HN Interviews G.M. Berrow about Doctor Who, Sleeping, Tap dancing, and maybe ponies. by

Image stolen blatantly from Twitter.
While at Nightmare Nights in Dallas, Horse News was inexplicably granted interviews with 3 people. One of whom we were not sober enough to remember to actually write anything down what they said, but 2 that we did actually record for later. First up is G.M. Berrow, writer of several My Little Pony novels, and some other stuff. We asked her questions. She gave us answers. We wrote them down. Here they are.

HN: So, what is your name?

GM: My Name is G. M. Berrow.

HN: And you are the author of several of the My Little Pony Novels as we understand it?
Among those is the Equestria Girls one, Through the Mirror?

GM: Uhh yeah

HN: Before writing that one, what was the creative process for that? Did you have to really consult with the show writers and the people running the movie, or did you just read scripts and build from there?
GM: I was given some visuals, long before anyone had seen any drawings of these girls, and some of the stuff changed actually a little bit. I was given visuals, I was given a script, and I was able to ask questions when I wanted to, but mostly I worked at adapting what I saw in Meghan's script, there were definite things I had to change because of the medium, and there were some cuts made, just to make the story flow better. They didn't really make sense to have every little interaction in there, and I had to flesh out some other parts that wouldn't have made sense without the visuals for those parts.

HN: Montage scenes and stuff like that?
GM: Yeah, and there were some stuff that did change by the time that the movie was out, and things that no one knew the answer to, so I just came up with it, like the color of Flash Sentry's car or something like that, I think people have asked me about that and why I made it different but that's just because there was no color chosen at the time I was writing it.

HN: How did you get into writing, was that what you wanted to do when you grew up when you were a kid? Did you see yourself writing children's novels? 
GM: No actually, I was just talking about this with someone else, but I loved reading quite a lot, I loved television and movies you know as most people, children do. I read a lot. My  family had this thing where, we weren't always allowed to have new toys, but if we went to the book store, we were always allowed a new book. It was a rule my parents had, and it was awesome. I didn't think, though, that I wanted to be an author, because it didn't really occur to me that I could, I think I knew I wanted to be in entertainment, because I was a competitive dancer, and so from the time I was 3 until the time I was 18, I was a hardcore ballet-jazz-tap-hip hop-athlete. You know, like 5 hours a night of practice and rehearsals and stuff. So I also used to travel a lot for dance, and part of it was down to Hollywood, L.A., we did some early-on dance TV shows and stuff. I actually never told anyone this, I was actually in Disney Live, and Sesame Street Live, as like a dancer, there was a tapdance I did with Cookie Monster it was really great, I was a baker, and I was making him cookies.

Image stolen blatantly from Google images.

HN: You realize people are now going to go searching for video of this?
GM: Oh I don't know if you could find video of it. It was live you know? I don't think there's a video, I don't think even my parents have a video. But I remember it, I also got to sit in Reading Rainbow Live with Levar Burton, which is cool.

HN: Did you hear they're bringing that back?
GM: Yeah! And I was a big Star Trek geek and still am...
So I knew I wanted to be in entertainment, but knew I couldn't dance forever, or was smart enough to make that call when I was younger, because I knew that's a career with an expiration date. So, I thought I would like to go into film making, and make TV shows, so I went to NYU and to film school, and it was there that I realized that my real strengths were in screen writing and writing in general. Writing stories and such. I enjoyed it because a lot of the technical stuff of film school was fun but really confused me. It was great because I knew that that was my strength, because I had this one professor, for my film class. My film was technically awful. Like, we used real film cameras, we shot on 8mm, I could never get the light meter readings right. Everything was either really dark or really blown out, but I wrote the cript and my brother acted in it, and it was really funny, and he never laughed at anything, but he was guffawing at my final film. Though it was really awful, he really liked the story and thought it was funny, and I got chosen for the student showcase, and only 3 kids get chosen for that so I was like wow, okay, this is cool. Writing. Yes. So that's when it became my goal.

HN: So you said you were into Star Trek...what other nerdy things were you into?
GM: Umm, I have to say my nerdiest fandom is Harry Potter, I was a midnight book party, midnight showing of every movie. I started reading Harry Potter when I had just turned 12, so it had just come out when I started. My school librarian actually gave it to me and said "I think you'd like this, it's a story about a boy wizard" and nobody knew what it was, so Harry Potter I'm really into, I have a Hermione costume, my dog's name is Albus Dumbledog. And I'm also into Star Trek, I also have a Star Trek costume. My mother is a seamstress, so whenever I feel like having a cosplay outfit, I just ask her to make one, and she's awesome. She also made my best friend a Princess Leia, like not the one where she's in white, but the little sporty one where she has the gun on her hip and everything, it's really cool. Anyway, I digress.
I forget what I was talking about...
Oh, fandoms. Anyway, Star Trek....I'm just sort of getting into Doctor Who...

HN: That's a huge universe to try and break into.
GM: Well, you see my dad is British, so he grew up watching Doctor Who as a kid. Actually I worked on this British TV show "Blue Peter" for a year at the BBC, and when I was there, they always had this thing which was Doctor Who day, and I got to meet a bunch of the people from Doctor Who, and a few weeks after that, I like saw them filming in the BBC center, and they had the Tardis there and David Tennant was just there, my friend who was there was like "Hey David, want to get coffee with me and Gillian?" and we DID. So he's just like dressed up like the Doctor, and I'm just like sitting there with him, but I didn't know what to say, because I didn't like watch Doctor Who at all! Which is probably better, because I probably seemed cooler, but I really just didn't say anything.

HN: Do you know how many fangirls you just made extremely jealous?
GM: I know! It's just like an incredible story now, because I'm like 'oh my god I would like to do that again', and actually be excited about it, but at the time I was just like 'I know I should feel something about this', but I think I was thinking that he was from Harry Potter because he was Barty Crouch. So I was like, "oh Harry Potter, that one weird random role you did".

HN: How many of these pony books are you up to now?
GM: uhh, I've written so far 12, but there are 9 out, working on more so that's cool.

HN: Do we know what the three yet to be released are?
GM: Well, Fluttershy comes in January, and then after that, I don't know when it's going to be released, but I did Celestia and Luna. They're going to be character books like the Mane-6 ones, so you'll get to learn more about those characters. They don't really focus on the Mane-6 very much.

HN: Would you ever like to move into something that is not children's books? Do you have any ideas for Adult novels, things like that?
GM: Yeah, maybe not adult novels, I like the kids books, I like teen stuff, I just think my style is more suited for it, maybe someday I'll feel ready to write one of those, but I think I need to have more experience first. That's just me. I would definitely write a sitcom for adults. And I have one that I'm trying to work on right now I think would appeal to a lot of people.

HN: So you have an idea in your head for an original sitcom?
GM: I've been working on one yeah, I have an original book that I'm trying to finish too, but you know, where do I find the time?

HN: Is there any show on TV right now that you would like to write for, other than ponies, knowing that you have a history in television and all that?
GM: Yeah, oh man, one of my best friends is a writer on Parks and Rec, and she also writes for one of my other favorite shows Broad City, have you seen that?

HN: Have not,
GM: It's really funny. And, I would write for girls, honestly, which, with my experience living in New York, and of course the fact I'm a 20-something girl, so I think I could do that really well, but I don't know. I would really have to think about that more. There are plenty of shows I would like to write for. I'd like to try to write something Sci-Fi. I would write for Once Upon a Time too.

HN: Are there any websites that you frequent, personally, in the pony community, reddit or 4chan or anything like that?
GM: I'm not going to say I haven't. I did go on there once. I made a post. And a lot of people said mean things to me so I didn't go back there again.

HN: Well, that's unfortunate.
GM: It's alright, it's the internet. But, I think that people on those sites, should know that people do look at them. I mean, I don't think that they think they do. I don't look at them a lot.

HN: We do know there are some staffmembers who read what is said about them and laugh.
GM: Oh, I definitely laughed when I saw...something. about myself (laughter) because it was so inaccurate. Anyway.

HN:The Daring Do books, we see people wandering around the con with treasure chests...were you a fan of Indiana Jones when you were a kid? What did you pull inspiration from for those?
GM: Yeah, I did really love Indiana Jones when I was younger, and then I spent a lot of time in between not watching that as a kid, and so obviously I rewatched before I started working on that, and I was like "these are awesome". But, I wouldn't say, I was a super-fan or anything of Indiana Jones. But, one time, I loved the Indiana Jones ride at Disney Land, and I remember specifically when it opened, it was a really big deal, and everyone was freaking out about it, because it was this brand-new amazing Indiana Jones ride, and I waited with my family, I think I was 9 or 10, I'd have to look that up what year it was, I waited with my family in line so long, it took like 4 hours or something like that, by the time we got to the front of the line it was almost midnight and the park was going to be closing soon, that I fell asleep ON the ride. Which, I don't know if you've ever been on that ride, but you're like in this Jeep rustling around, and I missed the whole thing because I fell asleep.

HN: That is like championship-level 'being tired'
GM: I can sleep like the dead. I once fell off of a super-high bunk bed at a campground onto a cement floor and did not wake up.

(NMND signals wrap up)

HN: Well I guess that's our signal to wrap it up, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us.

Up next: Interview with Josh Haber.

Comments (4)

  1. Seems like a cool person. A little ADHDish but I don't mean that in a bad way.

  2. Man this interview is cool as fuck.
    Thank god for HN, the EFN interviews were akward as fuck.

  3. Kudos to Horse News for an excellent interview.

  4. Thanks Horse News, decent interview with some interesting stuff