Our Writers

Here’s a bit more about our writers, a very talented group:

James Balestrieri

James Balestrieri

James Balestrieri’s first play, Scissors, Paper, Stone was performed in an abandoned brewery in the seaside college town of Aberystwyth, Wales. He was hooked. Subsequently, two of his short plays, Forbidding Mourning and Terrapin, were performed in New York and in 2008, his solo play, Extraordinary Rendition, selected for the New York Fringe Festival, was named a “Pick of the Week” in Time Out. In 2011, James’s adaptation of Rip Van Winkle enthralled young audiences in Sleepy Hollow country at Halloween. A Milwaukee native, James received his B.A. from Columbia University and his M.A. from Marquette University. He was a Screenwriting Fellow at the American Film Institute and earned his M.F.A. in Playwriting at Carnegie-Mellon University. He has taught at Marquette and at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth. Director of J. N. Bartfield Galleries in New York City by day, James writes on the train as he commutes to Tarrytown, New York where he resides with a tolerant wife and three excellent children who, if he has anything to say about it, will make their living in finance or the sciences, though they are already taking an unhealthy interest in the arts.  The Ballad of Ethan Burns

Kenan Brack

The son of a hardworking teacher, Kenan Brack found escape from the struggles of the south side of Chicago through the films of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and the Shaw Brothers Studios. A fiction writer, producer, director, and photographer, he now tells his own stories. “As a screenwriter I don’t pull any punches,” he says. “If the world is a violent and bloody place then that’s what I portray. Too many writers try to soften their stories to fit in; and I think that is doing a disservice to the audience. I simply tell the story as it should be told.”  Eiko
Brent Carpenter

Brent Carpenter

Born in Dundas, Ontario, Canada, Brent Carpenter is a writer whose favorite movies as a child were Jaws, Die Hard and Raising Arizona. He is most inspired by the Coen brothers, who manage humor amidst the drama and poignancy amidst the humor, and for whom even the most minor characters are given their moment to shine.Brent was floating aimlessly through his post-graduate existence, writing two screenplays and two shorts, when he left his job and decided to focus on his newest script – Straw Man – for as long as his savings would last him. When he had difficulty getting the script into the hands of Hollywood agents, the first publisher he contacted was Ed Gray of Aisle Seat Books. Brent was encouraged by Ed to do a re-write, and was thrilled when he was given an offer to publish.Brent believes that humanity is equal parts amazing and ridiculous, and he enjoys exploring how this concept permeates every aspect of the world, from the abject to the heroic. He has no preference between comedy or drama – just that each has a bit of the other, and that every one entertains. Straw Man

Rick Cramer

Born at the right time to live through the glory days of NASA, Rick Cramer has always been a science and science fiction fanatic. From an early age, the writings of authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan made a lasting impression. Films such as “2001, A Space Odyssey,” “Aliens” and “Blade Runner” inspired Cramer to embark on a writing career of his own. A US Air Force veteran, Cramer currently resides in Los Angeles.  Lifeboat, 2028
Antony Davies

Antony Davies

Antony Davies was inspired to write in his early teens by the novels of Stephen King and films ranging from “Jaws” and “Star Wars” to the John Hughes back-catalogue, and – in his later teens – the likes of “Lethal Weapon” and “Die Hard.” “These are all films I still hark back to when I need inspiration,” he says, “although people like Duncan Jones, Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon are modern filmmakers who have given me a lot of inspiration lately.” Antony’s first successes came with short fiction, placing in many competitions and publishing a number of stories online and in print. After a few years of promotions in a largely unfulfilling job, Antony went part time and completed a degree in creative writing, where he says he “Discovered that screenwriting was where my heart really lay.” Since then, Antony has gone on to many contest placings, including the Nichol’s second round, the top 5% of the UK’s most prestigious TV scriptwriting contest, and to the semifinals and finals of Amazon Studios with no fewer than four screenplays. He says, “I feel I am so close to seeing my work produced, and Aisle Seat Books may well give me the push I need.” Antony lives in Staffordshire in the United Kingdom with his wife and two children, and currently works for the BBC. National Security Dad

Ed Gray

Ed Gray is a writer and editor of books, magazines, and screenplays. With his wife Rebecca he has been the founder of Gray’s Sporting Journal, GrayBooks Publishers, and Aisle Seat Books. He lives in Lyme, New Hampshire, just a few miles north of Dartmouth College which, as he says, “has twice claimed to have educated me.”  Dancaster's Pardon
Lawna Hurl

Lawna Hurl

Lawna Hurl is a Calgary based writer (and sometimes lawyer) who enjoys writing everything from screenplays to novels. Several short films that she has written or produced have appeared at the Calgary International Film Festival and Just for Laughs Film Festival. Lawna has written numerous screenplays and short stories and is currently working on her first novel.  I'm With the Band?

Lee A. Matthias

Lee A. Matthias is a writer with one published novel, a nonfiction book on the way, and several screenplays written and in development. During and after college, he worked as a theater projectionist and manager, in public relations, and as a literary agent selling to publishers and producers. He currently works as a computer network administrator in government. He is married and the father of two daughters. “I’m a computer professional,” he says. “I don’t lie, I manage information.”  FoeThe Sleep of Reason
Stephan Marlow

Stephan Marlow

Stephan Marlow was born in Washington, DC, and grew up shuttling between the DC area and various locations in California. He has a degree in Russian language and literature from UC Davis and has worked in a variety of occupations, ranging from arts administration and financial planning to big-rig truck driver. He is the author of several screenplays and children’s stories and a recently completed first novel, The Aeolian Harp, book one of a serio-comic romance trilogy. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado, with his beloved black Lab, Buddy.  Sarah's Game
Scott Mullen

Scott Mullen

Scott Mullen is a longtime Hollywood script analyst and a two-time winner of Amazon Studio’s Best Script contest.  His screenplay “Touching Blue” was optioned by Amazon Studios.  He has written sketch comedy, as well as a puppet show.  He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he does his best to avoid traffic whenever possible.  Hiding Billy

Gregg Ostrin

 A native of Los Angeles, Gregg Ostrin has written and sold screenplays, TV pilots and has even had a couple plays produced, most recently “Kowalski” which premiered in Los Angeles in the summer of 2011. He has also written on the television series “Wind on Water” starring Bo Derek, on “Xena, Warrior Princess,” as well as on the landmark internet series “Whirl Girl” and “Second City Naked News.” In addition, Gregg has written the copy for the trailers of some of the biggest movie campaigns in recent film history. He is thrilled to see his screenplay for “The Middle World” achieve new life in this exciting new incarnation.  The Middle World
Michael Penhallow

Michael Penhallow

London born, a dual U.S./U.K. citizen, Michael Penhallow speaks four languages and has travelled widely through many distant corners of the world. It was a trip to the Tri Border Area, the lawless region that traverses the Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil borders that inspired The Argentine Job, his latest screenplay. A Nicholl Fellowship finalist, Oshun55 Award and American Screenplay winner, Michael is married and splits his time between San Francisco and New York. The Argentine Job Fullsize-2013-300high

Juan Rodriguez-Briso

 Juan Rodriguez-Briso was born in 1974 in Valladolid (Spain). His education includes a Master Degree in Computer Science from the Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD in Electronic Engineering from the Universität Stuttgart (Germany). He also graduated in Cinema at the School of Cinema and TV of the UNT Tucuman (Argentina). He began his cinema career in 2006 as a short film and documentaries director and his experience includes writing and co-producing several television series in Spain and Argentina and several years of working as a journalist in Spain. He works currently as Script Manager at Film and TV production company Omnicorp Estudio (Argentina) where he has already finished his first long feature film “30 Days Before” as writer and director.  The Bastard

Marty Weiss

Marty Weiss became known for creating comedic and highly visual commercials, directing hundreds of national and international image campaigns for major Blue Chip brands and TV Networks before segueing into feature films and TV movies. He has filmed throughout North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, and Southeast Asia, and has garnered numerous festival and industry accolades. His screenplay, “The Alchemist Agenda,” was the first project honored with a Best Screenplay award from Amazon Studios and is currently on their active development slate for production. Weiss earned his M.F.A. in film and television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Elisabeth, daughter Jasmine, and son Jake.

Crime Beat

Lyle Weldon

Lyle Weldon

Lyle Weldon was inspired to spend a career telling stories on film while sitting in a movie theater watching Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” A chance meeting with Mr. Spielberg while Lyle was a film student at California State University, Northridge lead to this sage piece of advice from the filmmaker: “Learn how to write a movie before you film it. Until you can tell a story really well on paper, save your money.  Film will wait.” Taking that to the extreme, Lyle has since written for multiple Emmy-winning primetime television series as well as both live action and animated children’s series.  But it’s the silver screen which continues to inspire Lyle’s deepest dreams.  While several of his screenplays have been optioned and he’s been hired to rewrite others, he still looks forward to seeing one of his own films in a movie theater.  He’s excited to join the talented crew at Aisle Seat Books and welcomes the opportunity to share his stories with avid readers before film audiences have the chance.  He lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife and their two equally-lovely daughters.  The CovenTwice Upon a Time

Ken White

Ken White is a writer and media consultant. He has designed, written, and managed a variety of informational, promotional, and entertainment media for companies worldwide. Ken received his AA at Modesto Junior College, his BA and Teaching Credential at UC Davis, and his MA at San Francisco State University. He has taught mass communications and film appreciation. He is the author of two novels, fourteen screenplays, one sitcom pilot, and one stage play. Born in Lathrop and raised in Modesto, California, Ken enjoys writing about the Central Valley heartland.  Sarah's Game
Shelli Wright

Shelli Wright

Shelli Wright spent 15 years as an ad copywriter and creative director coming up with tantalizing campaigns for brands as glamorous as Poise undergarments. She moved to LA in 2009 when the call of screenwriting became too loud to ignore and now pays her bills with the lucrative awards from various screenwriting competitions. On a serious note, Shelli created and produced a talk show for PBS and has written on assignment for several theatrical projects including the US Air Force (no, that’s not a joke). She lives in LA with her two children and their black long haired dachshund, Ozzy Osbourne, Pup of Barkness. The @#$%^&! Kapinksis