Screenwriter, Speaker, Author, and Forensic Specialist, Jennifer Dochbush has now taken her time to be an interviewee in order to answer my questions. Get to know her and read why you should see God Bless the Broken Road as soon as you can.
1. What is the genesis of God Bless the Broken Road?
God Bless the Broken Road (GBBR) actually began as a feature film script. My friend and director, Harold Cronk, who is best known for the God’s Not Dead movies, called me one fine summer evening. He pitched me the seed of the idea and asked what I thought? I said I thought it sounded like a solid story. And then he asked if I wanted to write it with him. Of course, I said yes.
We finished the first draft of the script on Christmas Eve, 2014. Over the course of the next year we refined it while the producers rallied the funds. In the spring of 2016 Harold shot God Bless the Broken Road.
A few months earlier, as we finished the script version, I talked with the producers about penning a novel version. They thought it would be a great idea. So my agent put a pitch together and while we were filming I quickly wrote the first three chapters. Within two weeks we had a couple contracts. We happily chose Simon & Schuster. I spent the summer of 2016 scribing the novel. It released a year later in June, 2017. The film released the following September, 2018. This gives you a small taste of how long it can take for a project to come to fruition.
2. Which writer/s inspired you to become a screenwriter?
I’ve known since before I could understand it, that I was a writer. I was that kid who was creating plays and forcing their sisters and friends to act in them. This was my “play time.” There was no person or thing that influenced me at this young age. As a kid, I was inspired by story in general… I read and read. I attended professional theater. I watched film and TV. I took it all in. I can’t say there was just one writer, book, or film that inspired me… I went wading into the sea of story and never got out.
3. How was your overall experience working with Mr. Harold Cronk on God Bless the Broken Road?
We’ve been friends for a long time so the creative process was pretty seamless. We have very similar story sensibilities.
4. What was your writing schedule when you write a novel and/or screenplay?
Writing is my day job. So, I treat it like a day job. I work business hours and I set and meet goals and deadlines. I use an 80/20 rule. 80% of the time I’m doing what I do best- create! 20% of the time I manage the business side- taking meetings, making new contacts, marketing, responding to emails, connecting with my audience, and all the other tasks an entrepreneur must do maintain a business.
5. On average, how many draft scripts do you find yourself writing until you are happy and satisfied with your work?
I actually don’t count. I just work until it the project sings… and sells.
6. How was it like to see Lindsay Pulsipher, Robin Givens, or Jordin Sparks speaking the words that you wrote?
It’s a funny thing… people who aren’t in screenwriting think it’s like writing a play—all dialogue. But it’s so much more. It’s crafting a whole story, a whole world—with description and tone and nuance. So, it’s not just that the actors are speaking my dialogue… it’s that they’re interpreting the story that I created. And you have to credit the art department for creating that world… and the wardrobe, make up, sound, and lighting for filling it in… and the director for bringing life to it. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to see the story that was in your head unfold in front of you live and in 3D!
7. What piece of advice do you have for screenwriters starting out?
Have patience. Have perseverance. Have a real life.
8. What was your favorite book when you were a kid? Do you have a favorite book now?
I have so many… I can’t choose just one. My tastes vary a lot. Like I said, I went swimming in the sea of story and never got out.
9. Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get back on track?
I guess that depends on what is the definition of Writer’s Block? Do I have those days when I feel stuck and muddy and don’t get much done? Of course. That’s part of the job. Do I even not know what to write about? Never. I think the best tool for a writer is to cultivate the skills of listening and looking around. If you do, you’ll find there’s always fodder for story.
10. What’s your favorite line from God Bless the Broken Road?
Amber Hill: She will live in faith and joy and sacrifice--As one who is deeply, deeply loved. Because she is. And always will be. Nothing can take God's love from her.
11. Could you give us an interesting fun fact about your experience on Suits, Prison Break, Rectify, or/and White Collar.
I’ve mostly served the writers from these shows via email correspondence so there’s not too much exciting to reveal. They work with me when they have forensic related questions.
12. What book have you read that has most influence in your life?
The Bible. I’ve been reading it over and over and over since I was a kid. It never gets old and it always guides me and surprises me.
13. What do you currently do as a hobby?
Hobby? Who has time!?! When I get a moment, I like to run, hike, yoga, read, bake, spend time with friends, and travel. I’m also addicted to the Weather Channel.
14. Could you give a sneak peek on your next projects?
I never have just one project going at a time… I’m also spinning many plates… here are a few of the dishes I’m working on…
1)I finished scribing a mystery/thriller novel called Hole in the Woods based on true crime story that I’ve followed for 25 years. We have several publishers waiting to see it. Fingers crossed!
2) I’ve just finished a TV pilot called Prey based on the real life experiences of a group of nuns who pose as prostitutes to save sex trafficked victims. Now we have to go pitch it and try to sell it!
3) And I’ve been pitching my novel, The Coroner, as a TV series. We have some solid interest so it will be interesting to see what unfolds in 2019 with that project. The second Coroner novel also releases in fall, 2019.
15. (Fill in the blank question): The furthest I have traveled is in my imagination.
It travels a lot more than I do!
16. Last questions, what is your favorite commercial? Any with dachshunds.
What commercial annoys you the most? Anything regarding pharmaceuticals. They all threaten severe illness or death. Truthfully, I fast forward commercials or watch streaming. I can’t stand them. I even flip the radio station when a commercial comes on.
My great appreciation for Ms. Jennifer Dochbush for this blog interview. If you want to know more about her and her projects, just visit her website:https://www.jenniferdornbush.com/ If you want to read the novelization of God Bless the Broken Road just click the title itself. You can definitely get a copy of the film by clicking this link: Amazon.com. Don't miss out on an inspirational and noteworthy movie. Take care and thank you for vising my blog. I hope you come again to read more posting.