Dramaquill's All Things Writing

June 21, 2013

Who is Jacqueline McMahon Anyway?

I believe that who I am as a person has a lot to do with shaping how and what I write – from what I read as a child to games I played to people I admire…and the list goes on and on.

So this post gives you all just a little insight into Jacqueline McMahon.

Full name:
Jacqueline Margaret McMahon

Co-owner of Slightly off Broadway Performing Arts Studio

Favourite Book Genre:

Favourite Day of the Week:

Molly, my eight pound Yorkie

Best Writing Weather:
Stormy (prefer rain and thunderstorms to blizzards but both really
drive me to create)

Ideal Writing Environment:
Big desk under a window overlooking a beautiful piece of nature.  Room for my iPad, my desktop, several notebooks, a mug filled with pens/pencils/highlighters and a place for my coffee mug.

Music while Writing:
This is tough because if I play songs that I know, I end up singing the words in my head instead of writing.  Exception – Vivaldi.  Love writing exciting scenes to his Four Seasons or the Gloria in D.

Pet peeves:
People who can’t spell, in particular, definately…aaaaah…it’s definitely, people!
Never enough time to devote to writing (but I do work great under deadline pressures)
People who don’t get that writing requires solitude (stop dropping in, stop phoning me, stop talking)

Dream Job:
No such thing – I make whatever I do something I enjoy.  (Luckily, I run a business where I get to mentor students in the performing arts and write original plays)

Favourite Food(s):
Homemade spaghetti & meatballs and Christmas dinner (turkey/stuffing/gravy)

Favourite Movie Snack:
Old Dutch Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips (no, not everyone loves popcorn)

Closest Relative:
My Nana (she was my biggest supporter)

My business partner and adopted sister, Connie.

Dream Vacation:
NYC (in the winter, near Christmas)

Best Writing Advice I’ve been Given:
Join a critique group (am proud to belong to the Blue Quills (8 years and counting)

Best Writing Advice I’ve Given to Someone:

My take on ebooks:
They’re great for travel (can take an entire library on one device) and extremely convenient to purchase with all the online vendors.

Ebooks or Print books:
I’m still going to be old school here and say print books.  Nothing’s more comforting than holding a book in my hands and smelling the pages, feeling the texture, and snuggling down in my bed to read.

Great way to authors to interact with folks but not sure how much it helps gain book sales.

Short and Sweet – short term

I love reading blogs and writing blog posts.  If only there was more time…sigh.

Present writing goals:
Finish sequel novel/write a hill-billy themed play

Present general goals:
Be more positive/help others/laugh more

Why read my book?
I promise to take you on an emotional roller coaster ride that will keep you turning the page.

Can you read my sequel if you haven’t read the first book?
Absolutely.  But what fun would that be?

Buy a copy of “When Love Won’t Die” on Amazon (or at a variety of other online retailers)



April 29, 2011

Your play: published or produced?

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As the resident playwright for Slightly off Broadway triple threat studio, I create 6-8 new scripts every school year.  There was a time when I believed that I really hadn’t done justice to my plays unless I managed to get them published or in an anthology collection.

As the years went by, I realized that the greatest pleasure I get from writing my plays and musicals is watching them unfold during the rehearsal process and then seeing the final product up on the stage during the performances.  After all, plays are meant to be seen and heard, not just read.  This is what makes plays different from all other forms of fiction writing.

I know several playwrights who have developed their own publishing companies solely for the purpose of self-publishing their plays.  That way, they don’t have to share royalties when they sell copies to schools and drama clubs. 

Over the years I’ve ordered sample copies of plays from several different publishers.  Some produce a fine product but many others create an amateur looking cardstock cover folded over and stapled to the printed sheets.  I can make copies that look better by doing it myself.  Also, if I have them published with someone else, then I have to share revenue on each sale.  So I understand why so many playwrights choose to create their own company and their own product.

But for me, publication isn’t the forerunner for my plays.  It’s the productions that I crave.  Besides the Slightly off Broadway performances, I have sold copies of my plays to school drama clubs and organizers of summer drama camps.  Knowing that something I have created can be shared with performers and audiences all over the globe is far more satisfying to me than having my play listed in a catalogue.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t love to be listed with the likes of someone like Samuel French – who wouldn’t? 

So how do I get the word out that I have plays available?

I advertise on the Slightly off Broadway website.  I read ezines and forums that pertain to playwriting.  I talk to teachers who are looking for new material.  I do my own networking.

Am I getting rich selling copies of my plays for productions?


Am I satisfied knowing that every single one I have written to date has had at least one production?


Publication or Production…you decide.




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