Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Interview with.....Paul McCusker!

I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for this review.  Just a few minutes ago Paul McCusker emailed me back the answers to the questions I sent him.  Enjoy!

1. What is your favourite show that you have written?
That's impossible for me to answer, since there have been so many over the past 25 years. And every script presents its own challenges and enjoyments. Many I've completely forgotten. But I suppose The Green Ring Conspiracy was particularly enjoyable for me, over the more recent episodes.

2. What is your favourite book that you have written?
I suppose the answers to this question is the same as the previous. Every book is unique - and there are things about writing one that I may enjoy and other things that can be hard-going. But I have affection for the various novels, both in the Odyssey series and the Passages series.

3. What is the most challenging show that you have written?
I think the most challenging shows tend to be the ones where a lot of research is needed. The historical shows come immediately to mind. But some of the mysteries present their own difficulties. The "glass" mystery needed quite a bit of research to try to get it right. As did The Green Ring Conspiracy" and "The Labyrinth."

4. How did you start working on AIO?
I was working at another ministry with Chuck Bolte, who later became the Executive Producer for Odyssey. He had been consulting with Focus on the Family on some "new" audio dramas they wanted to produce. It was the predecessor to Odyssey called "Family Portraits." He said they were looking for writers and wanted to know if I was interested in that at all. I said I didn't know anything about audio dramas, but thought it would be a good experience to try. I wound up writing "My Brother's Keeper" - and that's where it started.

5. If you could have anything happen in the Odyssey universe, what would it be?
That's a really hard question. Right now I wish we had more time to spend with all the characters and to explore that various inventions Whit has created.

6. What is the most fun part  of working for AIO?
The writing process is hard work, but fun. All in all, I'd have to say it's working with the actors in the studio when we record the scripts.

7. Are you planning on making any more Passages books?
We occasionally talk about doing more Passages novels, but nothing has materialized yet. We're really busy with a lot of other projects at the moment.

8. What was your inspiration for the Passages books.
I don't remember where the original inspiration came from. It might have been something I'd read or seen - where someone had created a modern version of a classic story, or an alternative reality of some sort. But, like Whit, I had the desire to make the Bible more accessible to more people and thought re-telling the stories in an alternative universe would be a good way to do it.

9. How was it like playing Phillip Glossman? 
I'm not an actor, so I'm not happy with any of the voice-work I've done on the show. I always think that there are a lot of other people who could do the job so much better than I could.

10.  How are you like or unlike Phillip Glossman?
Since I don't have a variety of voices, the Philip Glossman voice is mine, but with a weaselly, sniveling, sarcastic attitude. Other than that, I don't think I'm like Philip Glossman at all. I can't imagine thinking, behaving nor making the kinds of bad moral choices he made.

11. Are you currently working on something?  A new book perhaps?
I've recently finished a screenplay. And I've written an annotated version of "The Screwtape Letters" for HarperOne.

12. Is it hard to agree on different ideas for Odyssey?
Most ideas aren't hard to agree on, if they fit the world of Odyssey, have compelling storylines and a solid theme. Any disagreements are usually over those issues. Occasionally we might argue over something a character may or may not do.

13. Will Philip Glossman ever be coming back?
No. We last heard from him in a small cameo part in Album 50 - and I think that's more than enough.

All the best,
Paul McCusker


  1. Great interview! I always love hearing from Paul and the rest of the AIO team. Two questions: How did you get Paul's email address? and Are you planning on doing any more interviews? I'd love to hear more from the AIO team and other fans!

    1. I got his email address from his website. I forget the link though.

  2. Awesome post. Love to hear from Paul, now and then.

  3. Cool! I asked about the email address cause I might do an interview with someone on the AIO team to post on my website. (Not Paul McCusker, though)

  4. This is great! Great job, bro!