Randy Riggs attended the Workshop in fiction, songwriting, and playwriting from 1994-96.
I’m living in Los Angeles. I came out here to go to grad film school ten years ago, and stuck around!
I’m a novelist and a screenwriter, so I work for myself. I could probably fill a whole book with what I enjoy about being a writer. Suffice to say that, whatever it is, I enjoyed it back when I was a camper at YWW, too, and still do!
A lot of non-fiction, because I’m writing something that takes place in the past and I want to give it a realistic texture, and also quite a bit of young adult lit, because apparently I am a young adult writer now – that’s where barnes and noble decided to shelve my first novel, and thus I became a YA writer – but luckily I like the genre a lot, and the other YA writers I’ve met are all absolutely charming, intelligent, and unpretentious people.
I’m working on the sequel to my first novel. It’s a little scary, because there were no expectations on me for the first novel, but it was a hit, and now there are lots of expectations … so the pressure’s on!
That first novel – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – changed my life. I was pursuing a career as a screenwriter and a filmmaker, and having a little success, but the novel has done really well and now, almost accidentally, I find myself a novelist. I also published a nonfiction book a few years ago called The Sherlock Holmes Handbook, and I have a book of found photography coming out in the fall called Talking Pictures.
Fairly huge. Aside from meeting some lifelong friends there, it made me feel like less of a weirdo for being a writer by putting me in close proximity to so many other creative, interesting people who wanted to do the same thing I did. It made having a career as a writer seem possible.
Write every day. Show your work to other people and take criticism gracefully. Don’t worry about getting published yet. Don’t worry about whether your writing sucks; everyone worries about that, even professionals. It will get better!