Joel Eisenberg is a writer and producer who co-founded All Cities Media Group. He wrote The Chronicles of Ara and produced the film April Showers: here is a link to the all cities website:
Q: What is The Chronicles of Ara about?
A: What happens when we discover that all of the world’s creation has been inspired by a corrupted muse? When a mysterious code is deciphered deep within the texts of some of history’s darker masterworks, warning of an imminent return to dragon-scorched earth, one man must convince a skeptical world of this tragic “endgame” before it’s too late. Only he is assured, and correctly so, of thefind’s validity …Supporting characters in this 8-volume epic fantasy series include Mary Shelley,Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Verne, William Shakespeare and many more.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
A: I have long been fascinated by the concepts of artistic inspiration and influence. Art can change lives. I reverse-engineered the concept of “artistic creation” to attempt a study of its origins – within a fantasy framework. Also, to me, regarding the artists as listed above: As authors, they tended to troll their own “primality” a bit more than most. In other words, as many of these specific writers were inspired by the “dark,” they peeked into man’sbleaker nature and often confronted uncomfortable truths – about themselves and humanity, in general.
We study this idea in our series …
Q: You wrote a book called “Aunt Bessie’s How To Survive A Day Job While Pursuing The Creative Life. which contains interviews with successful people including Tom Cruise and Clive Barker. What inspired you to put the anthology together?
A: I worked over 100 day jobs (teacher, telemarketer, insurance salesman, etc.) some for days – before I was able to make my living as a writer. I was frustrated, and needed a mentor. I reached out to celebrities through book signings and emails, and was shocked at the response. Most of the people I reached out to agreed to be interviewed.
Q: What do you think is the most inspiring story in the book?
A: Personally, I’ve always been partial to author Clive Barker in this book. He was on the dole in England, put writer (poet) on his papers so he could collect, knowing he wouldn’t get a job. Ultimately, he made it. Why is this inspiring to me? Because he knew he was an artist from the beginning and never waivered. In fact, when I approached him, he said, “I’ll do it under one proviso. That you understand from the beginning I’ve never worked a day job.” He was the only one in the book who had not. I found his extreme sense of identity from early on very inspiring.
Q: My day job as a customer service rep for a company that gives high interest loans to students at colleges with low standards make me want to take a leap off the Vista; how can I use it to advance my creative work?
A: You very simply need to do it. There is no magic bullet. John Grisham worked full-time as an attorney yet still made time to write. Everyone has excuses -the kids, work – but those people that work their passions (as opposed toworking “on” their passions) in their spare time are frequently the ones who succeed.
Q: What is April Showers about?
A: A film about the Columbine school shooting tragedy, written and directed by a survivor of the event.
Q: How is it different from other films that have been inspired by Columbine?
A: Mainly, it was written and directed by a survivor – who lost one of his close friends in the shooting. The writer/director’s name is Andrew Robinson. I am very proud of that film.
Q: What is All Cities Media Group?
A: A group I co-founded about ten years ago to level the playing field between artists and finance. We have been hosted by Paramount Studios and Warner Brothers for a few years, Sunset Gower Studios, various law firms, and so on.The All Cities Media Group is a subgroup of The All Cities Network, anorganization founded by my friend Eric Shaw over 20 years ago, a professional networking organization for finance and real estate professionals.
Q: What qualifies someone to join ACMG?
A: You would need to have one published work, one film in distribution, a song published, etc. The group is primarily for established professionals. What I do outside of this group in networking terms, for those who are not yetestablished, is speak around the country about networking. Remember, I used tobe a teacher so this comes naturally to me and I’m happy to do it.
Q: What would you change about Hollywood?
A: Here’s my thoughts on Hollywood which says it all: “Everything in this business is bullshit until the check clears.”
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)