May 21, 1964
Santa Monica, California, United States
Maria Semple was an Emmy nominated TV writer and producer who quit Hollywood at the apex of her success to become a successful novelist. Born in the bustling beach city of Santa Monica, California, you might say that Semple had screenwriting in her blood. Her father, Lorenzo Semple Jr., was a noted Hollywood scribe who wrote the classic thrillers "The Parallax View" (1974) and "Three Days of the Condor" (1975). Maria, however, dreamt of becoming a novelist, and studied creative writing at Barnard College in New York City, where she would eventually earn her B.A. in English. As luck would have it, however, shortly after graduation the aspiring novelist became a professional screenwriter after selling a script to 20th Century Fox. With the bright lights of Hollywood calling, Semple left New York and moved to Los Angeles. She soon landed a writing gig on the hit teen soap opera "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000), and before long came to the realization that she had a knack writing for the small screen. Over the next 10 years Semple served as a writer and producer on some of the most popular shows of the 90s, including the romantic comedy "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99) and Brooke Shields vehicle "Suddenly Susan" (NBC, 1996-2000). After the birth of her daughter in the early 2000s, however, Semple made the abrupt decision to leave Hollywood behind and finally pursue her dream of novel writing in earnest. With that goal in mind, Semple and her family moved to Seattle, where she quickly published two well-received novels, This One Is Mine (2008) and Where'd You Go Bernadette (2012). In 2013 it was announced that Where'd You Go Bernadette was being adapted into a major motion picture, with Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater in talks to helm the project.