Welcome to a new feature here at ye olde blogge. In the spirit of Throwing Down the Rope, or at least reaching out a hand from the next rope over, I bring you Woman Writer Wednesday, where I profile, review or interview women whose words I’d like to bring to your attention. For today’s post, I interviewed playwright, speculative-fiction author and anthology editor Rachel Lynn Brody.
1. What/who inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always loved reading, and writing came as a natural outgrowth of my love for storytelling. My mom was responsible for getting me to apply for my first paid writing gig, which was as a correspondent for the teen section of The Buffalo News, my freshman year of high school.
2. What do you like most about the genre[s] you write in?
In any genre, the thing that attracts me is the opportunity to explore human reactions. All my work contains elements of the fantastic, and how that expresses itself changes from genre to genre. In science and speculative fiction, the exploration of our civilization through the interactions of technology and humanity is a theme I tend to visit a lot. In theater, the idea that you’re presenting an experience of subjective consciousness as objective experience lets you leave naturalism behind for deeper human truths. Does that answer the question? (Yes.)
3. What’s the best piece of writing-related advice you’ve received?
A friend and I were talking over Bruschetta on the Lower East Side the other day, and she reminded me of a piece of advice I hadn’t heard in a while: “Know the rules before you break them.” Otherwise, maybe something my MFA supervisor said: “Kill your darlings.”
4. Is there any type of writing you would like to try that you haven’t already?
I’ve just been emailing a guy about a musical, so that’s something that would be really exciting, I think. We’ll see what happens. I’d love to write a video game. That would be something completely new, but in keeping with a lot of my fascination with theater as an immersive experience (for example, Sleep No More’s performance at the McKittrick felt a lot like a live-action video game).
5. For those of us who have never written for the stage — tell us why we should give it a try.
There’s not a lot to recommend stage writing to those who don’t love theater. It’s nearly impossible to make a living, even if you are produced professionally. It’s long and arduous and requires you to spend hours upon hours seeing new and interesting (and sometimes terrible) productions of other plays. On the other hand, if you can step away from your work and enjoy the collaborative process of creating theater, if you can stand up and defend your work while still taking on constructive criticism, getting a play on its feet and seeing actors perform your play so it lives outside your head the same way it lived in it is one of the most rewarding feelings I know as a writer.