RS: I've been fortunate enough to get a sneak peak at your screenplay, Mom Slut, and it's really fantastic. How did that project first come about and what's it been like for you to work on it?
AS: The idea came to me, as most do, when I was 21 and having a manic conversation with my girlfriends. One of my best friends was talking about how she felt so much less cool than her mom. Her mom was young, for being a mom - she was still under 50 when we were turning 21. She had such an air of glamour about her too. She always seemed to be making these grand statements of "I am an independent woman" since divorcing her husband, and I think that was really heartbreaking to my friend in a way. She would often say things like, "My mom is hotter than me," "My mom has more boyfriends than me" and "I think my mom is younger than me." I think I started calling her mom "Momslut" to make her feel better. And then one summer I was taking a screenwriting class, and it was just the first thing that occurred to me to write about. I really wanted to write something about a mom and a daughter competing with each other. I was obsessed with the moms in Lolita and The Graduate and I wanted to write an extension of them. I only wrote a few scenes of it that summer though, and then I was back in school and focusing on being a "playwright." And then we graduated and I took a big hiatus from writing, so I didn't really go back to the screenplay until last winter. When I picked it back up again, I deleted everything and started from scratch. I felt humiliated when I read what I had written as a 21-year-old.
Writing the screenplay has been a tough process. There have been a lot of moments when I really felt like the world would be a better place without it. I get really embarrassed talking about it, too, because I am afraid it comes off in bad taste. I want to explain that I'm not trying to call anyone a slut, and then it just goes downhill from there. But I am deeply attached to the characters now. I want to know what happens to them, and I won't know unless I keep writing.
You have this running joke where you use the word 'dong' to replace other words. It's always funny. How did that come about?
I'm glad you think it's funny, because I have lost Facebook friends over using the word "dong." Really it only came about in a group text when someone accidentally typed "what are you donging" instead of "what are you doing.” It slowly increased from there.
What's your favorite holiday food item?
My favorite holiday food is this particular cookie that my mom makes. I remember being astounded when I encountered these cookies elsewhere because I truly believed that only my mother knew how to make them. They are these tiny green Christmas tree shaped cookies with multi-colored sprinkles - like ornaments! I don't know if they are really supposed to be the ornaments but that's what I always thought. You have to have this special cookie-cutting thing to make them, it's an ancient contraption from my grandmother. I'm sure there are better ways to make them now, but that's what we use to make them. One time I tried to make them myself and it must have gone horribly wrong somehow because the dough just came exploding out of the cookie cutter in one giant glob.