Dawn Greenfield Ireland
Dawn Greenfield Ireland has
taught Screenwriting For Beginners in the private sector in Houston,
TX since 1992. She sold her first screenplay in 1990 to an independent producer. On December
20, 1999, Dawn won the Women In Film & Television/Houston
screenplay competition for her drama Standing Dead.
Her students have gone on to win local and regional competitions,
enter film school, secure agents and have screenplays worth reading.
One student optioned his first screenplay. Another student was
invited to the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, all expenses paid by
the Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Showcase. Ron Howard hosted that
student's award-winning film.
Richard Walter, Screenwriting Chair of UCLA says,
"Dawn Ireland knows screenwriting
Need more praise? Just ask Judy Burns of UCR, or Dawn's instructors
at UCLAs Professional Program in Screenwriting. She completed
the first year in 2002 and will complete the advanced year in
Dawn is the former President of Foundation of Aspiring and Published
Writers, and Writers Development Center. She is the past Vice
President of Manuscriptors Guild, and a partner in WayCool Productions.
A professional writer since 1980, she worked for
Compaq Computer Corporation for eight years as a technical writer.
After she left Compaq in 1991, the same team called her back
as an independent contractor. Compaq Computer/HP currently retains
Dawn Ireland for a
multitude of projects.
Many of her corporate video scripts are produced, with two being
sold internationally by Safety Shorts International Productions.
Additionally, Dawn has had articles published in
Texas Film and Video News, Uptown Express, The Slate (Houston
Association of Film and Television), Writers Forum and a myriad
of writing related newsletters. She wrote press releases for
Nature Discovery Center, Manuscriptors Guild, Foundation of Aspiring
and Published Writers, Writers Development Center, A.H. Seminars,
and WayCool Productions.
To date, she has 13 completed screenplays, 1 long-play TV screenplay,
1 produced documentary for the City of Houston, 1 published book
(The Puppy Baby Book), and three
unpublished novels (in various stages of rewriting). Dawn is
in the process of writing Screenwriting 101:
The Missing Link, a companion to her screenwriting
for information about Dawn Greenfield Ireland.
to see/buy The Puppy Baby Book.
The Puppy Baby Book is the first of four books.
The Kitten Baby Book, My New Home (for older dogs and cats),
and In Memory Of are in the works. Be sure to catch The Puppy
Baby Book on cable TVs shopping channels fall of 2002.
Contact: Dawn Ireland
228-A3 Eastwood Rd., Suite 103
Wilmington, NC 28403
Pageonelit.com: Where did
you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?
Who were your earliest influences and why?
Dawn Greenfield Ireland: Feeding Hills,
Massachusetts is my home town... a tiny dot on the map, outside
of Agawam. My folks had a poultry farm and my sisters and I learned
at an early age that reading was one of the best forms of entertainment.
I had a fertile imagination. Both of my parents were avid readers,
as was my grandfather who lived with us when I was a young child.
The first series I read was Bomba the Jungle Boy, then all of
the Tarzan books, then John Carter of Mars... Edgar Rice Burroughs
was a major influence in my life. Then I discovered HG Wells...
Pageonelit.com: Where did
the idea for The Puppy Baby Book come from and how did you bring
this book to publication?
Dawn Greenfield Ireland: I cannot begin
to tell you how many ideas I have had over the past few decades.
I have files filled with ideas that I never acted upon. The way
the puppy book came about was one fine afternoon in Houston,
I was sitting at my dining room table meandering through my two
sons' baby books, having one of those 'poor pitiful me' moments.
A complete low moment, blubbering my heart out as I read passages
in the baby books. My dog Shasta was on her dog bed in front
of the wall of bookcases, sharing the moment as dogs do... twitching
her ears, looking concerned, and just being there. I looked at
Shasta on her dog bed as I was really wallowing in this funk
mood, and I said to her, "Shasta, I wish I had a baby book
for you too!"
When I say the light bulb went on... that is a mild statement.
What a profound thought. I grabbed the baby books, ran into my
home office and started typing away.
I wanted to make sure I captured all of the moments people could
possibly have with their puppies, as people do with their human
babies. I went to book stores, department stores, and baby specialty
stores and bought about a dozen different baby books. I wanted
to see what they looked like, how they differed.
When I completed the first draft, a mere 14 pages of text, I
didn't know what else to do. Luckily I found an advertisement
for a publishing group that met once a month. I signed up, went
to the meeting and met my print manager, who in turn introduced
me to my artist. Kismet... when it is supposed to happen, it
will all come together.
Let me back up a bit... I presented my incredible pages to a
couple of agents. The consensus was... we don't know what to
do with this.
Pageonelit.com: Who did
the Illustrations for The Puppy Baby Book? Did you have any input
to the design and content?
Dawn Greenfield Ireland: One
of the most talented artists Houston, TX has to boast... Gladys
Ramirez, who has a day job with the Houston Chronicle as a design
artist. Gladys has designed quite a few other book covers, and
book layouts. We met and had lengthy discussions as to my idea
of what I wanted. I handed off the words, she came up with the
layout. She's a genius, isn't she? We work quite well together.
She will present something and I will study it and either have
her tweak it or I will accept it. Neither of us gets offended
by the others input or comments. Our working relationship is
something to be cherished. Gladys is my friend and we will do
many projects together.
Pageonelit.com: What are
some of the items in your personal Puppy Baby Book?
Dawn Greenfield Ireland: I
have the original papers from when I adopted Shasta, her Play
Dog picture where I swear she was posing, and one of my favorites
- a picture where her head is stuck in a bag of popcorn. I do
have her first rabies tag.
Pageonelit.com: What has
been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about
their interpretations of your book? What do they like about the
Dawn Greenfield Ireland: Everyone
who has seen the book has been amazed by it. Even non-dog people
love it. I have had people call me from across the nation telling
me how much they loved their book, that in the past they had
been forced to use just a plain scrapbook for pictures and now
they can fill in the blanks and let the feelings flow. That's
what this book is all about... people who treat their dogs like
their children, who participate in their dogs lives.
Pageonelit.com: Are you
working on a follow up? Or something totally different?
Dawn Greenfield Ireland: The
Kitten Baby Book is in the works. We are about 85% finished with
the artwork. I have some tweaking to do on content, then all
I have to do is come up with the cash to get it printed. I AM
Artistic Origins, the publisher. No publisher was interested
in the book idea so I said to hell with it, and published it
myself. The books are elegant. That is why the Puppy Baby Book
was a finalist in the 2001 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
There isn't anything else like it. The Kitten Baby Book will
be just as incredible. The artwork is wonderful. The next book
after the KBB is My New Home -- for older dogs and cats that were
adopted off the street or from a shelter so you don't have the
beginning information from their birth. The fourth book is for
all pets... In Memory Of. Get the box of tissues ready. In addition
to the Puppy Baby Book, I have published Memoirs of a Dog by
CousCous Mackey. Don't tell anyone, but Barbara Mackey actually
wrote it, but since it is the life and times of her dog CousCous
Mackey, she made CousCous the author. It is a wonderful novel.
If you liked Lady and the Tramp or 101 Dalmatians, you will love
Memoirs of a Dog. I have read Memoirs about five times and I
Pageonelit.com: What was
the last book you read?
Dawn Greenfield Ireland: Since
I read more than one at a time, I'll give you my recent list:
The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil (I loved this book!);
The Afterlife Experiments by Gary E. Schwartz (I loved this book
too!); The Social Lives of Dogs by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
(What an incredible book!); and I'm going to begin on Merrick
by Anne Rice (I'm sorry I'm so far behind on your books, Anne).
Pageonelit.com: Do you have
any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing.
Dawn Greenfield Ireland: I
am a writer. I read, write, watch movies, watch people, have
conversations, think. I like to cook, walk with Shasta, sit on
the deck and drink coffee in the early morning hours. When I
am stuck in one of my stories, I'll pace or wash dishes by hand.
There's something about that hot soapy water that loosens the
words out of my brain and gets them onto the page. I just finished
the first year of the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting.
I have a total of 13 completed scripts -- dark comedy, romantic
comedy, drama, science fiction. While some of them have won or
placed in national competitions, I wanted to take my writing
to a higher level. I will be doing the advanced year with UCLA
as soon as I get settled into my new home next month (September,
Visit my website! Tell all of your dog lover friends about my