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Maria Semple's Biography

Member Info

Oct 2008

Maria Semple was born in 1964 and spent her first two years in Spain where her father had gone to write a play, but instead ended up writing the pilot for the TV series Batman.  They packed up for Los Angeles, where Maria mainly remembers being driven around the hills in a Mercedes convertible with the latest Stephen Sondheim playing on 8-track.  Wanting to expose the children to a change of seasons, her parents moved the family to Aspen in the early seventies.  There, Maria became an expert skier, pot-smoker and delinquent.  She was sent away to boarding school at Choate Rosemary Hall and loved every minute of it.

College was at Barnard, where Maria had big plans of becoming a novelist or an English teacher.  Those dreams got derailed when she sold a movie script to Twentieth Century Fox just after graduation and moved to LA.  She got into TV when her friend Darren Star-- whom she'd met on the ski slopes in Aspen years earlier-- gave her a job on Beverly Hills 90210.  Thus began a fifteen-year career in television, writing for good shows like Ellen, Saturday Night Live, Mad About You and Arrested Development.  And bad shows nobody needs to know about.

She had a baby and quit television.  When it was time to get back to work, she resisted Hollywood and gave novel-writing a try.  THIS ONE IS MINE is the result.  Writing it was the most fun work experience of her life.

Maria, her boyfriend and their daughter have since left LA for Seattle where Maria's at work on her second novel, about a grand family of Aspen.  Not the hot-tub-private-jet-cocaine-Aspen you think about when you think about Aspen.  The much-cooler small-town Aspen of her youth, the one only locals can know.  The working title is THE FLOOD GIRLS.  It's going to be really good.


Jane Austen
James Salter

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