October 4th, 2010 18:53 EST
Andrea Meyer, Author of Room for Love chats with Judyth Piazza on The AP
Born in Santa Monica and raised in Westwood, CA "just a hop, skip and a jump from Hollywood " Andrea Meyer has always had drama in her blood. Already when she was at Bellagio Road Elementary School, she convinced her mom to drive her to Hollywood Boulevard on Saturday mornings for acting classes. She also sang backup for a 4th grade Kiss cover band, became the queen of the talent show (her posse`s rendition of Hello 12, Hello 13, Hello Love " was legendary) and with a girlfriend adapted, directed and starred in a stage version of Agatha Christie`s And Then There Were None. At home, she and her little sister, Katya, along with some neighborhood kids, acted in a video version of Grease (Andrea played Danny), and made a valiant attempt at writing out the script for The Shining "word for word.
At the Westlake School for Girls, where she attended 7th through 12th grade, Andrea developed interests in literature and photography and learned how to write a well-structured essay. It was this skill that allowed her to coast through her first two years at UC Santa Barbara, where she was more interested in keg parties and frat boys than getting an education, much to the dismay of her father, a history professor, and mother, a psychiatric social worker. Andrea did her junior year abroad in Paris, completing a program for foreign students at the Sorbonne "and drinking a lot of cheap red wine. When she returned to UCSB, she had acquired a renewed enthusiasm for education and threw herself into her English and especially dramatic lit classes with vigor.
After graduating with honors with a BA in English (she wrote her thesis on women in the work of James Joyce), Andrea took off to Europe again. Armed with a few hundred bucks and Eurail passes, she and a girlfriend spent four months sunbathing topless in Greece, haunting the carpet shops of Istanbul and the coffee shops of Amsterdam, sailing to Majorca with strange Frenchmen, and visiting poets` graves in Ireland. When they ran out of money, they moved to London, where they shacked up with a group of New Zealanders in a dreary suburb and got jobs, Andrea bar-maiding in a series of wine bars to fund her theater habit. After eight months, Andrea escaped the gloominess for Paris, where she spent two years teaching English to school kids and bored housewives and perfecting her French (with her cute French boyfriend). She also developed a passion for cinema, devouring movies in the arthouse theaters of the Left Bank.
Unclear what to do with her life, in 1993 Andrea decided to give New York a shot and enrolled in the English department at NYU. Once in Manhattan, though, she became dazzled by the theater and film communities and got a job assisting composer/ playwright/ theater director Elizabeth Swados. After achieving her master`s degree, Andrea worked briefly for a theater and film literary agent at ICM and then in film production, on such projects as a French-language feature, Tempéte dans un vers d`eau, the Discovery Channel doc The Occult Roots of Nazism and the HBO doc Daughter of Suicide. She also produced and helped program the Avignon/New York Film Festival in 1998 and has been a juror for numerous festivals since.
After leaving her job at ICM, Andrea shared a cab home from the airport with the editor in chief of Hamptons Magazine, who offered her a writing gig, her first assignment a review of Todd Solondz`s Welcome to the Dollhouse. From then on, Andrea cultivated contacts and wrote articles for anyone who would let her. She covered festivals for the popular independent film website indieWIRE, interviewed directors for the free paper the Independent Film Monitor and eventually became a regular theater critic for The Resident. After learning the tricks of the trade (and taking a writing class at the New School), she began to get assignments from such publications as Time Out New York and the New York Post. In 2000, Andrea became the Managing Editor of the IFC`s print publication IFC Rant, which was published by indieWIRE. She worked there for two years before leaving to pursue a freelance writing career.
In the spring of 2003, after getting evicted from her apartment and couch-surfing with a string of friends for four months before moving into an apartment she bought in the East Village, Andrea wrote a wacky story for the New York Post, for which she pretended to look for a roommate as a ploy to meet guys. She decided to adapt the article into a novel (about a New York film journalist named Jacquie Stuart* who writes an article for which she pretends to look for a roommate as a ploy to meet guy). Andrea began writing the book at the home/writers` retreat in Southwest France of her friend and writing partner Kerry Eielson, with whom she was finishing up a screenplay called The Alpha Girls (based on another of Andrea`s wackier life experiences).
Back in New York, Andrea squeezed in hours or days of work on her novel while writing about film, entertainment and social trend stories for such publications as Time Out New York, Variety, Interview, the Village Voice, New York Post, Daily News and Fitness Magazine and writing celebrity and women`s interest stories for Glamour. A regular gig emerged writing movie reviews, interviews and a s*x and the movies column called Hot & Bothered for IFC.com; and, from December through February, she reported on the Sundance Film Festival for The Sundance Daily Insider.
During this period, Andrea also started seeing Harlan Bosmajian, a director of photography she`d dated briefly nine years earlier, who had married someone else and just become single again. Within six months, he moved in with his cats, Jack and Maggie. Even before packing up his possessions and hauling them to the East Village, Harlan proved himself a more serious candidate than the others: He said, It`s time you finished your novel " and bought Andrea a membership to The Writers Room, an office space for writers that requires silence, seriousness and commitment to craft.
Andrea completed the first solid draft of her novel Room for Love just days after she married Harlan in Santa Barbara on August 27, 2005. She had promised herself she would finish it as a single girl, but with flower arrangements to freak out about and clamoring relatives to embrace, she did not meet her goal. Instead, she kissed the groom and then proceeded to write non-stop until two hours before leaving on her honeymoon. A couple of drafts later, her agent, Jennifer Gates at Zachary, Shuster, Harmsworth Literary Agency, sold the book swiftly to St. Martin`s Press. Room for Love will be published in Fall 2007.
Andrea and Harlan moved to Los Angeles, to the great joy of Andrea`s parents and Harlan`s agent, in September 2006. Her sister, Katya, a commercial producer, moved into their apartment in the East Village. Andrea promptly landed her first professional screenwriting gig, writing the script for a remake of the 70s supernatural thriller Audrey Rose for MGM. And she has amassed hundreds of pages of notes for her next novel.
* Jacqueline Stuart is the name the author used when she applied for a fake ID while in college. She got caught (but fortunately not cuffed) at the DMV and charged with perjury. She was, however, later permitted to plead guilty to a lower charge and get off with a wrist slap and a small fine.
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