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The Dickinsonian: Interview with Denis O’Neill

Life and Style Column

by Michelle Martire

February 14th. Library Study Room. 5 PM.

The phone rang over speakerphone as I twirled my pen and waited for the pickup. Two seconds later, I was talking to the author of Whiplash, Denis O’Neill, uncle of Caroline O’Neill, and fellow Nutmegger. After bonding over our small world ties to Connecticut, we immediately jumped into the topic of the weather. While here at Dickinson we were knee deep in snow, Mr. O’Neill was soaking up the warmth at his home in Beverly Hills. However, he still remembered those kinds of days when going to college at Dartmouth, suffering through the terrible cold and snow, trudging on to class.

So, I asked him about his background – went to Dartmouth during the late 60s and early 70s. Journalism Degree. Worked for Public Television, specifically GBH TV, moved to Hollywood in 1985. Script writer – even wrote a script for Meryl Streep. Other films and scripts included The River Wild (1994), A Shot at Glory (2000), and War Photographer (2001). Before Whiplash, his first novel, he wrote many short stories, as well as articles for magazines, such as Sports Illustrated. Having always wanted to write a novel, to branch out from the norm of scripts and shorts, O’Neill decided that the best place to start was to write about something he knew, something that has stayed with him for a long time. Read the Full Article »

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About the Author

Denis R. O'Neill began publishing articles and short stories in Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Fly Rod & Reel, Antiques, American Photographer and others. His first original screenplay, "The River Wild", was produced in 1994. His second screenplay, "A Shot At Glory" was released in 2001. He recently self-published: "WHIPLASH – When the Vietnam War rolled a Hand Grenade into the Animal House". Several other projects, including a novelization of "The River Wild", are waiting on deck.

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