Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest Daniel L. Rappaport Director of Creation of Pazzaria Productions, a cutting edge fantasy entertainment company. Daniel has over 25 years of digital media experience. He has worked on projects for such high profile studios as MGM, and FOX. He is the recipient of the Leica Photographie International Master Shot Gallery Acceptance, as well as he worked on the film Wild, that went on to receive two Academy Award Nominations.
One of the flagship products of Pazzaria is an interactive fantasy novel called The Legend of the Lost Rose.
Norm: Good day Daniel and thanks for participating in our interview.
Daniel: My pleasure. Thank you.
Why do you write and what keeps you going?
Daniel: I write because I have something to say. My books aren’t just “surface” fairy tales. I have always been attracted to the fantasy medium ever since I can remember. I think that if such themes as universal acceptance are delivered, without being preachy, with touch of magic, then I have done my job.
Norm: What has been your greatest challenge (professionally) that you’ve overcome in getting to where you’re at today?
Daniel: I am the Director of Creation at Pazzaria Productions. At the moment, at our core, I am a one man band. Indeed, I do temporarily hire for short term work, and I don’t want to forget one of my strongest partners in crime, my illustrator - Patricia Gresham, who has pretty much been with me sine the start. But, everything else, I do myself. This includes writing the books, doing the graphics, writing the music, etc…
You asked me what my biggest challenge was.
For me, it has been getting to the point where I truly understand marketing. It took me the longest time to figure out that even though the internet is huge, and vast, merely putting up your website (no matter how good your on page SEO is) and hoping that people will just organically come, really never happens.
You need to drive folks there. How? Through a ton of study, classes, meeting with folks at the Small Business Administration, etc…, I think that I finally have a consistent marketing plan into place, of which, I actually know how, and can see it working.
Norm: What is Pazzaria Productions and what is your role as Director of Creation in the company?
Daniel: I believe that this is answered best as per information from my website:
About: Pazzaria Productions is a cutting edge fantasy entertainment company, and we have been making dreams come true since 2007. We see the art of producing entertainment as a much more immersive experience than what has been done in the past. With our multi-layered, heartwarming, epic, fantasy stories coupled with our top quality merchandise, and high technology, we are positioned to now bring ourselves into the gaming and live entertainment arenas in a way that was never thought possible.
Mission Statement: Everything that a guest sees, eats, buys, touches, does, wears, etc..., all has to do with their own personal adventure within our world.
In terms of my role as Director of Creation, a bit of that was answered in the previous question. I would like to add a bit more detail. Pazzaria Productions is entirely my own creation. My role is seeing that everything gets done, online, and out into the public view.
Much of what I am putting out there has really stemmed from trying to answer the question:
“In terms of the production thrust of the entertainment industry today, how can I make what I am putting together more engaging, immersive and interactive?”
Norm: Why have you been drawn to writing fantasy? As a follow up, are there aesthetic advantages and disadvantages peculiar to fantasy writing? Does it have a form?
Daniel: I am drawn to writing fantasy because, for me at least, it takes the mind away. Flying unicorns, faeries, flying frogs, talking dogs, Poseidon, etc… brings me to another place, away from everyday life.
In terms of your question about aesthetic advantages and disadvantages, I am no judge. I would like to leave that to my guests.
Does it have a form? Absolutely. Then again, most good writing does have a form. Is there a form that is particular to fantasy? I am not sure about that. There are so many different kinds of fantasy out there. As long as each unit (book, film, theme park attraction, etc…) has a strong beginning, middle and end, then it has the potential to be enjoyable.
There are theories out there - such as The Heroe’s Journey. In a way, it’s like any other great art. If you know the rules, you can then break and bend them to create something that is more than the sum of it’s parts.
Norm: Do you have a theme, message, or goal for your books?
Daniel: I am glad that you asked that! I do, I do! Spark the Flying Frog is the prequel to The Legend of the Lost Rose, and showcases where Spark came from.
The Legend of the Lost Rose more attends to your question. My message is that of acceptance. Spark happens to be gay.
The backbone religion of their planet of LIGHT is Wicca. I want to show that anyone can do great and marvelous things, no matter how insignificant they think that they might be. As well, thanks to a very major religion on our planet, Wicca has largely been seen as devil’s work. I am not denying that devil worship exists. Unfortunately it does. However, it is vastly different than Wicca. Wicca is a very positive force on this planet.
Norm: What served as the primary inspiration for The Legend of the Lost Rose and what would you say is the best reason to recommend someone to read the book?
Daniel: Well, Norm. I tell ya. One day, I was browsing around a really amazing and artsy independent book store in Santa Monica.
They have become a cultural phenomenon, and for those of you familiar with the area, you know where I am talking about. A fantasy clip art book caught my eye
As I was flipping through the pages, a story sprang to life in my mind! That, in addition to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, Carroll, Shakespeare, Greek and Roman myths as well as many other influences all contributed to the story.
What is the best reason to recommend someone to read the book?
I really want to go back to the central themes, here. If you are a parent looking for a positive lesson to teach your kids, then my work hits that target. With that being said, it really is for everyone ages 1-101.
Norm: Could you briefly tell our readers about the book?
Daniel: The Legend of the Lost Rose is about a very humble hermit of a flying frog named Spark. This isn’t the flying frog from the Earth’s rain forests. It’s a frog with wings. He lives in a small, three storied lake-pond hole in the ground, and is a multi-media artist. His fair planet called LIGHT is dying. The story gets it’s name because there is a gigantic rose that sits on the top, northernmost part of the planet, with it’s roots stretching all of the way around the planet, giving it life.
It’s a bit of a conspiracy theory, because in order find it, you already have to know where it is. It also isn’t visible to the naked eye.
The flowers dying, so one theory is that the planet is dying along with it.
Another theory is that there is a gigantic, dragon-like creature called The Apovil. He’s basically a shape shifting dragon with Medusa-like snakes on his head. He is crashing through whole towns, destroying them. There is a very strong belief that he is the reason for LIGHT’s impending doom.
Little does Spark know that he is an inextricable link to saving LIGHT. Can he? What happens?
You will have to read the book in order to find out!
Norm: What were the most difficult challenges in writing the book and how did you overcome these difficulties?
Daniel: I have to say that I don’t get writer’s block very often. I will provide one key to fixing it. After you have written however much part of our work (1/4, 1/2 etc…), break it a part. Really tear things up! Then, spend the rest of the work putting all of the pieces back together again.
I honestly didn’t want to sit there, and mull over every last detail. Is this right? Is that right? Is this fitting together? What will my audience think if I do, or do not include this or that?
I know what I wanted to say, so I said it. I am very confident that my stories hold together.
Am I saying that you shouldn’t get an editor? Absolutely not. The book went through four. What I learned from that experience is that, with spelling and grammar, you ask four different people, and you get four different answers!
Call it 80% done, right? Otherwise, you suffer from analysis paralysis.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and The Legend of the Lost Rose?
Daniel: ABOUT ME
Norm: What are your plans for future projects? We would love to hear about them.
Daniel: Indeed. The Legend of the Lost Rose is part of The Legend of series. I have The Legend of the Wizard Coven and The Legend of the Lost Oberon. They will not be books. That is all that I am going to say about those, as they are more longer term plans.
For the more immediate future, I am planning on a pop-up style fully interactive world that will take it’s place from “The Legend of the Lost Rose’s Chapter 9: Renaissance Towns Galore!”.
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Daniel: Wow. I am humbled. We have covered a lot of ground, here. While I appreciate this option, I would like to hear form my audience. What do you have to say?
Thank you again, Norm. It was a true pleasure!