Bio of author, Colette Freedman: COLETTE FREEDMAN is an internationally produced playwright, screenwriter, and novelist who was recently named one of the Dramatist Guild’s “50 to Watch”.
Her play Sister Cities (NYTE, 2009) was the hit of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe and earned five star reviews: It has been produced around the country and internationally, including Paris (Une Ville, Une Soeur) and Rome (Le Quattro Sorelle). She has authored fifteen produced plays including Serial Killer Barbie (Brooklyn Publishers, 2004), First to the Egg (Grand prize shorts urban shorts festival), Bridesmaid # 3 (Louisville finalist 2008), and Ellipses… (Dezart Festival winner 2010), as well as a modern adaptation of Iphigenia in Aulis written in iambic pentameter.
She was commissioned to write a modern adaptation of Uncle Vanya which is in preproduction and has co-written, with International bestselling novelist Jackie Collins, the play Jackie Collins Hollywood Lies, which is gearing up for a National Tour. In collaboration with The New York Times best selling author Michael Scott, she wrote the thriller The Thirteen Hallows, (Tor/Macmillan) The play version of The Affair (Kensington) is touring Italy next month.
Today is the release day for your book, “The Affair!” How are you feeling? Incredibly excited and hungry! When I get excited I eat so I can’t even imagine how many calories I’ll be devouring today.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Yes. I wrote my first play when I was eleven and have been writing ever since.
Who and/or what inspires you? My parents inspire me. My teachers past and present inspire me. Good writers inspire me: Ann Patchett, Michael Scott, Eudora Welty, Charles Dickens and Gabriel Garcia Marquez inspire me.
Describe what the writing/editing/publishing process is like for you: I actually love the process. I come from a background of sports where my job was to train to be the best athlete I could while the coach, assistant coach, athletic trainer, grounds crew and school administrators did their jobs to make sure that I could play. The writing/editing/publishing process is the same way. My job is to create the material and deliver it on schedule and I have a terrific support team to make sure that it gets from my vision into the public arena.
Which do you prefer, writing plays or books? Plays. There is nothing like sitting in an audience and watching actors bring your words to life and feeling the collective energy as an audience experiences your story.
You’ve had the pleasure to work with Jackie Collins. What was that experience like? Jackie is unbelievable. She is a true pro, a wonderful writer and a savvy businesswoman. She was incredibly generous throughout the process and I learned a great deal from her. I can’t wait to see the play!
What must a writer have at all times? Thick skin, tenacious optimism a hard chair.
Hard/paperback or eBooks? Both. I used to be a purist who refused to give in to the digital age, but when my brother bought me a kindle…well….let’s just say I’m addicted to being able to hold 1,000 books in my hand.
What is the best advice you’ve been given? Believe in yourself
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects? I’m writing the novelization of my play Sister Cities and working on a Young Adult book about a boarding school for girls where not everything is what it appears to be.
When I moved to Hollywood after grad school, I expected it to be the happiest place on earth. After all, everyone was beautiful, the sun was always shining, the air was fragrant with the smell of citrus and it was close to both the ocean and the mountains. Jay Leno drove his cool antique cars down my street, George Clooney frequented my favorite restaurant, I got my hair done by the same guy as Jennifer Aniston….what could go wrong? While Hollywood should be the happiest place on earth, it is often the saddest and the loneliest. When I first moved here, most of my friends were in committed relationships: They were in love. They were happy. Yet, time passed and now, only a handful of those relationships survived. Why? They were torn apart by affairs.
Affairs are dirty little secrets that no one likes to talk about; rather, they like to speculate, judge and gossip. It is so much easier to point fingers than to simply ask why. Why did it happen? And the answers, when you really ask the hard questions, are surprising. No one sets out to have an affair. Why would they? The universal answer to why people have affairs is “It just happened.” But nothing just happens. As humans we are constantly searching for the new experiences; the rush of adrenaline felt from something new, the newness of someone looking at us from a fresh perspective…seeing only what is presented to them rather than the heavy baggage loaded with history and shared experiences. “New”…that is always the operative word. We get bored by what we see every day and an affair, an illicit relationship with someone outside our mundane world of watching the kids and taking out the trash, offers a freshness which we so desperately crave.
Before I became a novelist, I was a commercial director and it was a world rife with affairs. We’d often be in an exotic location (okay, maybe North Carolina wasn’t terribly exotic..but it was different…and new) for a limited amount of time and people got frisky. There were so many affairs between the cast and crew I couldn’t count. And people didn’t go to North Carolina to shoot furniture commercials to have an affair…they “just happened.”As the director, I had to keep my distance from everyone. I was the authority figure, plus I was both young and a woman, so I had to keep a modicum of decorum. But that didn’t stop me from sitting at the bar and observing. A writer’s job is too observe…especially when people let down their guards and think no one is watching. A few of these affairs continued long after the shoots. And, eventually, one or two things would happen: the wife found out and kicked the husband out or the wife found out and forgave the husband. And there is no judgement to be placed on either decision. After all, we never know what goes on behind closed doors and what those confrontations boiled down to.
In The Affair, I tried to show the consequences of an affair from three different perspectives…placing the guilt equally on all three parties while trying to understand and empathize with them as well.
**Buy “The Affair”