Today, we have a very special guest with us!
Emmy Laybourne, author of Monument 14
Why Did You Become A Writer?
I think I decided to be a writer when I was about eight years old! At that age, I wrote a one page story about an alien named Grog who was looking for a home on Earth. It turned out that Grog’s wife would soon be forced by the alien laws of their home planet to eat him alive. I wrote it in the first person -- an impassioned plea from Grog himself.
The last line read: “Please help before she eats m….”
My parents loved it, believed me to be a genius, and carefully filed the story away in a folder entitled “Emily’s Writing.” Over the years this folder filled up with letters home from camp, Valentines to my Dad, a few half-filled diaries. (An honest to goodness excerpt from my seventh grade journal: “I don’t give two shits about popularity, but if I did have a boyfriend, I would want him to be popular because they’re the most mature.”) Can you imagine?! I love the posturing in that sentence - and in my journal, no less! Who was I trying to impress?
After college, I got really into comedy improvisation. It was sort of like writing, only doing it collaboratively and in the moment! Improv led me to acting (Shameless plug: you can check out some great clips from Superstar and Comedy Central at my website emmylaybourne.com) but all along I knew that I'd return to writing. Then, after I had my first kid, I didn't want to act anymore. I was ready to write! I got an MFA in screenwriting from LA, but when we landed on the east coast I decided to try my hand at a novel. Monument 14 is that novel!
When I look back and leaf through the "Emily's Writing" folder the bit of writing that sticks out is the tale of Grog the alien. I filled that one page with conflict, character, motivation and a snappy little ending. It’s funny to think that many, many, really too many years later I am still fascinated with these same elements and still working on making my endings good and snappy!