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Theatre Professor Brings the Written Word to Life

“I really began to seriously explore the craft of telling stories in the spring and summer of 2012 during a sabbatical where I was charged with adapting a screenplay,” Konrad Winters, Associate Professor in Communications and Theatre Arts, explained. Although Winters moved to Virginia from Texas to pursue his career in theatre design at Old Dominion University in the eighties, he also helped to develop a film program in the nineties.

"I turned my screenplay, Return to Paradise, which takes place in both Iraq and a small town in Virginia, into a stage play." From there, Winter dove into writing, and he began to really enjoy taking the written word and bringing it to life on stage and screen.

In 2015, he undertook a collaborative project with his wife Angela and some students called Narcissus, the Ultimate Selfie. “It was a fantastical romp through Greek mythology that centered on the concepts of narcissism in contemporary society. The creation of this new work, the collaboration with Angela, and the many student designers at ODU, helped me understand as an author the value and impact of the written word.”

His advice for new writers, “find someone you trust to be brutally honest with you when they critically evaluate your work. Sure it hurts, but I learned a long time ago that if you want to be a writer, you have to grow a thick skin. Another reason why I joined the Muse, a writing center in Norfolk, as a student, I’ve learned a lot over the years and I offer credit to the guidance of Michael Kandelwhal, Executive Director at the Muse, for that.”

He says he draws inspiration from the ocean, also from conversations with his fellow students at the Muse, and from dreams. His recent flash fiction. featured in Penultimate Peanut's fourth issue, was “based on a dream I had several years ago, and as dreams go for many of us, I can’t say I fully understand the implications of the imagery it offers the reader. However, each time I study it I gain a greater understanding of it. It was my first foray into the genre of flash fiction.”

When he's not writing, Winters enjoys reading the works of contemporary writers whose complex plots and character descriptions continue to fascinate him. Works by authors like JK Rowling or John Le Carrre, because life is too short for boring fiction, Winters explained. Check out what the fascinating K. Winters is up to on his facebook page or read his latest work “Angels in the Forest” in PPM's fourth issue.

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