1. What is the genesis of Trinkets?
It began as a film idea inspired by a bit of real life shenanigans.
2. What research did you do when writing Trinkets?
Yearned to find a Shoplifter’s Anonymous program, but when I couldn’t, I realized there was a concept here that hadn’t yet been explored. So I went to several AA meetings for texture. Once I was done writiing the book, I gave it to a friend who’d lived her whole life in Portland to make sure I got the details right, since I’d only lived there as a kid.
3. What was your writing schedule when you wrote the Trinkets novel?
It was loose. Too loose. I ended up being years late for the book, because I had a lot of screenwriting projects going on at the same time. So I finally just had to buckle down and crank it out on a drop-dead deadline. I had a writer’s assistant who helped kept me honest, and she’d come over and we’d write together. I really needed to be nursed through it, even though it’s such a short book, embarrassingly enough.
4. Do you like to map out your fiction plots ahead of time, or just let it flow?
I have to have a road map. A beat sheet.
5. Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get back on track?
My hurdle is more procrastination than actual block. Gotta just write through it, dare to suck, and something good will come.
6. Silly-Game question: From the novel Trinkets could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
“I point the camera at Tabitha who smiles like a beautiful girl on autopilot.” - it’s from Elodie’s POV, p.139
7. Which of the three characters (Moe, Tabitha, and Elodie) did you have difficulty writing and why?
Tabitha went through quite a few drafts I remember through the editing process to make her more of a mean girl, give her more snark. I felt so much compassion for her that iniitally, she and Elodie’s melancholy read as a bit too similar.
8. Which one is more challenging for you: writing the novel or writing the screenplay to Trinkets?
I would say the novel was more challenging because it’s a less familiar form and it took me so damn long! On the teleplay, I collaborated with two writers, who wrote the pilot, so I gave them notes and honed it with them, which was far more fun.
9. Could you express your experience co-writing the screenplay of the self-published novel Legally Blonde?
Joyful and festive. A lot of debates and a lot of laughter.
10. List three adjectives to describe your writing partner Ms. Karen McCullah?
Strong, confident and funny.
11. Have you seen Legally Blonde: The Musical? If so, what are your thoughts on it?
We were flown there for opening night on Broadway and it was so surreal and fun to see it - it was link a pink roller coaster ride. They had pink curtains, pink carpet. I remember the dance choreography being really spectacular. And of course it was a thrill to see musical numbers built around our lines of dialogue and things that we’d invented, like the Bend & Snap, etc.
12. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter, how would one get you or any expert to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
Come up with a great long line and pin it on Twitter. Maybe reach out and connect with the person on Twitter.
13. Which filmmakers/screenwriters do you admire?
I admire Mike Nichols. Elaine May. Jane Campion. Colin Higginis who wrote Harold & Maude, Foul Play and 9 to 5. I always wanted to know more about him.
14. What is your favorite line from one of your screenplays?
Either the poem from 10 Things I Hate About You or “the eyes are the nipples of the face” from The House Bunny.
15. What was the last book you gave to someone as a gift?
Sarah Ramos gave me a book called PAPERBACK CRUSH. And I met Terest Marie Mailhot recently and she gave me a copy of her book HEART BERRIES, which is stunning.
Also, the publishers just sent us copies of our graphic novel SMOOTH CRIMINALS volume 1, which is coming out on July 9. it’s a female buddy heist/time travel story about a hacker in 1999 who discovers a cryogenically frozen cat burglar from 1969.
16. Do you recall the first story you ever wrote?
I remember writing on the boat where I grew up, small stories, and I remember writing a story in 4th grade that was really well received.I think it was a spooky story oddly?
17. Could you give us a sneak peek about your next project?
I’m working Party Girls with Karen, a female ensemble about three 70something friends from Studio 54 who reconnect to continue the party.
18. Last question, what is your favorite slang?
Wow! Interesting question. I’ll have to think about that!
I truly appreciate Ms. Kristen "Kiwi" Smith for doing this interview. Luckily, the Trinkets series is now on Netflix so check that out. In addition to that, read the novel the series is based on: the ebook version is currently available while you can pre-order the paperback version right now by clicking the links. No doubt the book will make an excellent summer read. Also, get to know more about this fantastic screenwriter and author by visiting her website: https://blog.kiwilovesyou.com. Thank you all for stopping by and I hope each and everyone of you have a great day and a happy read.