L.E. Grabowski-Cotton is a freelance writer and a professional writing coach. She holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting and Screenwriting from Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts, an M.A. in English Literature, and a B.A. in Communication from George Mason University. Each of L.E. Grabowski-Cotton’s screenplays and plays won multiple awards. Her monologues and plays have been published in Young Women’s Monologues from Contemporary Plays and The Best Ten Minute Plays series. Her columns and reviews have appeared in Memphis Health and Fitness, Memphis Parent Magazine and NorthEastBookReviews. Her short story, The Mourning Dove, won first prize in Literal Latte’s K. Margaret Grossman Fiction Awards and is online at http://www.literal-latte.com/2012/01/the-mourning-dove/. She currently teaches Creative Writing and Literature classes at several private academies and mentors writers online via her website, LauraWriter.Com. Her current projects include a Christmas play, a young adult, and multiple stories.
If you haven't done so already, check out L.E.'s award-winning story "Autumn Spring Together" and return here for a chat with the author.
WOW: Congratulations on placing in the Fall 2011 Flash Fiction Contest! How did you begin writing this story, or what was your inspiration for it?
L.E.: My short story, "Autumn Spring Together," was inspired by my fascination with paradoxes. The idea for "Autumn Spring Together" emanated from my desire to write a romance told in contradictions so that everything in the story, from the time of year (autumn or spring) to the nature of the relationship (romantic or platonic), is indeterminate. The main character is tormented by his desire to accurately describe how he fell in love, but it is this very desire that prevents him from being able to accurately tell it.
WOW: A very unique idea! Thank you for sharing it with us. What do you enjoy most about writing?
L.E.: The freedom that writing provides is phenomenal. Writing allows me to travel wherever I wish and speak to whomever I want. I am thankful that this world is not all that there is for me; that I have an inner world that exists as vividly as the outer one. My writing is the physical part of my inner world that I can express and share with others.
WOW: And which of your current writing endeavors are exciting you the most right now?
L.E.: I am currently in the midst of writing two novels, a young adult novel and a fantasy novel. I am also in the process of transforming my award-winning screenplay, "Recalculating," into a full-length play. In addition, I am a professional writing and editing coach, and I love helping other writers define, polish, and perfect their prose. My website is LauraWriter.Com.
WOW: Excellent! Sounds like you have a busy writing life. How about your reading life? What are you reading right now, and why did you decide to read it?
L.E.: Fairy tales, myths, and fables captivate me because they reveal universal truths about the human condition. As a result, I am currently reading Women Who Run with the Wolves, a non-fiction book by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I am also reading The Once and Future King by T.H. White, and The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, the latest book in the Number One Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I also enjoy reading historical literature, and I just finished Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff.
WOW: That sounds equally as busy! So if you could have dinner with one author, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
L.E.: We would have to make it a dinner party, because there are so many writers I would like to meet! My favorite writers tend to experiment with form, magical realism, and spectacle. As a poet and fiction writer, I would like to chat with Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Emily Bronte, e.e. cummings, Nick Hornby, Alice Hoffman, and Erin Morgenstern. As a playwright and screenwriter, I would like to dine with Shakespeare, Sarah Ruhl, Annie Baker, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, Caryl Churchhill, Steve Martin, and Zach Helm. Oh, and I would love to indulge in a chocolate croissant while chatting with Woody Allen, preferably in a cafe in Paris!
WOW: Yes, that would be exciting! Thank you so much for your answers, and good luck with your writing projects.
Interviewed by: Anne Greenawalt