A long time ago I wrote a short essay called “My mother writes WHAT?”. It was published in a charity anthology called “Crumbs from the Keyboard” which benefited the Center for Women and Families in Louisville Kentucky, a shelter for people in the midst of domestic abuse situations.
The essay was a fictionalized description of something that actually happened when I was first starting to write romance. My daughter Liz walked into the living room where I was busily typing away on one of my manuscripts, and I said something like “I just got to the sex scene!” with great relish.
She shook her head sadly. “My mother's writing smut.”
Which of course I thought was hilarious, hence the essay. I did change it to having my son look over my shoulder and see what I was actually writing, and his absolute horror at reading my red-hot prose. This was fiction, and did not actually happen. My son knows better than to EVER look at my work.
So it is many years later and now my daughter Liz is returning the favor of my using her words in that essay. She has written a play about romance writing in which a young woman whose mother was a very successful romance author, is trying to complete her mother’s last book after her mother’s death, apparently with her mother’s ghost’s help.
Obviously this is fiction as well. First of all, I’m not that successful.
Second, I’m not dead.
Still I have to be extremely flattered that Liz has opted to write a play like this. I expect that it will avoid being too disrespectful if only because she’s actually invited me to the premiere of the play on March 24th and I’ve gleefully accepted.
There is a really cool video trailer for the play that has various members of the cast reading aloud a sex scene... well, sort of. It’s not the kind of love scene I’d write. Let’s just say that I don’t use either “manhood” or “love cave” in my writing, and Liz knows that. But using the words I’d use wouldn’t be nearly as funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCvZ8i7p1F0
Information on the play: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/232602
Jane never understood her mother, or the best-selling romance novels she wrote. But after her mother's sudden death, Jane finds herself in charge of finishing her mom's last book. With a little help from the novel's overly-passionate characters, and her mother's inescapable ghost, Jane must find a way to honor her mother's dying wish to bring romance into her life.
LIGHTS OFF, EYES CLOSED was written by SkyPilot resident playwright Liz Shannon Miller, who currently works as a writer on G4's ATTACK OF THE SHOW. She has a BFA in screenwriting from USC, and since graduating has written dialogue for the U.S. Army, covered the online video world for the tech site GigaOM, and been published by the New York Times, Variety, Nerve and Thought Catalog. Produced theater works include SOMETHING BIBLICAL (Sight Unseen Theatre), IDEATION (3 of a Kind Theatre), NEGOTIATIONS (Black Box Theatre), JUDGEMENT and SAVE A HORSE (SkyPilot Theatre). Based in Los Angeles and a STAR TREK fan since birth, Liz found inspiration for LIGHTS OFF in her own mother's career as a romance novelist.
Directed by Meredith Berg, who earned her BFA at NYU Tisch in acting and directing. While in NYC, she directed several productions, including "Caesar" Off-Broadway, an update of the Shakespearean play for the York Shakespeare Company. She currently works in Los Angeles as a writer, director and comic-book editor. Her award-winning short film "Void" will soon be available on DVD from Amazon and iTunes.
Starring Mary Burkin, Samatha Carro, JR Esposito, Chera Holland, Joanna Kalafatis, and Jason Kobelius.
Janet Miller/Cricket Starr
Janet Miller/Cricket Starr