The Brother Roars and More

2013 was a great year on a number of levels. theBROTHERposterYes, The Brother roars and more. This short film, that I co-wrote and co-produced with Michael Stevantoni, my grandson, had its premiere in January. After that, it was selected for a number of film festivals. Michael won the Director’s Prize at the Green Mountain Film Festival in Vermont. He also won Best High School Drama at the Independent Student Film Festival Hollywood and received a Film of Merit at the Route 66 International Film Festival, Springfield, Illinois

This past year, we worked together on another short film, It Is What It Is, currently in post-production, meaning Michael is now busy editing. Anyone involved in film-making knows producing a film is not a smooth road. There are unexpected bumps along the way. Lighting issues, location headaches, and human error

James Kay in IT IS WHAT IT IS

James Kay in IT IS WHAT IT IS

can cause many a sleepless night. But you don’t give up. You find a way. Passion keeps a project afloat, even when unexpected problems surface.

Which brings me to my novel. For the past year or two, I’ve been pitching my novel to various agents—and tweaking it as well—while trying to get it out the traditional way. For those of you who know, I’ve been agented before for my screenplays, so I know the value of having an agent, even though none of mine ever sold. This time around though, I got some interest in my story but no bites. So, after much agonizing, I’ve decided to self-publish. My novel is currently sitting on a copy editor’s desk in New York and I’ve put out a request for a book cover design from someone highly regarded by a number of authors. My plan is to publish this spring. So, within the next month of two, I’ll let you know my progress, title, etc. It’s a story I’ve labored over, a story I fell in love with as I wrote it.

As well, I’m only a couple of chapters short of a first draft of my grandmother’s story, a chapter of which has already been published in Escape, an anthology. And I have plans to revisit an earlier novel, set largely on a psychiatric ward. It was one that I adapted from a screenplay I wrote, one that got me an agent.

As usual, I have many irons in the fire…from poetry, to a stage play, to short stories and children’s books. Daughter Karen and I also hope to write a book together about her incredible and courageous journey, not to be divulged just yet. All I need is time and the will to persevere.

Again, I’m reminded of how one gets things done by watching my grandson at work. It’s the fire in one’s belly that keeps projects alive. So far, mine is far from being extinguished.

Wishing you all a joyous new year! And may you be surrounded by love and the promise of better things to come.


8 thoughts on “The Brother Roars and More

    1. Diana Stevan

      Julia, thanks for the good wishes. I’ll keep plugging. ’cause that’s what it’s all about. Like that comment of yours. When anyone asked my mother how she was doing, she’d answer, “Still plugging.” :)

  1. Rum Punch Drunk

    Congratulations to you and Michael for the film you co-wrote/produced. It’s doing really well and you both must be feeling great about it. I can just imagine how much work goes into making a film because sometimes when I buy a DVD I like to look at the Special Features which contain a commentary of how the film was made. They do so much behind the scenes stuff. So well done.

    All the best with publishing your novel this spring. So many people have various issues with agents or getting their books off the ground, so maybe self-publishing is the way to go.

    This year seems to be sewn up for you. You’ve got so many things on the boil but I know you have the drive to complete them. I’m tired already and it’s only January.
    Rum Punch Drunk recently posted…You Poor Thing!My Profile

  2. Marylin Warner

    This is a wonderful post, Diana! Congratulations to you and your son and the success of THE BROTHER. The talent in your family–and your ability to work together–is terrific, and the project you and Karen work on will be wonderful. And with your novel waiting for cover art and being self-published makes it complete.
    Add that to your grandmother’s story, and it’s staggering. The very best to you and all the projects!
    Marylin Warner recently posted…FYI ~ JANUARYMy Profile

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Thanks, Marylin. Michael is my grandson, so it’s been so sweet working with him. We’ve done four short films together. I say short, but they take a lot of time to put together. Prep., production, and then post. It hasn’t been without its stresses but then again, I don’t know of any project worth doing that doesn’t have some bumps along the way.

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