Interview with writer Lillian Wang- 163rd Writer Signed

April 01, 2021

Interview with writer Lillian Wang- 163rd Writer Signed

Congrats on getting signed! Tell us a little bit about your writing background?
I have always loved to write and almost double majored in English and French in college, but my pragmatic, Asian parents asked, “how will you make a living with that?”  So my life took numerous different turns, leading me to work in business, international affairs, national security, law and cybersecurity.  Along the way, I kept my dream of being a writer alive by going through professional screenwriting programs at UCLA and NYU, reading scripts at Gold Circle Films and Miramax and writing day and night.  My Nicholl Top Ten Finalist placement in 2017 was really the turning point in my writing career.  I was almost going to give up on my dream but placing in the top 10 out of over 7,000 scripts gave me the validation and confidence to keep going.  Never give up!  

You signed with Rosa Entertainment. Can you share with us what the process was like? How did you know it was the right fit?
I have Joey to thank for brokering the introduction!  Joey reached out to Sidney, and he requested my pilot script, read it, loved it, we met for two hours on Zoom and clicked!  As we all know, this process is very much like dating.  You have to meet a lot of different people and know yourself (what you want) to recognize when it’s the right fit.  What sealed the deal for me with Sidney was his philosophy of not locking in his clients.  He values the broad spectrum of my life experiences and my interest in telling a wide variety of different stories, so he doesn’t want to limit my ambition or interests as a writer.  He wants to allow me to be ME!  

How do you infuse your voice into your work?
I do it through my characters and world-building based on my personal experiences.  Because of my own personal struggles with identity as a first generation Taiwanese-American, I am obsessed with the theme of identity and the need to feel in control of shaping it.  I explore this through flawed characters who are misunderstood and alienated often set in worlds drawn from my professional experiences.  

Who are your writing influences?
Since I write drama features and TV with thrilling plot twists and psychological elements, my primary writing influences are Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian.  But I also like to study across genres and borrow from the best to constantly elevate my craft.  So I am also influenced by Quentin Tarantino and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Other than getting signed, what's jazzing you right now?
Generating more material!  I’m a workaholic!  Signing is just the beginning of a new chapter.  I have developed a list of projects I want to complete in the next 12 months.  At the top of that list is finishing a sci fi feature, a new pilot and the first draft of a WWII/holocaust-themed novel.

How did you discover Roadmap?
I found Roadmap through the Diversity Initiative, which I won in November 2020.  To be honest, I was initially hesitant to apply, because I don’t consider myself a diverse writer or a female writer; I see myself as a writer who happens to be a woman with diverse views, experiences, values and beliefs.  What I’ve found is that Roadmap isn’t at all about checking the diversity box.  Roadmap views writers as human beings first and foremost, and it provides all writers the incredible tools to improve their marketing and pitching skills then advocates for them and offers access to key industry players.  The advocacy and access that Roadmap provides are invaluable.





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