Junto Magazine, Volume 2 Issue 2 authorial experience. No compromise or collaboration adulterates the process. Undiscovered Gyrl was just going to be a novel. When it came out, I was really proud of it and felt no need to adapt it into a screenplay. After a few years, during which another writer had tried and failed to adapt it to the screen, I was ready to give it a shot. But I knew I was not go- ing to give my adaption to someone else to direct. I would have to direct it my- self. The closest joy to writing a novel is directing my own screenplay. I listen to other voices and opinions, but there is no one telling me what to do. What advice do you have for writ- ers who are planning to write an adap- tation of a pre-existing work? Your only commitment is to the film audience, to making sure that they are en- lightened, entertained, and never bored. With this as your aim, preserve as much of the original work as possible, but not a line more. You have no greater obligation to the original writer and the people who loved the book than that. So, having written a screen adapta- tion of your own work (Ask Me Any- thing) and an adaptation of someone else’s novel (Feast of Love), which would you say is more difficult? Does the original author reaction or pre-ex- isting fan base make it more intimidat- ing? I have a freakish ability to slash and burn my own novels as easily as I do the works of others. In both cases, I remain objective and try to preserve as much of the original work as I can. Return to the Table of Contents Lastly, I like to ask all my inter- viewees what advice they have for the next generation of great writers and artists, whether it’s dealing with rejec- tion, bad reviews, or lack of response to their published work? If you are meant to be a writer, you will write no matter what. Even if you never earn a cent, even if the whole time you are working nine to five at something else, even if everyone you know tells you that your work is bad. You will not re- quire validation or encouragement. You will write not for money or praise, but because you must. You will write because it is an imper- ative of your psyche, your brain chemis- try, your imagination, and you will nev- er give up. If you do eventually quit, it means you never were a writer in the first place. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have writing talent. You might even have more talent than someone who never gave up. Talent isn’t the issue. The world is crawling with people who have writing talent, but who work quite happily as lawyers, cops, and food servers. It’s all about what you do with that talent. Only a born writer feels compelled to weather the self-doubt, the loneliness, and rejec- tion of the writer’s life to put in the long hours to see his or her talent fulfilled. You can find Allison Burnett on Twit- ter @allison_burnett and follow his latest creative endeavors on his website Alli- sonburnette.com. His books can be pur- chased on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and his film Ask Me Anything is available through streaming on Netflix. He is cur- rently in the process of getting the sequel to Ask Me Anything funded.