Back to Jaw About Odyssey
Kathy Wierenga , writer and director for AIO, joined us on November 1, 2001 for a chat. In the hour-long chat, she discussed the Connie and Mitch, her role in the series, and what sort of episodes she'd like to see coming up. Check out the transcript below.
<AIOFG> (Q) How did you get started with Odyssey?
<Kathy_Wierenga> It was a total God-thing. I started out as a coordinator/casting person, and then they realized I had no organizational skills whatsoever.
<Kathy_Wierenga> So I had to write.
many episodes did you write for the upcoming season?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I co-wrote two shows with John and Marshal and one that's all mine.
<Kathy_Wierenga> I'm not doing as much this season because I'm working on a novel series.
<Kathy_Wierenga> Grand Opening I and II are the ones I wrote with the guys, Secrets is the name of the other one. Mysterious, huh?
<Kathy_Wierenga> And of course, they involve Connie and Mitch. That's all they let me write for these days. (:
<Kathy_Wierenga> Grand Opening is January 5 and 12, and Secrets is the 19th.
<Cash_Cow> (Q)Whats the name of the novels your writing?
<Kathy_Wierenga> The name of the first novel is Double Exposure, the second one will be either Croutons for Breakfast or I Know the Plans I Have for Me.
<AIOFG> (Q)How much
time to you spend w/ odyssey
<Kathy_Wierenga> I spend about 10 hours a week writing and 30 hours playing pranks on Paul, John and Marshal.
you write an episode do you write the scripts or just the story?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Both. But we brainstorm the story idea as a team. I add the girlie parts. There's way too much testosterone on that team.
Kathy, how would you compare writing for novels and writing for the radio?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Writing for the radio is more difficult. I can give my audience 'eyes' in the novels. On the radio, I have to be more creative.
<AIOFG> (Q) what else do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I like hiking, reading, painting, hanging out in coffee shops with friends, and an occasional skydiving jump.
<jaredwalczak> Skydiving jump? Are you joking or do you really like to do that?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I only went once. Why test my luck?
<CyberSteve> who thought of Harlow Doyle's part in Potlucks and Poetry. It's hilarious
<Kathy_Wierenga> I'll take credit for the Harlow idea. He's one of my favorite characters to write for.
are some of your favorite books?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Anything by CS Lewis, A Severe Mercy. I also like Allender and Crabb.
Do you have a favorite episode that you have written?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I liked Green Eyes because I've always wanted Connie to have a boyfriend. I get worried about her hanging out with all those old men.
Is there any episode that you wished you could have rewritten?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Pretty much all of them. After playback I never listen to them again.
<AIOFG> (Q) So do
you have "plans" for marriage with E&K and Connie and Mitch
<Kathy_Wierenga> Of course we have plans...we always have plans.
<Kathy_Wierenga> I'm still trying to decide if he's good enough for her. I' m so protective.
how soon is Eugene coming back? (You can answer it, can't
<Kathy_Wierenga> He'll come like a thief in the night....
Kathy, do you prefer writing or directing?
<Nathan_Host> (Q) Followup: And WHY? :-)
<Kathy_Wierenga> Writing. I'm still insecure about directing.
you direct any this season?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I directed Secrets.
So do you think Mitch is good enough for Connie?
<AIOFG> I like mitch
<DrBlackgaard> I don't!
<AIOFG> yes she is
<Kathy_Wierenga> Does he sound cute enough?
How old is Mitch?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Mitch is 24 1/2
<Kathy_Wierenga> And he sometimes forgets to shave
<Kathy_Wierenga> He doesn't have facial hair, just the occasional stubble.
Kathy, do people ever get your last name right when they call you on the phone?
<Kathy_Wierenga> You should have heard Chris learning how to pronounce my last name. WE did I don't know how many takes.
<Kathy_Wierenga> rarely do people get it right, but I always tell them they do.
<Kathy_Wierenga> Just think of the word "weird" and then put inga at the end. drop the "d."
<Kathy_Wierenga> WE'RE -inga
<pianoguy> so kathy, were you the young writer? i remember someone (other than nathan i thought) being 25ish?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I think I was the youngest before Nathan came on board. Always stealing the thunder that kid.
have you heard ALL of the AIO episodes before? Which one is your favorite?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I've heard them ALL, except Opportunity Knocks. Don't ask me why.
<Kathy_Wierenga> I used to do coordinating and casting.
<AIOFG> (Q) Kathy:
are you married?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I'm not married. I'm still in love with Richard Maxwell.
you know who AREM is?(you don't have to tell)
<Kathy_Wierenga> Of course I know who AREM is. Na na na na na...(:
<pianoguy> kathy, you mean, you actually know who arem is? I was kinda wondering if you were just going to play it up as a secret and then decide later who he really was!
<Kathy_Wierenga> Oh...did I say I knew who it was?
<jaredwalczak> (Q) Can you tell us this? Do we KNOW AREM already?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Maybe Arem is Tasha...hmmmm
you heard all of the unreleased AIO episodes?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Yes, I've heard all the unreleased.
do you prefer writing the intrigue type of stories (Novacom) or the slice of
life ones (Potlucks and Poetry)?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I like slice of life. My intrigue goes as far as broken window.
you create Mitch or was it a group thing?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I created him. What a great thing it is to invent my own man.
Mitch the sort of guy you would date? Since you created him and everything...
<Kathy_Wierenga> He's a little too scary for me. Wait until you hear Grand Opening.
<Kathy_Wierenga> He might have a mental disorder. I'm not sure.
have you ever been to the town hall? (http://www.switchflood.com/Reviews/townhall/index.htm)
<Kathy_Wierenga> Yes. I've been there. I like the decor.
you seen any of the AIO fan sites besides this one?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Yes, I've been to the other sites, but nathan's is the one that's nicest to me.
you going to answer any questions about AIO spin-off for older listeners?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I think a spin-off mini-series would be cool. Just for a summer season or something. Go into some deeper more controversial issues.
<Glossman> Have you
seen AIO survivor?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I'm actually in the process of working on Survival in Odyssey.
<Nathan_Host> (Q) Want to give us any details on Survival in Odyssey?
<Cash_Cow> (Q)Is Survival in Odyssey going to be just a thing for Odyssey staff or is it
<Kathy_Wierenga> It'll be released, but not until the whole Novacom saga is over.
<Kathy_Wierenga> Um...by Survival we mean like the being trapped on the island kind of thing.
How long have you been a Christian?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I've been a Christian since I was six, but I probably didn't understand what it all meant until I was 13.
Kathy, what is the easiest part of writing for you?
<Nathan_Host> First draft?
<Kathy_Wierenga> First draft. Definitely. I hate all the re-write stuff.
<Kathy_Wierenga> I'm not a perfectionist.
<Nathan_Host> (Q) So are the subsequent drafts the hardest part?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Yeah. I'm excited during the first draft, but then I get tired of it after the second one.
i was wondering which you meant. :) what kind of dreams do you have, if you
don't mind saying?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I'd like to travel around the world, get married, and create my own line of designer floss.
<Kathy_Wierenga> Not in that order.
<Kathy_Wierenga> This past spring I went on a European flossing tour and have pictures of myself flossing in seven different countries. Now that should be on the ADA website.
<pianoguy> are all
serious fans of aio weird people?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Yes, we're all weird, but in the most charming way.
you have any website about yourself?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Nope. That would be scary.
you have a favorite movie?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I really liked Shawshank Redemption, Life Is Beautiful and Braveheart.
which ofthe aio characters are most like you?
<Kathy_Wierenga> I'm not sure which characters. But I like Bernard alot and I wish I were as smart as Whit--but glad I'm not as chubby.
<Kathy_Wierenga> One my dream shows for Odyssey is to put Whit on a diet.
<Kathy_Wierenga> I' ve tried to set it up by having him eating Twinkies in all my shows, but that part always gets taken out for some reason.
<pianoguy> i always imagined whit as being pretty fit, actually. cuz he sometimes does that cloak and dagger stuff
<Kathy_Wierenga> Well, he's kind of let himself go in the past few seasons.
<Glossman> Are there
going to be any more Blackgaard-like shows after Novacom?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Blackgaard is DEAD. GONE. DECOMPOSING as we speak.
<Glossman> (Q) Are
there going to be any more Blackgaard like series after Novacom?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Yes. Whit's diet show series.
<Nathan_Host> Blackgaard challenges Whit to a diet match!
<Kathy_Wierenga> Twinkies versus the Oatmeal Cream Pies.
have you ever met the man that acts for Dr Blackgaard, and Edwin?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Yes, he's a very interesting person--but a lot of fun to direct. Very, very talented.
<DrBlackgaard> what do you mean by interesting... in he as creepy as Dr. Blackgaard?
<Kathy_Wierenga> Nope, not creepy. A nice man.
I need to sign off, but everyone please write to Paul and tell him that Whit
should go on a diet and Clara should return as an adult,.
<Kathy_Wierenga> She'd be way fun.
for joining us Kathy!
<Nathan_Host> It was fun.
<Kathy_Wierenga> Thanks, everyone. I so much enjoyed chatting with you! Bye!