Billy Marshall Stoneking
Childhood and education
Billy Marshall Stoneking was born in Orlando, Florida, the second child of Charles and Florence Marshall. Born William Randolph Marshall on 31 August 1947 (his sister, Barbara, named him 'Randolph' after her favorite movie actor, Randolph Scott, and his mother selected 'William', after an old family friend, later aide de camp to President John F. Kennedy). The name "Stoneking" derives from his paternal great-grandfather, Reuben Stoneking (of Hundred, WV, Wetzel County). Stoneking's early years were spent growing up on military bases around the United States, including Randolph Field (Texas) and Fort Slocum (New York). When his father retired in 1961, the family moved to northern California where he attended high school in Folsom and Rancho Cordova, California. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 1970, majoring in English, with minors in philosophy and education; and in 1972, he migrated to Australia. "The bumper stickers said, 'America, love it or leave it', so I left." In 1983, after more than a decade living in Australia, four years of which were spent living with tribal Aboriginal people 275 km west northwest of Alice Springs, Stoneking graduated from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney, specialising in screenwriting.
Stoneking has published his poems in magazines around Australia, and was also active in the performance poetry movement, which included fellow poets, Pi O, Amanda Stewart, Jas H. Duke, and others. His poems have been featured in the Oxford Book of Australian Poetry (edited by Les Murray), and The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry (edited by John Tranter and Philip Mead). He is also the author of seven books, including Lasseter, In Quest of Gold (Hodder & Stoughton, 1989), Singing the Snake (Angus & Robertson) and Taking America Out of the Boy (Hodder Spectrum).
In 1982 Stoneking entered the full-time screenwriting program of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.
Stoneking's first films were made in the mid-1980s, including a chronicle of his work at Papunya Aboriginal Settlement, Desert Stories. He also edited some television scripts, including the AFI award-winning drama series, Stringer,(ABC TV). Followed by a script for Paramount Television's Mission: Impossible, and the full-length stage play, Sixteen Words for Water.
Mentor, script editor, producer, & story consultant
Stoneking is now a teacher of dramatic writing. His "Drama of Screenwriting" workshop has been held in every capital city in Australia and New Zealand .
He was one of the script editors on the AFI-nominated Australian feature, Chopper (2000).
He has produced a number of small films, including Nosepeg's Movieand Jelly's Placenta .
- Marshall Stoneking, Billy Taking America Out of the Boy. Hodder Spectrum Books, 1994