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What does that mean for you, "the art star club"?
Oh, you know, anyone who's got the critics on their side. It makes producers relax a bit because they feel like no matter what happens they're going to get treated a little bit more with kid gloves by the critics. And I'm not actually in that club and I really wish I was. Theaters will say to them, whatever you want to do, we've got a slot for you. And I don't get that offer.
I'm assuming, though, that you have a working relationship with a fair number of theaters.
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Oh, yeah, absolutely. I am in a very happy position. I have options, I do. I get produced and it's a great thing.
What about that move into fiction, then?
Honestly, it was my frustrations with the difficulties of the theater world that led me to think, maybe you should try to write a novel. I'm told I'm not the only person that this has occurred to. Marsha Norman actually said, yes, we all do it, we all get frustrated and write a novel. I had to teach myself how to write a novel. I had been very curious about it for a long time. And it took me two years to write 50 pages. Then I thought, well, you can't sustain this—either write it or don't write it, but don't do this middle ground thing. So then I wrote the rest of it in 10 months. But at that point it had been living inside me for so long. You know that six-characters-in-search-of-an-author dilemma, I really felt that these were real people somewhere out there in the world and that it was my moral obligation to finish writing their story.
Once you finished it, how did you go about getting it published?
I was so pleased with myself for having finished it, I thought, "I actually have no idea how to get this published." I mean, I know how to get plays produced, but I don't know how to get books published. I was even considering the thing which you know doesn't work, which is going to the bookstore and buying the book about how to get your novel published. And then I thought, well, maybe I'll just post it online or something. I just didn't have any sort of plan, I was so pleased to have finished the novel. Then someone helped me and I ended up with a two-book deal. And so, having been put in that position, I forced myself to write the second book. And the second book was enormously challenging. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. And it was the first time in my life that I understood what writers block was.