I believe Zooey Deschanel or Ellen Page would be a great fit. Of course, you never know who is going to deliver the best reading, so I’m open to being surprised.
What makes your book standout from the crowd?
I don’t think it is your typical romantic comedy. I am a big fan of Charlie Kaufman’s work. His imaginative story telling techniques inspired me to add a lot of quirky unforeseen elements into the mix.
Can you share a little about your current or upcoming projects?
Sure, I have several projects in development. However, two projects are near completion. The first is a graphic novel and animation project titled, Suffer Club, which will most likely appeal to a select demographic. For those of you who enjoy: Family Guy, Simpsons and King of the Hill you will most likely be drawn to the wit and humor of the Suffer Club. I am very proud of this project! Finally, I am allowing myself to share the quirky and funny images that have graced my sketchbooks for years. The second project, is a young adult-children’s book titled, Dr. Pookie & The Case of His Missing Thought. I love this story… it makes me laugh every time I read it. I wrote and illustrated the chapter’s book and my goal is to make it a series.
Can you tell us something unique about you?
Hmm… I guess people find it interesting that I tackle multiple mediums: artist, singer-songwriter, actress, and filmmaker. While it has it challenges to work in multiple mediums it also is quite enlightening and beneficial! It helps you to grow as a person, artist, and writer. Oh! I am also a big fan of street art and graffiti!
Anything additional you want to share?
It would mean a lot to me if you checked out my e-book and if you like it please help spread the word. The print version will come out in November, but it is available for pre-order now. Also, I have created some amazing bonus gifts for those of you who pre-order the novel.
Thank you Izzy!