Welcome back to another Awesome Achieving Women Interview! For those not in the know, this is where I get to celebrate some amazing accomplished women that I know personally. This month I spoke with my friend Lindsey Rosin. She is a television writer, theater director, and soon to be published author!
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Her first novel, Cherry, is available for pre-order now and will be in stores August 16th. It’s being published by Simon Pulse (the YA and teen publishing arm of Simon & Schuster). It’s also being published in the UK by Hot Keys Books on August 25th and is available there for pre-order as well.
First off, this is Lindsey. Her smile lights up all the rooms!
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Hey Lindsey! Where are you from?
Hi! I’m from Los Angeles California.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I went to the University of Pennsylvania. I was an English major with a concentration in dramatic writing.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
You have written for so many different formats: theater, musicals, television and now your first novel is coming out. Is there a particular kind of writing you gravitate more towards? And is there a kind of writing you find more challenging?
No, I don’t think there’s really one kind of writing I gravitate towards more than another. When I write my goal is to tell engaging stories about complex characters. Usually the idea itself dictates what kind of form it should be.
Maybe it’s because I have less practice, but I think novel writing I the most challenging. But the truth is it’s ALL challenging. Writing is hard. Deceptively hard. It’s the thing that I love and hate most about it. To quote my favorite movie (A League of Their Own) “The hard part is what makes is great”.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
There isn’t anything typical about my schedule, but I like it that way. It’s usually a mix of writing sessions at Coffee Bean and driving around to meetings and then sometimes rehearsals and read-throughs if I’m directing a theater project. One strange thing about my work day is that it is usually more of a work night. I’m a night owl, so my favorite writing hours are from about midnight until five or six in the morning.
So I am so THRILLED for you that your first novel, Cherry, is coming out. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
American Pie, but with more feelings and frozen yogurt.) As much as the book is a about the girls’ romantic and sexual relationships, it’s really a story about their friendship – and all the twists and turns and feelings that come along when you’re approaching the end of high school.
Were the character in Cherry inspired by your real high school friends? If so, what do they think of the book?
Yes. The short answer is yes, these characters were inspired by my time in high school. I always believe it’s important to write what you know, at least emotionally speaking, so it was fun to get to tap back into all my high school emotions and memories.
My friends are the most excited and supportive – and maybe a little embarrassed? Haha, but I think that’s part of the deal of being close friends with a writer. Watch out, they WILL put you in their novel one day…
How long did it take to write the book?
About a year. I sold Cherry as a book proposal in January of 2015, turned in my first draft in July 2015 and then spent the rest of the year rewriting. Officially I finished writing it in February of 2016.
What is next for you?
Hopefully more Cruel Intentions!
This past year I co-wrote the Cruel Intentions television pilot for NBC and Sony Pictures based on the movie (along with Roger Krumble who wrote and directed the original movie as well as the pilot and Jordan Ross) and we’re hoping to get a green light to write and produce more episodes soon! In the meantime, I am working on a couple new TV and theater projects and I’m also writing a new book proposal.
Wow, Lindsey. That’s amazing! What advice would you give to aspiring teen writers?
Just write. Write,write,write. And while you’re writing have the courage to write badly! Whatever you’re writing doesnt’ need to be perfect, it just needs to be written. And the truth is, the first draft is probably going to be bad. As Ernest Hemingway said, “the first draft of anything is $#%*.” But I find that incredibly liberating. All you have to do, all you can do is put some words on the page. And I know, believe me I KNOW, that it’s so much easier to say that than it is to actually do it, but I think the whole secret really is just putting the words on the page.
Write honestly and authentically and see where that takes you. Hopefully, it take you all the way to the end. It’s important to start somewhere – anywhere!- but then it’s even more important to finish. For me, writing really is REwriting, but you can’t get to the rewrite part unless you make you way through that first draft.
Also, read the book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Life and Writing by Anne Lamott. It’s an incredible, inspiring read – and Ms. Lamott talks all about the importance of terrible first drafts. I reread her book regularly.
Below is a promo for Cherry that Lindsey directed!