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I wrote my first screenplay in 1977 when I was twenty-seven and a mom at home with two toddlers. ‘Juncture’ is a drama about a bright college student whose family lives a seemingly perfect life until her father is discovered to have committed crimes while in office as mayor.

Then, as an ardent Star Trek fan, I wrote a television pilot when I read that a new series was being considered. In my story, Spock meets his match in a woman named Brin.

A desperate, cynical woman has been trying to escape an abusive ex-husband who has been stalking her. She encounters a bartender recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer who wants to redeem a life that has been wasted on alcohol. He is determined to help her, but she cannot bring herself to trust him. This is the basis for ‘Gus and Mattie.’ This story was a winner at the Telluride IndieFest and at the Key West IndieFest in 2003.

In 2000 I began to compose a sweeping Western, a story that is sacred to me. I am deeply captivated by Western mythology and the role it plays in our American culture. I have read dozens of mainly nonfiction books on Western history and characters including Native Americans, and watched hundreds of films in the process of writing 'The Odyssey of Barlow Hobbs.' I believe it is similar in tone and texture to 'Lonesome Dove.' This two-hour screenplay could readily lend itself to a limited episode series.

When I was traveling through Europe the summer of 2003, I formulated an idea for a Disney film, and the characters that came out of it are still very much alive in my imagination. Three bright, loving siblings Lindy, Lanie, and eleven-year-old Vinnie who seems to be a lot like Walt Disney himself, escape a tyrannical foster mother and stowaway in Disneyland. Fortunately, Mickey Mouse and other characters spring to life to help.

More recently, my pilot for a drama series entitled ‘Mesa Robles’ is about Mary Gilroy, a federal prosecutor who encounters a small group of Pueblo Natives in New Mexico and discovers that she has mysterious psychic powers when she is among them.

Since I taught secondary school science and history for twenty-five years, my most autobiographical screenplay, ‘Legions of the Sun’, is about a high school lockdown. During the five frightening hours that this very diverse group of students are locked together, they reveal intimate life struggles that they would never have discussed except for the dramatic circumstances. These characters are drawn from the lives of students I have known and loved.


Diana Townsend

A young Cheyenne warrior’s vision of a sleeping bear triggers a chain of adventures that sweep across the American plains of 1876 and into history.