Interview with Torry Martin

Torry Martin has written several episodes for Adventures in Odyssey, and he is primarily responsible for the creation of Wooton Bassett.

How did you first get associated with Adventures in Odyssey?

One of my mentors is a wonderful Emmy-nominated writer named Martha Bolton. She’s written for Bob Hope, Mark Lowry and Phyllis Diller, has over fifty books on the market and is also known as "The Cafeteria Lady" for Focus on the Family’s "Brio Magazine for Girls." (In case you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan of hers. She has a great website you should check out by the way at Anyway, Martha was invited to attend a writer’s conference that "Odyssey" was going to have but wasn’t able to make it so instead she extended the invitation to me and suggested that I write a spec script to send in. I wrote an episode while living in my cabin and sent it to Paul McCusker but the writer’s camp got canceled. I was seriously bummed but Paul looked at my script anyway and thought that I showed some promise so he gave me my first BTV episode to write.


What is it like being the creator of a rather interesting new character on AIO?

It’s truly an honor and a joy. I can’t tell you how much I love being a part of the Odyssey team. Wooten’s creation really is a community effort though so credit doesn’t belong to any single person. I think that the input and involvement of the rest of the writing team is what makes Wooten so interesting as a character. I am anxious to delve a little into Wooten’s past at some point in the future because there are an awful lot of surprises about his character that have yet to be unearthed. Ooh…mysterious!


If you could change one thing about your writing what would it be?

I’d not doubt myself so much and learn how to edit more. I can’t tell you how much I admire the scripts written by Marshal Younger and Paul McCusker. They are the epitome of Odyssey for me. I love the humor they add and the surprising twists to their stories. I guess if I could change one thing, it would be to write more like them. They inspire me to work harder.


Torry standing with Marshal Younger (Torry at right)


What are your hobbies/interests do you have aside from Adventures in Odyssey?

I collect toys and comics for one. That’s one of the neat things about traveling and performing Christian comedy the way I do. I get to check out the coolest toy stores and comic shops all across the nation so I have a lot of fun and get to meet a lot of folks. I also like to eavesdrop on conversations and observe people. Since I write sketchbooks for Lillenas Publishing I’m always prowling the malls and making character observations or listening to people talk in the hopes of finding some good material. (Show me a comedian with a knack for slice-of-life material and I’ll show you a successful eavesdropper.) In addition to those interests I also like to spend time training my dog Sam. He’s a part of my show and knows over 27 commands/tricks and he is just brilliant. He’s a hundred and twenty-three pound Black Lab/Airedale mix and my best buddy so he goes everywhere with me. I also enjoy gold mining with my parents.


Do you have a website that fans can visit?

Yes I do and you should check it out! You can visit it by going to:


What is the typical writing experience for you?

Angst ridden.

What do you go through as you try to think of ideas?


See the problem is that I second-guess myself an awful lot and I’m incredibly insecure about my writing. Whenever I send something to Marshal to look over I try to act like I’m completely confident but the truth is I’m a nervous wreck at home while waiting to hear what he thought about my script. Then Marshal calls and we discuss things and he sends it back to me with all of these incredible improvements and I feel like a total idiot for not thinking of them on my own. I’m learning though and that is a part of the process that I really enjoy. I couldn’t think of a better person to learn from than Marshal Younger either by the way. The man has the patience of a saint and the mind of a genius. He has absolutely no sense of fashion though and doesn’t own even one article of tie-dyed clothing, which breaks my heart for him. (I’m kidding!)


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Torry (Left), Dave Arnold (middle) Paul McCusker (right)


What is it like knowing that Wooten Bassett could be the next most popular character on AIO? Is it awestrucking?

I’m pleasantly surprised at the popularity of Wooten and I’m thrilled that he has been so warmly accepted into the Odyssey family. Is "awestrucking" a word?


How did you first get interested in listening to the show?

I was living in a remote cabin on eighty acres in a place called Bear Valley, Alaska and I couldn’t get television or radio reception due to my location so the Odyssey tapes became my only entertainment. Let me tell you, they were a lifesaver! I took an immediate liking to the show and immediately felt a kinship of sorts with the character of Bernard. I want to be a curmudgeon when I grow up and he became an excellent role model for me on how to successfully achieve that.


If there was one thing that you would change about Adventures in Odyssey in general, what would that be?

Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to just enhance what already exists. I love Odyssey so much that I wish it was a real place so I could live their full time. I think one of the things I like about the series the most is the way the relationships are built up between the characters. It makes me wish I had a circle of friends like the ones in the show. In fact sometimes I get so caught up in the show that I start to believe that the characters actually do exist and that they really are my friends.

I’m especially excited about the storyline for the next year. When I was at the writers meeting and Paul McCusker was discussing the upcoming plot line I was feeling all of this emotion and excitement about the things to come. There were a few times when I was on the edge of my seat in suspense so I know that the rest of the listeners will be feeling the same as events begin to unfold. Stay tuned you guys because you are going to be in for a terrific ride over the next year. The best is yet to come!

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