Tom Dolby attended the Workshop in fiction writing in 1993.
I live in Los Angeles. After many years of living on the east coast, it was time to move to warmer climes as well as to be closer to the film industry, which is where most of my work is focused these days.
I love the creative task of developing film properties and collaborating with other writers and artists. There’s something very satisfying about using my own creativity, but also in connecting creators to each other in order to make something new.
The same as when I was 17, I can still devour a good novel in one afternoon. I think the sensation of being able to lose oneself in another world, yet still remain firmly attached to the one we are in, is incredible. A good movie will do the same thing, of course.
I’m putting together two films—one is a period piece, set in the 1950s, about the making of the film Rebel Without a Cause. The other is a portrait of a marriage between two artists, in East Hampton, NY. I’ve found that a lot of my work deals with family, both the family we are born into as well as the families that we create.
I’m very proud of my feature film writing and directing debut, Last Weekend, starring Patricia Clarkson. It encapsulates many of the things that I wanted to say about being a young person, about money and class, and about parenthood and the passage of time. And of course, I’ll always have a place in my heart for my first two novels, The Trouble Boy and The Sixth Form.
Even though it was only three weeks, the Young Writers Workshop had an immense influence on my life. It was one of the first times that I felt taken seriously as a writer and creative person. I also remember that it was the first time I saw the film Rebel Without a Cause—now, more than 20 years later, I am making a movie about the making of that film.
Write every day. Don’t worry about whether it’s any good. Just write.