Where do you live (City, State, or Country)?
Los Angeles, CA
Your script stood out among hundreds of others. What was the inspiration for your story and why did you write a script instead of a short story or a novel?
I have been in love with film and TV my whole life. My mom claims that I taught myself to read as a toddler by watching commercials. I think in movies, I dream in movies. When I read a book, I visualize the book as if I’m watching a movie- so for me, a screenplay is a no-brainer… or a “my-brainer”. It’s just how my brain works. My lifelong best girlfriends were the inspiration for this script and characters. Being black American female millennials, who grew up straddling the poverty line was rough. That previous sentence alone has some very obvious obstacles in it. We often joke that we’ve been living through a lifelong apocalypse. In March I flew home to Philly. The morning after I arrived, we all woke up to alarms on our phones stating that a chemical spill had contaminated the Philadelphia water system making it unsafe to use for drinking or cooking. As unbelievable as this sounds, it actually happened; you can look it up! This happened on top of a million and one other things we were dealing with. But through every crisis we’ve experienced, we have always been able to find solace and laughter within our friendship. So for me, this particular script wrote itself. I just threw in some zombies.
How long did it take you to write your script...and what is your writing process? Do you outline...use index cards...white board...or just start with FADE IN?
I feverishly wrote this pilot in one night. It took about 7 hours, between 9pm-4am.
I generally try to outline, but this script just kind of, ‘stream-of-consciousness' flowed out of me. But I am, of course, using an outline for the season and creating a series bible. The Save the Cat beat-sheet is my go-to tool when outlining. I love it.
What is your ultimate ambition as a writer?
My ultimate ambition is to create a series for myself in which I can act as the lead. In addition to writing, I am a conservatory trained actress. I want to use both of my skill-sets to create work that really resonates with people and communities who may feel overlooked by traditional narrative media.
Was your entry at The Wiki Screenplay Contest a full script or “the first ten pages”? Why did you make that choice?
I submitted my full script because I wanted to get a clear picture of all areas in which I could improve and strengthen my script and writing. I felt that if I was only submitting 10 pages, there might be something in the unsubmitted pages that I might overlook.
What’s your all-time favorite movie or television show...and why?
There are a lot of TV shows that I LOVE, but I'd say the Simpsons is my all-time favorite.
The Simpsons basically raised me. Besides being an immensely funny show, its humor is also really smart and has stood the test of time. I also feel that, growing up as a self-aware geek, I had experiences that mirrored many of Lisa Simpson's. Having Lisa Simpson on-screen made my sense of self easier to navigate as a child.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to win a contest or place as a finalist as you have?
I’m still learning and figuring out how to navigate the industry, and my process, but the best advice I would give anyone who wants to write is to just DO IT. Nike that ‘ish. Wherever you are, whatever your situation- don’t overthink it, just start writing.
I’m currently hand-writing this onto a tiny piece of loose leaf, while working my day job. Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. It does have to get written; it does have to exist. Before writing Love in the Apocalypse, a friend told me of an interview he read featuring one of the Simpsons writers.
The writer said that his process when writing an episode is to just get it down on paper no matter what. Sometimes he’ll write in place-holder jokes that don’t even make sense. He just keeps going. Then the next day, he goes back and punches everything up.
So I would just echo that advice.
Don’t overthink, don’t judge yourself. Be willing to “fail” in order to “succeed” and JUST DO IT.
What else are you working on that the world needs to know about?
Most of my projects draw from my experiences as a black American woman.
I've found that a blend of dark comedy, sci-fi, and fantasy are the best ways for me to process a lot of my lived experiences without feeling overwhelmed or re-traumatized by exploring them.
I’m currently channeling those experiences into:
● A dramatic sci-fi mini series that explores why the “strong black woman” construct is harmful, and the emotional effects of constantly shouldering the burdens of others
● A time-travel rom-com that explores what it’s like to navigate a romantic relationship across age gaps, time, and cultures.
● A fantasy web series about the duality I feel as a black American woman, explored via a lead character who questions how to exist in a world that asks her to hold two very separate identities, while also unifying those two identities, despite them often being in opposition.
And of course finishing my series bible for Love in the Apocalypse.