Hoobler is a writer for Adventures in Odyssey. He has
also served as director of some shows.
How long have you been a
fan of Adventures in Odyssey?
I have been a fan
since 1988 when I was eight years old.
How did you make your way into
working with Odyssey?
It all started
with my website, actually (AIOHQ.com).
I started the website in early 1999 just for fun. By the fall of
1999, several of the producers of AIO had contacted me via
e-mail just to say "nice site," etc. I was looking for a summer
internship for 2000 and asked Mark Drury about internships at
Focus. Mark said that I should intern in Adventures in Odyssey.
I submitted an application and they accepted it.
What do you like most about
working on AIO?
In general, my
favorite thing is just the team interaction... working with
brilliant and fun people. Specifically, my favorite things are
the read-throughs for the shows. It's great to see how much
shows improve through team input.
Is there anything that you
disagree with when working with them?
Sure, there are
lots of little things that we disagree about from time to time,
but having different opinions is very helpful in a creative
Would you ever consider
auditioning for a role on AIO?
Actually I did a
part in "The Triangle" Can you guess which one? To be honest, I
really doubt I have any future on that side of the microphone.
What is your favorite episode of
all time and why?
episode is "Waylaid in the Windy City." I just think that it was
an incredibly fun and exciting show that nicely brought
Blackgaard back to town. And it was filled with memorable
performances and excellent lines.
What is your favorite AIO website?
website is probably my favorite, just because I've put so much
work into it and I've gotten to see it grow from the ground up
(proverbially of course).
If you could meet one
actor or actress on AIO, who would it be and why?
I met most of the
major characters when I went to an Odyssey recording session in
July, which was an awesome experience. I still wish I could have
met Hal Smith. So much of my childhood was spent listening to
his voice. And I'd really like to meet the guy who does the
Blackgaard boys, as his voices are two of my favorite
Which character do you resemble
the most like Eugene. Not in his vast intellect, mind you, but
in his social ineptitude and the way he hides behind things to
keep his true feelings hidden. There is a lot in Eugene that I
can relate to. Even though I became a Christian when I was five
years old, there is a lot of Eugene's spiritual journey that
parallels mine (after I got saved).
Who is your favorite character?
Eugene, for the
reasons mentioned above.
What do you think I need to change
about my website?
I had seen the
website a few times before, but I stopped in today and got a
complete look and I must say that I am very impressed. There is
a lot of great content on the site. Uh...things to change....
How about if you put the navigation bar on the front page so
people don't have to go to another page to get to it?
If you had one wish for Odyssey,
what would it be?
Let's see. Well,
let me divide your question into two parts. Specifically to the
"dramatic" end of the show, I would say my one wish would be for
Eugene and Katrina to get married. However, my wish for the show
in general would be that it continues to be a great and exciting
and wonderful show for as long as God wants it to continue. I
hope that if a time ever comes where the show should be shut
down, then Odyssey will end with dignity and not drag it on for
years and years. (I don't think that's anytime soon, though!)
How do you imagine Whit's End and
the town of Odyssey?
End has been very shaped in my mind by the many audio episodes,
and a lot of Odyssey is based on hometown of Stoneboro and Sandy
Lake, Pennsylvania. It's interesting for me how I model certain
places in Odyssey after other places I've seen. For example,
whenever I think of the Barclay house, I vaguely see things
happening in my grandmother's old house. For the Rathbones, it's
in my aunt and uncle's house. For the computer room at Campbell
College, I see the computer room at my middle school. I think
that when I first heard these locations, my mind went to the
place that most closely resembled them. I'm sure other people
listening to the show have a similar experience. This is why I
love radio so much... because it allows you to bring your own
view of what everything looks like to the picture.
What is your favorite section of
the official site?
Well, I really
like the Library because it has a lot of information, and some
of the behind the scenes stuff is fun. The games are probably
the coolest section. I also enjoy the Odyssey Times because I do
them. = )
What is your favorite section of
If the virtual
Whit's End is half as cool as the pictures I've seen, that will
be one spectacular feature. Wow! It will be awesome! What
program did you use to make those pictures?
My cousin is the one who actually is in the process of
designing the rooms and shop. He currently uses Bryce 4 and
Poser 4 to do all his interior decorating. :) Let's just
hope that he actually finishes the building because it seems
to be taking him a long time!
What is it like writing AIO
episodes? I really liked "The Triangle!"
Thanks... glad you
liked "The Triangle." While writing Odyssey shows can be
difficult, I thoroughly enjoyed writing all of the ones I've
done so far. The process (that I think has been elaborated
elsewhere) begins with an idea for a show. Sometimes these come
out of a writers meeting and sometimes they come from an
individual person. Once they get approval on the idea, they
write an outline. The outline gets passed around to the team and
everyone gives their notes. From there, the writer composes a
first draft, which the whole team reads through and then gives
ideas, suggestions, and fixes for the script. Then it's back to
revising... then a read-through... then revising... then a
read-through... then... etc. Finally, the writer finishes their
final draft. Often the producer (Paul McCusker) will write a
polish of the script, tweaking a few things and possibly
re-writing a few of the lines. In the read-throughs (especially
in the one for the first draft), it can sometimes feel your work
is being ripped apart. As a writer, it would be easy to get
uptight and annoyed by all these suggestions... afterall, you
spend all this time and hard work on the script. But then, the
value of the read-throughs and the revision process is found
when you look back from the final draft at previous drafts of
scripts. Especially for me as a very new writer, the read-throughs
are incredibly helpful in pointing out flaws in writing,
mistakes, and things that need to be tightened up. Trust me, if
they would have recorded the first draft of "The Triangle," is
would have been pretty scary!
Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk to us!