Where are you from and what inspired you to become a television writer?
I grew up in Ohio, the Heart of it All. As a child, I created a town with my older sister made up of our toys called, Peopleland. In Peopleland, were the Star Wars family, Fisher Price Farmer family, and Weeble-Wobble family, amongst others. And everyday from as far back as I can remember my sister and I “played with the people”. We watched our friends have fights on the playground, compete for the solo in the church choir, get married and/or divorced, have children, find themselves rich after years of poverty, and in one case of battery acid leaking onto Billy Weeble-Wobble – experience death. Their lives changed as my sister and I grew older, but in some sense, the people of Peopleland, Florida were characters we could always count on. It was only years later, when I wrote a treatment for a soap opera right after graduating from college, that I connected the dots and realized that TV writing would offer me a chance to have a job where I could come in to work and be paid to “play with the people”. Nirvana ensued shortly thereafter.
What Spec did you write to get into the workshop?
I, along with my writing partner, Sonya Winton, wrote aSouthland spec.
Who is your all time favorite television character and why?
I have two. The first is Bugs Bunny because he always knows what to do. The second is Dynastyanti-heroine Alexis Morell-Carrington-Colby-Dexter-Rowan. While some people think of Alexis as simply the “super-bitch” foil to ex-husband Blake Carrington’s “perfect” second wife Krystle, I argue that she was a rare example in the 1980s of a woman who had a strong sense of family loyalty, brilliant business acumen, and a healthy sex life. If you wronged her, she sought revenge, if you wooed her, she fell in love, and if you wavered in her presence, she would destroy you. (Who doesn’t want to watch that every week?) Alexis was a feminist icon when I had no idea what that even meant; as a kid, I just found her interesting because she was fighting against all of these different forces set against her. Alexis was a woman in a man’s world and she battled tooth and nail to create her place in it. I couldn’t help but root for her.