Grandpa Hank’s Writer Interview – Molly Gross (Part II)

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Writer Interviews | 0 comments

Grandpa Hank’s Writer Interview – Molly Gross (Part II)

And now the exciting conclusion of the Molly Gross interview!

Grandpa Hank: How do you balance your life as a playwright with the myriad of other things going on? Basically, how do you survive and still do what you love?
Molly Gross: That is a very good question, and I’m always trying to find the answer to it! HA! You’re right that there certainly are a “myriad of things” happening on a daily basis, as is true for all working parents. Between teaching, cooking meals, cleaning messes, grading papers, and attending school and community events, I often get very little sleep and very little “me time.” I’m very fortunate that my husband and I work at the same college where he’s a theatre professor who likes my work. We recently produced a murder mystery I wrote that I also got to perform in. This made it easy to blend my passion with work obligations to end up with a finished product, but I know that is a rare blessing. I’m the kind of writer that needs both chunks of time and deadlines to motivate me, and because writing makes me feel whole, energized, and simultaneously at peace, I see it as part of my survival. So I have to carve out that time, even if gets to be 1:00AM (like it is now). 
GH: But why sleep when you can answer more questions? Let’s take this one for instance. Can you feel a change in your stories over the years? If yes, then how so?
MG: Honestly, I think I’ve become a more selfish writer, which I don’t necessarily see as a bad thing. I find myself wanting to write about things that really affect me deeply – things that make me think, things I don’t have answers to, but need to explore or purge, things that frighten me, mostly because I have no idea if anyone else will understand. I used to think about what would make audiences laugh, what would make them cry, what’s popular, or what I thought people would want to see onstage. Now, I try to generate stories that I want to read or see come to life, and I try to read more often to learn more about myself. Ya know, in all my spare time.
GH: And now that you’re deliriously tired, please finish this monologue. (Character of your choice) “Back when I was young, my grandmother had a saying. She said….”

MG: “…never hide a pig in your pantry.” Oh, Granny. She had a bunch of them. “Keep your kernels on the corn,” “You can’t clean a white cow.” She grew up on a farm. I could never figure out what she was saying, but I’ve tried hard to over the years. Anyway, the pig one comes to mind, not because I have a pig in my pantry, that would be ridiculous, but because of what I think is going on in your cubicle, Brad. Brett? Brad. I think I finally realize what Granny meant. Look, I know you’ve only worked here a couple weeks, but you’ve got to trust me, okay? The boss, he uh… OH HI CHERYL NICE SCARF! Phew. She gone? Anyway, the boss is bound to figure out what you’ve got in here, it’s just begging to be found. We can all smell it. It’s very distinctive. Especially today, when I walked by, that’s when it hit me. Your stash of donuts is like a pig in the pantry! You think it’s out of sight but it makes itself known. A pig’ll eat everything! Can you imagine the mess? The noise? Someone’s bound to fi—You know, I have to uh… I think I’ll go home for lunch today. Be back in a few. Got some pig I mean big, uh… business. To tend to. See ya Brad. Brett? Brad.


Both Grandpa Hank and coffee joints all over southern Georgia would like to thank Molly for her time and her very thoughtful answers. What a great insight into how writing and real life simultaneously enrich, enhance, and roadblock each other.

And now, in Molly’s honor, Grandpa Hank is going to go take a nap.

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