Where Politics, Hollywood, Media and Diplomacy Collide | C'est Chid, Arianna Huffington and local filmmaker Karim Chrobog
BY JEAN-MARIE AND RAUL FERNANDEZ
Hot off the heels of her New York Times bestseller
Sammy's Hill, Kristin Gore brings hypochondriac,
klutzy, always jumping-to-conclusions protagonist
"Sammy" back for a second round of comic fiction — this time taking up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
WASHINGTON LIFE MAGAZINE: When did you know that you wanted to write more about Sammy Joyce than the material in Sammy's Hill?
KRISTIN GORE: I couldn't stop writing her in my head. It didn't take long after finishing Sarnrny's Hill to realize that I had a lot more of her to share. In Sammy's House, she's moved from Capitol Hill to a position in the new administration, so she gets to experience first-hand the excitement and insanity of working behind the scenes in the White House. I wanted to continue her comic adventures in this new setting while delving a little deeper into the political world she inhabits and exploring more meaningfully the professional and personal challenges she must navigate to persevere. And, of course, I wanted to make people laugh along the way.
WL: Why are people so interested in the lives of the President,VP, and West Wing staff?
KG: In addition to curiosity being a fundamental human trait, I think people feel a certain amount of entitlement when it comes to knowing details about individuals they've elected to be the leaders of the free world. People understand that the President andVice President are regular human beings thrust into extraordinary power and handed tremendous responsibility. It's natural to want to make sure they're up to the challenge - to want to better understand the character of the people whose decisions can have such drastic impact on all of our lives.
WL: What do your parents think of the book?
KG: They were extremely enthusiastic fans of the first book, but they told me that they think this book is even better, which is very nice to hear both as a novelist and as a daughter.
WL: What question do you wish people asked you that they never do?
KG: "What's it like for your dad to go through the world as 'Kristin Gore's father?'"
WL: You've lived in many places. How have these cities contributed to your writing career?
KG: All have contributed to my writing in important ways. Washington has provided the setting for two novels I never knew I'd write until they came tumbling out; Tennessee has always been the place I've felt most peaceful and creative, so crucial parts of both novels and the screenplay were written there; Boston set me down the comedy-writing path thanks to my college experience with the Harvard Lampoon; and Los Angeles has provided post-collegiate comedy writing work and has since become my home. Bits and pieces of all of these places pop up in everything I write.
WL: Does Sammy's House have a message?
KG: I didn't intend any specific message, but I suppose Sammy does struggle to find a way to endure unexpected disillusionment and achieve balance in a world full of crazy curve balls.
WL: What are you working on now?
KG: I've been really enjoying immersing myself in a fresh fictional world. I'm also finishing up the screenplay adaptation of Sammy's Hill for Sony Pictures.
WL: As a comedy writer, do you ever have off days where you think, "I can't be funny today"?
KG: I have plenty of days where I feel that way, but I force myself to sit there and write anyway. I usually get to a point in which I feel like I've accomplished at least one good thing that day.