January 11, 2013

Made It Moment: Victoria King-Voreadi

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 10:15 am

Interrogation Tango

This Made It Moment raises several questions that have, from time to time, occupied corners of my mind. Lesser: How *do* writing teams collaborate without throwing their coffee cups (virtual or real) at each other? Greater: What does history do with its cultural atrocities? How do we ever put them down? And of particular interest to me right now: How do we find what we’re meant to do, the path we’re supposed to be walking?

Victoria’s Made It Moment concerns all three, and that is no small feat. I hope you enjoy it.

Victoria King-Voreadi

Getting published is a long and winding up-hill road strewn with difficulties, disappointments and “made it” moments of varying magnitudes.  Were there a Beaufort/Richter scale for writing success then a Pulitzer or Palme d’Or would be a 12, while completing your tax return would rate a 1.  Meeting Donald Schwarz was a life event impossible to rate on any scale.  The ultimately film noir convergence of a darkly comedic curmudgeon and a sarcastically cynical 6ft. “shiksa showgirl” was bound to produce something “not quite ready for prime time” but nonetheless fascinating.

Interrogation Tango was Don’s obsession even before we met.  I originally read it as a slim screenplay (under a different title).  The idea was great, the dialogue intense, but all of the characters had the same voice, Don’s.  He had projected parts of himself onto both Georg Elser and Arthur Nebe, and the Burger Brau Keller bombing was the sort of audacious act he himself aspired to, he simply didn’t have a cause.

“Mathematics is detective work with an imaginary perp…” was one of Don’s favorite lines.  Our challenge was to make the characters come alive without forgetting that Elser, Adolph Hitler and Arthur Nebe were certainly not figments of anyone’s imagination.  We had three key questions to answer in order to develop a realistic yet entertaining story that respected but was not totally confined by fact:

What sort of an individual could have done what Elser did?

What sort of men comprised the “Middle Management” of the Third Reich?

In what ways is history deliberately distorted and/or abridged by the last left standing?

Peter Riva of International Transactions told us “Congratulations you now have an intelligent and engaging tale on your hands.”  October 19th 2010 is when I knew we would get published… now hurry up and wait!

Victoria King-Voreadi’s favorite game was always “What if”. She studied dramatic arts in Los Angeles, then after a mediocre play Robert De Niro gave her some advice: “Kid, in L.A. you’re just another tall blonde who wants to be in show business. Go to Europe, get some culture and figure out what you really want from this industry.” Greece seemed a logical place – home of the muses, birthplace of arts, sciences and philosophy. She wrote funding grants for EEU Media Programmes, scripts, travel articles, edited and translated manuscripts. In 1994 she met Donald Schwarz. Just like every oyster needs an irritating grain of sand in order to form a pearl, Donald and Victoria have been irritating the hell out of each other for years. She asks: “Is our book Interrogation Tango a pearl?”


  1. Sounds like a facinating read! I admire them for being able to work together and not go to jail!

    Comment by Connie — January 11, 2013 @ 11:03 am

  2. I absolutely agree. Another great “Made It Moment”!

    Comment by P.L. Blair — January 11, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  3. That is really nice of you to say Connie! Though there were moments that Don could have easily driven me to actions that would have resulted in lot’s of “quiet time” for me in stripped pajamas!

    Unfortunately cancer took him in August so there is no longer any possibility for “foul play”.


    Comment by Victoria King-Voreadi — January 11, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

  4. So sorry to hear of his passing. Sounds like you had the perfect set-up. Definitely sounds like you created a pearl. Best of luck.

    Comment by mountainmama — January 11, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

  5. Very sorry to hear of his passing. I am very glad that you two both seemed to work well and didn’t kill one another. Good luck with the book and in whatever you do.

    Comment by Kellie — January 11, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

  6. Passion for the project sounds like the key. So sorry to hear of his passing, but I’m happy that you had the chance to be part of what sounds like an amazing team.

    Comment by Johanna — January 11, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

  7. Victoria, I love the way you and Don asked questions about the characters’ motivations, how they executed their ideals into action, and how history has since been chronicled by the “winners.” One of the first things we’re taught in a History M.A. program is how to frame questions for our research projects and in historical critique, and you and Don intrinsically understood it without all those courses on methodological training–super impressive! It took me at least six months of classes to fully embrace that style of thinking. I’m so sorry to hear that your collaboration has forcibly ended, but I’m so glad to hear that the experience left such a positive mark on you! Best of luck with your next project!

    Comment by Becca — January 13, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

  8. Thank you all for your support and understanding. And thank you Becca for appreciating the challenge of working with historical material. Don was a brilliant guy in general – one of the reasons he didn’t have many friends. For me that approach was gleaned from a much more humble enterprise: trying to help my daughters learn to appreciate history by looking beyond the rated G, pasteurized /homogenized versions they were being served through their school text books. Unfortunately text book editors tend to disembody events from the human beings involved and the result becomes a sleep aid rather than a source of interesting information!

    Comment by Victoria King-Voreadi — January 29, 2013 @ 5:55 am

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