THE QUESTION from SolaFide Publishing focused on how I came up with the idea for Beltway Betrayers.

I’ve been a writer, and journalist for many years, starting my journey into fiction in 2015.

In fact, the switch to fiction was sparked by a screenwriting competition funded by Meryl Streep.

In 2015, Streep announced “a screenwriters lab for women writers over 40,” which was sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television. It’s still going strong.

The first thing I did was contact the publisher of my non-fiction books, who also happens to be the person most responsible for my writing career. I wanted to find a writing partner. There wasn’t much time to get the screenplay done, because the deadline was looming.

I wasn’t surprised by my former publisher’s response: You don’t need a partner. I know you can write it.

It was exactly what I needed to hear.

The fun I had writing the screenplay stunned me.

The process of entering the screenplay competition ignited something inside me.

I also felt I had a natural place to start, given other work I’d done.

I spent 10 years in the dating, sex and relationship worlds. I was Relationship Consultant (my actual title) at the LA Weekly, then the nation’s top alternative newsweekly. From there I branched out. I spent years interviewing, writing, and talking to women and men about modern relationships, interviewing hundreds and hundreds of people.

I’ve been an avid reader of fiction my entire life, but writing romantic fiction was crossing into a fantasy world.

I excavated The Paris Review interviews with some of the great fiction writers of the 20th Century. I craved the thoughts of experience.

“… You want to let go. You want to lose yourself in language, become a carrier or messenger. The best moments involve a loss of control. It’s a kind of rapture…” – Don DeLillo, The Paris Review

One of my favorite articles on writing is by the great Elmore Leonard, for The New York Times, “Writers on Writing” (2001). It is entitled, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle.”

A simple screenwriting contest started by Meryl Streep began a wild creative ride.

Psychological thrillers wrapped in modern romance is my beat now.

BELTWAY BETRAYERS

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