Author(ish) Podcast Episode 03 – Interview with Screenplay Writer, Director, and Author Kevin O’Neill

In today’s episode, Dana and Amy interview Kevin O’Neill.

Kevin is an award-winning film director, screenwriter, and producer who has been writing and directing short films for the last sixteen years. His films have been nominated for 89 awards and have won 59. Many of his film scripts are inspired by real stories from his past.

Kevin has also written six feature film scripts that range from comedy to drama to coming-of-age, and he is currently pitching two of his television series in LA, “Grace’s Diner” and “Gone Dark,” which he co-wrote.

Prior to his current work, Kevin was an actor in LA. He’s been sharing his passion and knowledge of the craft by teaching acting in schools for the last thirty years. He also has been a Course Director at Full Sail University in Orlando for sixteen years, where he teaches and mentors Directing students in the bachelor’s program.

If that wasn’t enough of a bio, he is also the author of a new amazing autobiography, Saving the Little Guy.

In this interview we discuss:

  • Memoir versus autobiography
  • Writing with brevity
  • When writing a memoir or autobiography, pick a theme and include content that supports it
  • How to maintain mystery in writing
  • How to come up with a great hook
  • Show versus telling in screenwriting and writing novels
  • What should be in a good opening scene
  • What is an inciting incident (example from the Titanic)
  • Adapting a screenplay to a novel (reverse writing) 50 Hours
  • How a ticking time clock can create tension
  • Giving a character goals, conflict, and agency (example from Breaking Bad)
  • The Artists Way a resource
  • You can find out more about Kevin at his website.

BONUS: If any listener purchases Kevin’s book and sends him an email to prove it with Author(ish) in the subject line, he’ll send you three of his favorite short films: Resemblance, Undertaking, and Man in the Woods.

You can email him at

Head on over to Twitter, and let’s continue the conversation about the similarities and differences in screenplay writing versus writing a novel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s