We asked all of our writers some questions about their writing and their work on Wormwood. We’ve talked to incoming writers Tiffiny Whitney and Rick Bata. Now we turn our attention to journeyman staff writer, Rob Allspaw. Rob’s first episode is episode #6.
Questions created by Rob Allspaw (while looking in a mirror, we suppose).
Q: How did you get involved with Wormwood?
A: Dave [Accampo] and I have known each other for a few years and we have always talked about maybe collaborating on a project. Dave called me in late January and told me all about the project and I was intrigued by it. I told him I would love to do it, but I was unavailable. When Dave called I was in a U-Haul with my family on Interstate 5 moving to San Jose. Dave called back about a month later and asked if I could pitch in a help out on an episode. I had a little bit more free time than I would have liked, being unemployed and all, so I pitched in. I have been excited about the project since Dave told me about it, though.
Q:What attracted you to Wormwood?
A: The whole project intrigue and excited me. I thought it was very great move to make Wormwood a serialized podcast. Wave of the future meets part of our past. The story line and the plot are killer. Literally. One of our writers died from excitement when he opened the e-mail and started reading. That’s why Dave had to call me out of the bullpen.
Q: Which character do you associate with most?
A: I have not had the chance to write a lot of the characters yet, so I really don’t have any association with them yet. I do have an affinity for Rachel and Jacob as they were the first two characters I got to write. The town of Wormwood itself fascinates me. I would really like to explore using the town as less a background piece and more of a character. I think there are a lot of stories to be about the town.
Q: Are there any characters you are struggling to understand?
A: Not really, I think all of the writers are pretty clever people and have an idea of who each character is and how they fit within the Wormwood universe.
Q: What aspects of the project and/or Wormwood do you find the most compelling?
A: I love the writing staff and the collaborative process we use. Within the collaborative process every writer has a voice and different ideas of where the story should go. We have mapped out where we want to go with the story, but the journey is quite a different thing. The map is there, but we have left the story line fluid enough to be able to change course if another great idea is presented.
Q: Within the project of Wormwood, what do you find the most challenging?
A: The biggest challenge is writing the episode themselves. Each writer writes an entire episode not a story line, so what you have is a different point of view and take on a character every episode. You have to be true to the character, to yourself as a writer and true to the writer of the previous episode while taking into account the next person on the next episode. It’s very exciting and fun but a little frustrating at times.
Q: Within the project of Wormwood, what do you find the most rewarding?
A: Working with the writers has been the most rewarding part so far. I have learned a lot a short time. Another part of the process I love is when stray comment from one of the writers will inspire someone to take the story to a completely different place. It’s like a light bulb went off and all of a sudden all of us are running for the laptops. It’s fun.
Q: What do you think about the added content on the website?
A: I love the content on the website. Some of the most original stuff is there now. The guy who wrote “John and Jack: A Tale of Twins” is freaking brilliant. He also wrote another American Masterpiece, “Rachel’s Decision.” Just simply inspiring stuff. Makes me want to be a better human being, he does. The other pieces are good too. [Editor’s Note: Mr. Allspaw’s opinions are not necessarily those of the Wormwood Staff – ha! Take that!]
Q: With the collaborative process of writing the story, you have six writers now, what do you find to be the most rewarding of this style and what do you find to be the most challenging?
A: The most challenging part of having six writers, six clever writers, is that all of your ideas will not be met with universal appeal. Each of us has a vision of what Wormwood is. Some of the visions don’t line up precisely, and that is a fantastic thing. When you have competing ideas and competing voices, it makes for a better story and better plots.
Q: Where do you see the project heading?
A: God, I hope to TV, I gotta get out of this cubicle. Actually I really hope this gets picked up by a network. I think, ultimately, Wormwood would be a great TV show. Fox and the CW would be good as they will a show some latitude to develop an audience. The three other networks will cancel if you don’t have an immediate following. I know the show will be accessible to all viewers.
Q: Give us a hint, what’s one thing you can reveal?
A: Not a whole heck of a lot. You should have seen the stack of confidentiality agreements they had me sign. It’s like working in the Vice-President’s office. All I know is that someone dies, someone falls in love and someone is snarky. And that’s just the staff… imagine what the show will be like.
Q: What are some of your influences?
A: A bunch of authors, comic books and TV shows.
Q: Share a little about you past writing projects and education. Any awards or publications?
A: Nope, can’t say… confidentiality agreement. I have not worked on any other writing project (I was told to say that). Although I do have a degree in Journalism from California State University Northridge.
Q: What made you want to write?
A: I always liked to write even though it is chore to get the words out of me every now and again. Thank you, laptops. Makes typing that much easier.
Q: Is there anything you wanted to add to let the fan base know more about you?
A: Just this: Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!