So why television? It seems with novel writing you're in your own world with complete control ...
Well, let me show you my pay stubs from the two careers ...
[We both laugh.] Well, OK, yeah, dumb question.
No, it's really not a dumb question and there's more to it than that. Even on a low rated show on UPN, I have three million viewers. My best selling teen novel has now sold 200,000 copies. I love having that big audience. I mean, you're a writer, you want to be read, or in this case, viewed, you know.
Then there's the thrill, when I write down "Chicago, Irish bar, Taggerty's," and a crew of people builds it and I fly to Chicago and there it is, in the flesh. And then to have really remarkably talented people performing your dialogue? I adore it. I love doing what I do.
Television really plays to my strengths as a writer and as a person in that I need the immediate gratification. Being a highly paid feature writer seems like it would be great and it would be about a fifth of the work of running a television show, and certainly there's quite a bit of cache. Except in television, the writers are the boss, and I love that.
I love that you have to shoot things tomorrow. You don't get to tinker around. You have to produce 22 episodes, and a script has to be ready every eight days. I love the process and the immediacy.
You can't fail in features. You can fail in television and be OK. You can try something different that maybe doesn't work and you have one off episode. In features, that's your shot.
And I like television as a viewer. I like living with characters for long periods of time.
I'm fast and I like to be in charge and I'm impatient and these are all good things in TV. In the feature business as a writer they pat you on the head for the script and escort you out the door and it's a director's medium. In television, it's a writers medium. I get final say on the cast and the script and the cut. I dig it.
It's certainly more collaborative than writing a novel, and yet being a showrunner is as much power as you can get being a writer in Hollywood.