I’m a teenager. How young were you when you knew you wanted to become a writer?

–Ruhalia Knight

I probably knew I wanted to be a writer when I was seven years old. My mom had a manual typewriter, and I spent the better part of a week trying to type a story about a boy who lived on Mars. I only made it about 12 lines. The story kept changing because I often hit the wrong keys, and would have to stop and think about what words I could make with the letter I had mis-typed.

It wasn’t until college that I started to think about writing for movies. In the era before the internet — and internet-based advice columns — I read what I could find in bookstores, starting with Steven Soderbergh’s screenplay for SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE. I remember being fascinated by how simple movie scripts were. It seemed easy, or at least a lot easier than any other form of writing.

I was wrong, but I was hooked. I learned everything else about screenwriting after I moved to Los Angeles in 1992. I was 22.