What would you like readers to know about you as an introduction?
My name is Shane Paul Rockenstein (yes, that’s what the P.R. stands for) Carlson. I am 14 years old, going into my freshman year of high school, and I live in Camarillo, CA. I have many, many hobbies, some of which are playing piano, playing guitar, playing ukulele, playing harmonica, singing, acting, reading, watching (good) movies, swimming, golfing, playing hockey, and filming short films. In fact, I want to become a (film) director when I grow up.
Describe your piece or pieces that were published in Dancing With The Pen II.
It’s very funny how different my story is now than when I first wrote it. It was initially more of a horror story, but now it’s sort of like the movie “Stand By Me.” I got the idea from a story I heard on the Internet. My initial story was similar to the story on the Internet, and then I changed it and made it my own. My story was about two kids having a sleepover being haunted by someone in the forest nearby. I had to change it since it was a bit too dark. Just a wee bit.
Have you been writing for a long time? What do you like about writing?
I’ve been writing for a very long time. I used to write scripts for movies on my mom’s computer. I actually started writing more-or-less professionally in the fourth grade, when I was 10. I wrote a story about pirates. It was essentially Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl verbatim. I love writing because I love creating characters and stories and worlds. It’s amazing to see a story that I’ve written completed so others can see it and experience my creations.
What does it mean to you to have your piece included in this book? What was it like to get the news?
This is my very first publication. I am so excited for people to read what I’ve written for the first time. Hopefully there will be many more stories of mine for people to read very soon! Getting the news was great. I was excited. I didn't really have time to do anything to celebrate, though, since I’ve basically been acting in show after show for the past three years.
Do you have any advice for other writers, or for other young people going after their dreams?
Just keep doing what you’re doing. If someone tells you, “You can’t be in the film industry! Don’t you realize how slim a chance there is for you to get in?” or something like that, just ignore it. Though it’s true that it’s hard to get noticed in an industry like the film industry, don’t let naysayers stop you from achieving your dreams. It’s like my mom says, “If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.” Stephen Spielberg, one of the greatest directors of all time, got into the industry by staying in the bathroom during the bathroom stop on the Universal Studios tour (back when they had a bathroom stop). He then toured the lot and got a pass to do so for three days. He toured it all three days, and, when his pass expired, he found another person to give him a new one. He did this every day during the summer, then quit school and got a job at Universal.
Can you share a few of your favorite books or authors?
I’ve been on a Stephen King kick lately. I’ve read tons of his books, my favorite so far being Misery. His books are dark, but I absolutely love horror. I guess you could say he’s my favorite author. To anyone who’s interested in reading his books, I’d recommend Carrie, Salem’s Lot, It, The Stand, and, of course, Misery.
What inspires you?
Many things inspire me. Most of what inspires me comes from my life, but I combine what comes from my life with genres I’m interested in. My book about a boy who becomes a superhero was inspired by my love of Batman and a girl I liked. (Note: This was back in fifth grade.) Inspiration can come from anywhere, I believe.
What are you working on now? What’s next for you?
I really want to finish editing my superhero book I mentioned previously soon. I’ve finished my first draft, and I’ve run into some trouble with editing. I’ve lost motivation, I guess. I let the book sit for a while, and now I think I’m getting my motivation back. This publication definitely has helped, as I now want to have more publications. Once I finish this book, I can move on to other projects, like an apocalyptic novel I’ve started.
Anything else you’d like to add?
To my fellow writers: Keep at it.
To Dallas: Thank you for helping me for the past couple years. Here’s to many more to come.
To my family: Thank you for everything. I love you guys.
To everyone: Look out for my name, 'cause I’m going to be famous very soon. :)
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