Actress Molly Ringwald has been writing fiction for as long as she can remember. Best known for her coming-of-age movies, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club, she tells Show Daily she is looking forward to her fiction debut, When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories, due from It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Set in Los Angeles, the novel follows a series of characters and their shifting relationships through interlinked stories—with betrayal as the focal point, says Ringwald. “I thought there are few things that connect all of humanity, but betrayal is one of them. No one could say they have not been on one side or the other.”
The book features a large cast of characters, all of whom had to pass Ringwald’s finely tuned test. “People ask if acting helps or hinders my writing. I think it helps. I ask myself, would I want to play one of these characters? For this book I could say yes. They are all flawed, complex, and funny—exactly the kind of characters I look for as an actress.”
With three children, Ringwald says the only way she can find time to write is to leave the house. “I found a place in L.A. specifically for writers, and it really helps.” Her goal is 500 words or two hours a day, “whatever comes first.” It doesn’t hurt that her husband, Panio Gianopoulos, is a former editor at Bloomsbury and provides the perfect sounding board. “He is the only person I share the story with as I go along. He is incredibly helpful.”
Ringwald comes from a family of avid readers and says she is looking forward to her first BEA. She is also a strong advocate of literacy and perpetuating the joy of reading. “This is something I tried to impart to my children as I read to them before bedtime. It is incredibly important, and those that don’t feel that way are missing out on one of the great pleasures of life. It’s one of the few things that you can do solitary—just you and the world.”