Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing plays in college while freezing in the tundra at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She received an MFA from CalArts in Directing for theater and film and was a semi-finalist in the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship. She currently resides in California and can be found at her keyboard.
Womack's first novel is 2015's The Memory Painter. From her Q & A with Frannie Jackson at Paste:
Paste: What sparked your imagination to write The Memory Painter?Visit Gwendolyn Womack's website.
Gwendolyn Womack: The original idea came to me quite suddenly years ago as I was walking down the hallway of my apartment, and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I stood there for several minutes feeling jolted and excited. The spark of the idea was that neuroscientists had created a wonder drug that would allow us to access all our past lives—and with that drug we could remember how to speak all the languages we had known in the past and remember every previous talent and ability we had ever possessed. By the end of the day, I had the present day lifetime with Bryan sketched out along with the 1980’s neuroscientists storyline, and then the rest of the story grew from there.
Paste: Your novel spans 10,000 years of history; which time period was the most challenging to write?
Womack: Looking back, I’d have to say ancient Egypt for several reasons…primarily because it is the answer to the story, the climax and where the journey for Bryan and Linz began. I wasn’t working with any known historical figures to use as a framework when I wrote those chapters. Also, I was trying to weave in alternate theories about...[read on]
Writers Read: Gwendolyn Womack.
My Book, The Movie: The Memory Painter.
The Page 69 Test: The Memory Painter.