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Monday, February 19, 2018

Interview With Storyteller/Filmmaker, Tim Benson -part 3

"Hi everyone, Today we're welcoming filmmaker/ storyteller, Tim Benson for part three of his interview.

What project are you currently working on?
re you currently working on? 
We are currently in production of my inaugural short animated film, Cupcakes. Cupcakes was inspired by my volunteer work with the Ronald McDonald Charities and tells a story of Mia Gonzalez, a 5 y/o dynamo superstar who opens a cupcake & lemonade stand to benefit her sister who has leukemia. 

The making of Cupcakes has been quite an adventure and I’m still amazed by how much work/time it takes to produce 6-7 mins of 3D animation. It’s been an incredible learning opportunity for me with quite a steep learning curve as the technical rigor and complexities of animation are just mind-bending. I’ve been so fortunate to work with some brilliantly talented animators/artists who amaze me every day. It’s almost surreal for me as a writer to finally see my characters coming to life on the screen. So amazing. 
I'm sure you're keeping up with the learning curve, Tim. it sounds like you and your team are enjoying your work a great deal. No doubt, Cupcakes will be a huge success. I love stories that promote good values.

When will Cupcakes be completed?
The film will be completed later this year and will be released in early 2019. We will submit to film festivals around the globe and will hold the film premier and gala with all proceeds benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities. We can’t wait to share this story with the world. 
Best wishes with it, Tim. Please give us updates when Cupcakes is released.

How can we learn more about your film?
You can visit the Story Giant Films website under the Cupcakes page to learn more. 

There you can read the film script and get the latest film production updates. As a side note....we are currently in development of the official Cupcakes website, which we will launch this spring. 
That sounds very exciting, Tim. We'll all want to keep up with your progress with Cupcakes.

Thank you for spending time with me again today, Tim. As always, it's been an honor.
My pleasure, Deanie. I'm looking forward to our next visit."
Copyright 2018; Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Friday, February 16, 2018

Celebrating the Small Things

Hi everyone,
Sorry I"m so late with posting. I was busy with a project all day. Anyway, hope you enjoyed your week, including  Valentine's Day. What are you celebrating this week?
Here's what we're happy about;

  • My book, Charlene the Star and Hattie's Heroes is nearly ready to be re-released in a new version. There's a separate post about it on this site.
  • I received a big surprise this week. Someone nominated me "Children's Author of the Month" for Wild Fire Magazine! The funny part is, when I first got the notification on Facebook, I thought it said, '"Wildlife Magazine" and  I thought it was a mistake. Why would someone feature me in Wildlife Magazine? :)
  • The Olympics- I love watching them, but it's disappointing that some of the US figure skaters have been having a tough competition so far. It's one of my favorite things to watch.
That's the news for now. Wishing you all a great week. Be sure to check out to see what everyone's been cheering about. Hope you had wonderful celebrations.
copyright: 2018 Deanie Humphrys-Dunne


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Coming soon: Revised version of Charlene the Star and Hattie's Heroes!

Hi everyone,
I have exciting news to share today. One of my books, Charlene the Star and Hattie's Heroes, will be released soon in a revised version. Hattie the adorable red chicken, helps her animal friends to solve problems. She is adorable, dressed in her bright, colorful bonnets. This is the second book in the "Charlene the Star" series.
From the back cover:
     Charlene the Star was known for her jumping skills and ability to win in horse shows. But in this adventure, she wants something exciting to do in her spare time. What will Charlene and her friends do for their new career?  What is Wooliam’s specialty? Does his dream come true? Young readers will enjoy this amusing tale, told be the adorable animal characters.

Excerpts from reviews:
     “One way to positively influence our children is to expose them to good books that are engaging, entertaining and fostering healthy approaches toward life. This is exactly why I highly recommend Deanie Humphrys-Dunne's lovely book "Charlene the Star and Hattie's Heroes”, which enchants and entertains while it promotes wonderful traits and virtues” ~Amazon review-SRM Reviews

“Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes is a book that would appeal to young horse lovers and animal lovers…It's about helping others, working hard, setting goals, doing your best, and being a gracious winner or loser.-from review by Sherry Ellis

“This is a perfect book for children; it lets them see how other people with challenges and obstacles persevered due to their determination to succeed.” ~ Amazon review by Joyce Mitchell

 “This is an exceptional story for children of all ages.” ~ Amazon review by Janice Spina

Illustration by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj from Charlene the Star and Hattie's Heroes.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Interview with Stroyteller/Filmmaker Tim Benson Part 2

 Welcome back, Timothy Benson. Let's continue with part 2 of your interview.
Can you give an example of this technique from one of your stories?
Sure, okay. Let me see....I observe a group of children jumping around in a bounce house at a b-day party (a couple of my children included therein). This bounce house floor kinda looks like giant bubbles woven together. Those bubbles actually remind me of giant larva. Then my mind jumps to...Kids jumping on giant larva? Then...Why are there giant larva in a nest on the forest floor? How did they get there? This sole image (and resultant questions) was the catalyst that started churning my imagination and spawned a complete story about three middle schoolers who race to save a city under siege after a greedy extermination company's genetic experimentation goes horribly wrong. Yes, Giant Mutant insects! Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs meets Arachnophobia. This is my sci-fi/adventure screenplay, HATCHED, which came about because I stopped at the bounce house. 
You are so blessed with an amazing imagination. It's amazing that you can start developing a story idea from something as common as a bounce house.
How did you get into animation?
My ventures into animation came about through my compulsion to see my stories animated on the screen. Trying to sell animation feature speculative screenplays to Hollywood proved difficult...ummm...almost impossible.....okay, no luck yet, I’m still trying!! The big studios don’t buy, they cultivate stories from within. The smaller studios want you to bring production dollars with your script. My agent couldn’t get any traction. I was frustrated. No one was interested in HOOKED. How could that be? 
There were so many times I thought about giving up, or considered writing for live action, or in a different genre, but THEN came my watershed moment. A notion occurred to me: 
What if I wrote, produced and directed my OWN short animated film? It could be a pathway to break into the animation world. A means to becoming a “produced” writer. And a way to share my vision for the screen with the world. I was all in. 
It's amazing when we get those intuitions that change everything, isn't it? You must've been elated.

Thank you for participating in the second part of our interview, Tim. It's such fun learning more about you and your career.
You're welcome, Deanie. It's been a pleasure.
for more on Tim's work,  please visit this link:

copyright 2018: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Monday, February 12, 2018

Interview with storyteller/ filmmaker Tim Benson-part 1

Hi everyone, today I'm delighted to be interviewing storyteller and filmmaker, Timothy Benson. Welcome, Tim and thank you for spending time with me today. Let's get on with the interview so we can learn about your adventures and your plans.

When did you know you wanted to become a storyteller/filmmaker? 
I’ve been a storyteller since a very young age - possibly since being able to form coherent sentences. [laughs] I enjoyed reading as a boy and getting lost in stories. I thrived on movies and was especially drawn to animated films where ANYTHING could be realized on the screen. 
As a child, I enjoyed telling stories live in front of people - stories like the day a bull chased me through the forest & I almost died, or how exactly the escape hatch worked on my tree house, or the day I found a complete dinosaur skeleton deep in the woods behind my house. Yup, true story! Kids were all ears when I stood up to tell a tale. They said I had a knack for storytelling  and they wanted more. 
Wow, that's amazing, Tim. I love to hear about storytellers who can use their talents in wondrous ways.I can imagine your audience was mesmerized by your stories.
When did you actively start writing?
While I loved storytelling and animation as a boy, in my later teens I was steered towards a career path in the sciences. I went to college...Got a job...Had a family (five children)...Traveled the world. A full and wonderful life for sure. But there was absolutely something missing. 
Fast forward to my early forties...THIS, is when I found my true voice as a writer. It all started with a story concept of a little boy and his dream to catch a LEGENDARY fish in his small town lake. It was a story that weaved back and forth between the human and fish worlds. I could envision the story so vividly on the SCREEN - an animated film. This story, titled HOOKED, became my first screenplay. A screenplay that has collected over two dozen international writing awards & numerous Best Screenplay honors.
It's incredible that you wove your tale in different directions and it became a screenplay that was honored mulitple times. You must be so proud.
What has happened since HOOKED?
Since completing HOOKED, I haven’t been able to turn off the stories. Twenty years of untold stories were ready to make their way into the world. This was really the start of my creative journey and my pursuit of seeing my stories realized on the screen. 
I"m so excited to hear that HOOKED unleashed all of those stories. It seems you will have an endless stream of them. We are all blessed you will be sharing many adventures with us.
How do you get ideas for your stories? 
I get most of my ideas from my own childhood experiences, or through simple observation of the world around me. I keep a story journal where I record interesting thoughts/ideas for future consideration and development.
But first and foremost, most of my stories begin with one single image or thought. Then, the story gets built out around that one image or idea. The image might relate to the inciting incident; it could be part of the final climax, but it could also be a scene buried deep in the mid-point of Act II. 
Keep getting those ideas, Tim. That's all the time we have today, but we will continue this interview soon.
Thank you for interviewing me today, Deanie. I'm thrilled to be sharing part of my life story with you. Looking forward to our next chat.
For more on Tim's work: 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Brand new video about My Life at Sweetbrier!

Hi everyone, Please stop by to check out my brand new video by Rhonda Patton about my latest children's book, My Life at Sweetbrier. Find out what decision my dad made that changed my life.
Thanks for visiting.

Please follow this link:


Friday, February 9, 2018

celebrate the small things

Hi everyone,
How was your week? Be sure to check in with Lexa at to see what's happening there. Hope you had a great week. Here's what we're celebrating:

  • My book, Charlene the Star and Hattie's Heroes is in the process of being revised and republished. So excited about that. We added a picture and did some other things. It should be ready soon.
  • I reviewed another cute book, The Fabulous Life of Minnie the Sassy Chick, Minnie's Birthday Party. It's a fun book that I reviewed and recommend.
  • Chats with special people
What are you celebrating?
copyright 2018: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne