Our guest today is Gwendolyn Womack. Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn began writing plays in college while freezing in the tundra at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She received an MFA from CalArts in Directing for theater and film and currently resides in California where she can be found at her keyboard. The Memory Painter is her first novel (you can watch a trailer here). One lucky commenter to this post will win a copy of The Memory Painter—leave a comment to be entered in the giveway.[pullquote]Gwendolyn is giving away a signed copy of The Memory Painter—to be entered in the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post![/pullquote]
Of today’s post Gwendolyn says, “I’m a longtime fan of Writer Unboxed. I love reading posts about craft and other writer’s journeys. There is usually always something I can takeaway and apply to my own work. It was lovely to be invited to share my experience and hopefully offer some encouragement to others on the same path.”
The Story Iceberg
My first novel, The Memory Painter, is less than 48 hours away from publication, but the journey to the book spanned years, involved many twists and turns and a lot of surprises.
To start with, the original story was not conceived as a novel. In another life a long, long time ago, I was a struggling screenwriter fresh out of film school. The year was 1999. I wrote the story as a feature screenplay and I believed that this was the script that was going to launch my writing career—only that didn’t happen. What did happen was I had a lot of studio meetings with development executives. After I got over the thrill of driving onto the lots, I’d sit down with the executives to visit. They loved the idea, and they had all these questions about the story that I couldn’t answer. (Because I hadn’t written any of it yet.)
“The idea of all the lifetimes is so fascinating. Who were all the people? Now those pages I’d love to read.”
“Tell me more about the bad karma between your hero and antagonist. Where and with what lifetime did it all begin?”
I didn’t realize it at the time, but these people were in fact my first beta readers, [Read more…]