Toni Dianne Holm
As a female writer of diversity, it's been encouraging to see both my gender, my ethnic group, and age represented more onscreen and behind the scenes. My ability to broaden that presence comes from diverse life experiences. I grew up in small southern towns but moved to the city to put myself through college. I've worked in jobs as generic as a bank teller and as creative as a lifeguard at the Magic Kingdom. I come from a military family of Southern descent but was raised in California because my mother wanted her kids to experience more freedoms than she'd grown up within Alabama. It's these elements of my history that I try to weave together to create stories that resonate with me as a 21st-century woman.
When I think of what I bring to my writing that is unique to my experiences, there are two main things that come to mind. One is my own experience growing up in a very Southern female, multi-generational diverse family. My great grandmother, grandmother, and mother guided my diversity of experiences through the lens of a farmer, a runway model, and a secretary who could stretch a dollar to feed the neighbors. Over time that changed, but in those early years, that sense of being so self-reliant as females being so different gave me a strong desire to write material that not only shows what diversity looks like but also peels away the facades we put up to hide what being different, in any way, really feels like.
The list of television shows I've watched is almost too long to be admitted in public, but of all the different dramas I've been a fan of, the one that most fueled my desire to write television was "Star Trek, The Original Series. "The story arc of chasing adventures in space while honoring the Prime Directive was a year-long roller coaster that exemplified the kind of involving storytelling I strive to write.
I met Gene Rodenberry at a featured Bloopers of "Star Trek" several years earlier. Star Trek was one of the most popular and influential TV shows in history. Gene Rodenberry introduced philosophy into Star Trek that played out in every episode: Spock represented the intellect, a kind of Sherlock Holmes in outer space. Dr. Bones McCoy represented emotions, but the irony--as a doctor, he was a man of science who practically weeps in every episode. Captain Kirk, the main character, was highly intelligent, but also more empathetic than Spock. The synthesis of Spock and Bones was Captain Kirk. He had the right blend of intellect and emotion to deal effectively with human beings and solve human problems.
This is Catherine Cole, the main character of Vagabonds & Rogues. Instead of outer space, every episode plays out in discovering the holy science of the cosmos beyond death and showing how it plays out in every human emotion on Earth. Catherine honors her own Prime Directive: the human has free will to choose. The embedded concept of this idea, the embedded message in every episode is the synthesis of how we should live.
Current writing: a nonfiction book - The Holy Science of How Should We Live
Novel - Beenya Soul (Literary Fiction/Magical Realism)
TV Pilot Script - Vagabonds & Rogues (Drama/Fantasy)
Screenplay - The Cosmic Order Bride (Romantic Comedy/Magical Realism)