Interview and Story by Jasmina Siderovski
Marsha Casper Cook is the host and producer for all the podcasts on Michigan Avenue Media Inc. on Blog Talk Radio for over ten years. Her shows mostly dedicated to writing and the entertainment field, including books and movies. A long list of guests is authors, publishers, directors, screenwriters, actors and marketing consultants.
With over 20 years of experience in the writing industry and the founder of Michigan Avenue Media Inc, Marsha has written 14 books, five of which are children’s and 11 feature-length screenplays and several of screenplays optioned by Production Companies. From romance and inspirational to adventure and fiction, Marsha is a seasoned author with an abundance of experience in the industry. Marsha has signatory status from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and has represented screenwriters and authors.
I had the honour to meet Marsha in 2018 introduced by a mutual friend of ours Jack Remick. A novelist, short story writer and not to mention a cherished and dear friend. Marsha invited me to be one of her guests on her famous podcast Michigan Avenue Network. She was an incredible host, receptive, warm and patient - a born people leader and entertainer. Perhaps it was sister code or author to author loyalty, what resonated the most was her soft nature and ability to listen. Her wealth of knowledge and intellect is extraordinary.
The world needs more of Marsha Casper Cook and her talent in the writing/screenplay industry.
Achievements / Awards?
- In 2019, I was a finalist in the first Academy Awards for Books for my book IT’S NEVER TOO LATE FOR LOVE and before that I had several options for my screenplays. It was exciting to have production companies interested in my work and I’m still very hopeful that one of my scripts or books will become a movie.
When and why did you decide to become an Author?
- When I was very young my school advisors thought I would be a good Journalist, but I decided on a career in Medical Technology where I worked in private labs, hospitals and finally Paediatrics. When my son was in school, I decided it might be fun to write so I went to the library every day and read book after book on how to be an author. At first it was difficult because I was teaching myself but as the years went on it became a part of my life and I began to enjoy it much more than I ever imagined. However, without my editor, Jeff Fleischer, who has been with me from the start, and my publisher, Robin Surface, from Fideli Publishing, I doubt my career would have been the same.
Can you walk us through your journey, mainly finding the motivation to write?
- I have always been motivated to write on a daily basis but there are days when I feel my writing isn’t up to par. I try to work through it by writing, writing and doing more writing but on many occasions I just start over again until I’m happy with the story I am about to tell.
What are valuable lessons you have learned along the way in the industry?
- The best lesson for me has been learning my craft to the best of my ability and not to compare myself to any other authors or screenwriters. The stories I tell are always ones I create. I love creating new characters because they become my friends and allow me to tell their story and long after they’re gone, I remember them in a fond way. They become my family.
What advice would you tell your younger writing self?
- Never say Never. You never know what you can accomplish. I have shocked myself as to the persistent person I have become.
Is there any advice you would like to offer anyone else who may be interested to pursue the same path as an author / screenwriter?
- I believe in following your dream. I have advised many writers to keep going even if it gets tough. It’s worthwhile if you enjoy something to continue reaching for the stars. If you do that there’s no limit to what might happen.
How did Michigan Avenue Network become part of your branding?
- My Publisher Robin Surface suggested that I try to get on a radio show and I immediately said I don’t think that’s for me. Then one day I saw a Facebook post to be a guest on a Radio Show for ten minutes I thought ten minutes wouldn’t be too hard, but I was wrong I was nervous and scared and almost decided not to go on, but I did. And then a few weeks later I did another show on the same network and the interviewer offered me a job on her Network Red River Radio. I surprised myself and said yes. That’s how Michigan Avenue Media started doing podcasts.
Who is your inspiration and why?
- My inspiration is living life every day and enjoying meeting new people and having conversations that make me think. That’s the joy of having a Podcast for the last ten years. My guests have made my life so much better because without my show I would have not met so many wonderful people that have become my very good friends. The enjoyment I get from doing my shows is irreplaceable.
Is there a challenge throughout your journey that stands out that may inspire others?
- The message I give new authors is to find their own style and not to be afraid of exploring new ideas. If the opportunity arises to go one step further don’t be afraid, go for it!
What is your favourite pastime when you aren’t working?
- I love movies and audio books. Lately I find myself watching TV series but sometimes if feels like work trying to get through many of the seasons. I like to finish to find out how the story ends regardless of the hours it takes. That’s the curiosity in me talking.
PODCASTS - I TUNES