Everything Is Copy
BY LIA ROMEO
Nora Ephron was undeniably one of the greats of both romance and comedy, the intersection of which is where I find myself writing most often.Â One of her well-known quotes â€“ and something she originally learned from her mother â€“ was: â€œEverything is copyâ€ â€¦ meaning everything that happens to you is potential eventual fodder for your writing.Â To me, this is one of the most wonderful things about being a writer.
When I started working on my first novel, Dating the Devil, Iâ€™d just broken up with a long-term boyfriend, moved out of the comfortable apartment we shared together, and into a room in a fifth-floor walkup with two â€œeccentricâ€ roommates.Â One of them liked to sleep on the living room floor with her boyfriend â€œbecause it was too hot in her room,â€ and the other liked to come home in drunken rages, break mirrors in the hallway, and pound on our doors demanding that we let him in â€œto talk.â€Â I was also dating â€“ a lot â€“ for the first time in several years, which was mostly awful.Â So â€¦ it wasnâ€™t an easy time.
But it was an exciting time â€“ I was making new friends, meeting new men, and discovering new places â€“ itâ€™s amazing how many restaurants, bars, and museums you find out about when youâ€™re going on a couple of dates every week.Â And probably most important, I was working on a book, which gave everything else a sense of purpose, or at least of possible purpose.Â Every bad date was a potential piece of backstory for my heroine, every bar I ended up at was a potential setting, every time I walked down the street I was taking in sights and experiences that just might make it into the story.
Iâ€™d been a playwright for years, but my plays tend not to draw so directly from my own experience.Â My novel, though, was about a girl a lot like me, living a life a lot like mine (well, ok, except for the falling in love with the devil part), and so my life fed directly into my writing in a way that was exhilarating.Â Everything was copy, and so nothing was useless, and nothing was a waste of time.
This feeling was part of what got me hooked on writing in the romantic comedy/chick lit genre, and itâ€™s part of why I hope to continue doing so for many years into the future (though the main reason is just that itâ€™s a lot of fun!)
Lia Romeoâ€™s debut novel, Dating the Devil (BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books, 2013) is a story about love, romance, and what itâ€™s like to date the ultimate bad boy â€¦ the Prince of Darkness himself.Â She is also a playwright and the author of the humor book 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About (Abrams Image, 2009).