Carma Chan is a freelance writer, journalist, story/script consultant and co-producer for the Cerebus Film (updates at facebook.com/cerebusfilm). She also created the press kit for 'The Rise and Fall of Their American Dream' (www.nashproductions.com/press-kit). She is currently working on Volumes 17 and 18 of her HIGHER NATURES Digital Book Series.
She works full-time as a member of the Oracle North America Sales organization. The opinions expressed here and elsewhere online are her own and do not reflect corporate policy.
Carma is the creator of a science fiction series of ebooks based on her award-winning screenplay, Saardu: The Adventure Begins (2009; this is now Volume 11 of the Higher Natures digital book series). She also writes nonfiction, poetry, and short stories. She prefers ebooks over print, and self publishing over conglomerate publishing houses, so that more minds all over the world may be touched regardless of profitability. The words of Kurt Vonnegut inspired her: "Infect them with humanity." However, the prime directive comes from her mentor, Richard Walter: "The worst thing to be in Hollywood is boring."
Her formal education includes two UCLA screenwriting courses and some general studies at community colleges. She passed a GED at Salt Lake City High School and opted out early to pursue other interests.
Carma Chan is a pen name legally used to honor the legacy of her beloved Chinese stepdad, John Wang Leong Chan (1933-2001, owner/masterchef of Jon-Jon's Restaurant in St. George Utah). Born in Los Angeles, Carma Yvonne Dillon (1958). Most of her non-fiction is published under C.Y. Dillon. She has also used a family surname, Gagné, in the past to carry on the legacy of her mother's father, who had only two daughters: Joseph Albert Gagné, who died in 1951 in a hunting accident in Utah.
The following is a verbatim letter of recommendation from a highly qualified screenwriting professor who has had a profound impact on her abilities as a storyteller and script consultant.
To Whom It May Concern:
I've known Carma Dillon [Chan] for five years, first as my student in an off-campus screenwriting seminar, and then in my UCLA Summer Session course in advanced screenwriting. She started working on her remarkable SAARDU quite some years ago, and surely would have finished it sooner if she had not put the care and nurturing of a special-needs child ahead of her ambitions as a writer.
Carma demonstrates politeness and humility, and an exceptional dedication and passion for mastering her art and craft. I found her first draft of SAARDU to be original, fresh, and highly marketable. I gave her notes on the script; she accepted constructive analysis with an open heart and mind.
Working with Carma is a joy. She strives always to do her best, yet with a lightheartedness that is contagious. She is gracious and patient and honorable in every way. She has a deep love for storytelling. With her vivid imagination and love for life, she is capable of writing anything she puts her mind and heart to. She has written several screenplays, all of them worthy. SAARDU is, however, in my view the most special among her stories.
SAARDU represents one piece of a vast new myth. It involved challenging choices regarding structure and other screenwriting issues. Through perseverance and diligence she solved all of them. This script is no small achievement. It is worthy of consideration at the highest levels of the industry.
It has been an honor and enchantment to have come to know Carma and to have been able to support her in the creation of SAARDU.
SAARDU is a story of relationships and identity. These are very same themes that lie at the heart of worthwhile dramatic narratives going all the way back to the ancient Greek masters.
SAARDU is another world, in another time, but it is also a reflection of us, here and now. Ruby, the unlikely hero, is endearing and I found myself cheering for her at the turn of every page. Carma has created several strong characters to challenge and guide Ruby.
I promise you'll agree that Carma is a writer worth reading.
Prof. Richard Walter
UCLA Screenwriting Chairman