If Oriana Schwindt doesn’t seem like she’s from Central Florida, it’s because she fled it and her strict immigrant Hispanic mother as soon as she could, first to Northwestern for journalism school and then to New York to start a stable, lucrative career writing for print magazines (lol).

In 2017, after a half-decade writing about television for publications like TV Guide and Variety, Oriana tried to figure out what had happened to America on a self-funded, seven-month reporting trip to the geographic center of every state. When book editors said her material “wasn’t Eat, Pray, Love enough,” she began turning those stories about finding community into TV episodes.

In 2021, she landed a spot in the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop, where at various points she trotted out her love of fantasy and sci-fi, her obsession with urban planning, and her working knowledge of Spanish, Russian, Finnish, and Elvish.