Anis Shivani: Iowa Writers’ Workshop Graduate Spills It All: Interview with John McNally, Author of “After the Workshop”
by Scott Smith
A few years ago, I was talking to my then-agent about my days of working as a media escort after I had moved back to Iowa City in the mid-1990s, and she said, “You should write that novel.” That’s when the idea of actually writing a full-length novel took root again. Originally, the Writers’ Workshop wasn’t going to be a part of the book, but once I set the novel in Iowa City and made the narrator a writer with a horrible case of writer’s block, I decided to tackle every aspect of the writing and publishing world, including the Workshop. Suddenly, no one and nothing were immune. And that’s when I really started having fun writing it.