When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week children’s book author, Angela Schultz, is sharing the WHY she wrote her book, “Cautionary Tales and Other Fables”. Take it away, Angela…
Cautionary Tales and Other Fables by A. T. Schultz
My love affair with the written word began at a very young age.
Ever since I could remember, I read everything and anything I could get my hands on. During breakfast time cereal boxes were magical worlds with their colorful designs and prizes. The cartoon section of the daily newspaper was a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Nothing escaped my wide-eyed fascination—and when I didn’t find something entertaining, I grabbed a pencil and paper and created it myself.
As a child, I aspired to be a cartoonist. I had created my very own Charlie Brown-ish series about siblings with a lovable dog named Rusty, but I quickly grew tired of the cartoon format when my stories grew and became much more elaborate and detailed. When I was twelve, I began to write an ambitious illustrated novel that later became the basis of an award-winning screenplay, The Obsidian Chronicle, of which my writing instructor, Arnaud d’Usseau, said was a “cautionary tale”.
During my education to become an illustrator at the School Of Visual Arts in NYC, I became fascinated with screenwriting and instantly fell in love with the medium. I have written seventeen feature-length screenplays and many short films over the years, some of which have won awards, have been optioned, or produced.
In 2018, going back to art school roots, I wrote and illustrated a children’s picture book called Squeak! It’s a Dog Chew Toy World! which was based on characters from my screenplay, Rabble Rowsers. The Rabble Rowsers script was inspired by my dog who had stolen a stuffed toy from my baby niece’s stroller and inadvertently became the lead character of a story about doggy chew toys that don’t want to be chewed!
Over the course of thirty years, I had written a number of short stories and noticed that many of them had varying universal morality themes. I remembered what my screenwriting instructor had said, and thought that it would be a good idea to compile a book of my “cautionary tales”. Thank you, Mr. d’Usseau!
For the collection of 37 stories, I wrote several new ones and ditched many others that were not good enough, (in my humble opinion). Many were underdeveloped scribbles on scraps of paper, while others were nestled together in the file cabinet of forgotten stories.
I felt like an archeologist as I unearthed the treasures that I had buried so deeply in the cabinet beneath scripts and research papers.
I gathered all of the stories I had written over the years and even adapted several short film scripts as well. “Romancing the Shoes” was adapted from an award-winning script of the same name. Two of the stories, “Harry’s Portrait” and “Veni Vidi Vici”, had been published by the the School of Visual Arts Press in their Words anthology back in the 80’s when I was in college, so I included them as well. The coming of age story called “Daisy” was written for an Australian filmmaker friend, John Klaic, who sadly had passed away before he could make the film. I adapted it in his memory.
Finally, over the course of three months, the book of Cautionary Tales and other Fables, was completed. I hired a amazing company of artists, MiblArt in the Ukraine, to design the swirling vortex of things on the cover.
As to be expected in a story about people with problems, there is some profanity and gore, but nothing that the average teenager isn’t accustomed to seeing or hearing nowadays, but there are no “F” bombs.
Be prepared to enter a world where strange and unusual things can happen.
This collection of morality tales is intertwined with an odd assortment of unique stories; some lighthearted and fun, while others delve into the darkest side of human behavior.
Be forewarned: not all of them have happy endings!
Desperation drives people to do unexpected, and sometimes crazy, things!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A. T. is an award winning screenwriter who has authored numerous feature-length screenplays including the PAGE INTERNATIONAL SCREENWRITING AWARDS silver prize winning screenplay, ROBOMUTT, along with quarter finalists, RABBLE ROWSERS, and FAILSAFE. A. T. graduated from the School Of Visual Arts in NYC with a BFA in Illustration and Graphic Design, and wrote and illustrated a children’s picture book called SQUEAK! IT’S A DOG CHEW TOY WORLD! based upon the characters of the RABBLE ROWSERS screenplay. A. T. is also the author of the upcoming Young Adult Fantasy series, THE DAEMONSPHERE CHRONICLES.
Want to connect?
TWITTER…A. T. Schultz /@rabblerowsers