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Five Questions with Alana Sanko

1.) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I am one of those people who knew very young. It was always my dream, going back to elementary school, when I wrote a few creative writing pieces in class and turned one into a sequel. A couple of supportive teachers played their part in planting it in my head too. But I also lived for reruns of "I Love Lucy" as a kid and knew every episode by heart. I loved how Lucy made things happen. I wanted to write for TV but had no idea how to make it happen. Out of college, I found my way to a writing job by working at a public relations firm where we covered a lot of television shows. You can't imagine my excitement when I was put on the "The Golden Girls" account and discovered it was taped on the same lot as "I Love Lucy." It took a few more years to find my way to a writers room, but ultimately I had the honor of writing on staff for another strong female character, "Murphy Brown" and the dream came true.

2.) What do you love most about the writing process?

What I love about writing is also what I hate about it -- it's endless.

3.) What do you love most about teaching writing?

Helping ignite a spark in someone else. I never thought that I would want to teach. I was the shy kid who would rather write than act and teaching always looked to me like a big stage. But now that I'm many years into it, I can honestly say it's been incredibly rewarding and so much fun -- I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it. I enjoy the problem-solving and the ability to escape into so many worlds with other writers. Throughout the pandemic in particular, it felt like writing was one of the few things people could control in their lives and it was such a positive experience for me to be able to work with and teach other writers via Zoom.

4.) What are you reading right now?

Given world events, I've been seeking lighter reading choices (there are certain topics I just can't handle), and so I'm inhaling historical fiction lately. Also, I'm in a book club through my son's school and just finished The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, by Marie Benedict.

5.) What's your favorite writing quote?

"Write like you're not afraid." Phoebe Waller Bridge

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