Sascha Rothchild: Author and freelancer’s personal story
When Sascha Rothchild walks into a room heads turn. This Miami Beach-born green-eyed, majestic red-haired bombshell can knock you off your feet not only with her silver knee-high-heeled boots but also with her expertise in (unsuccessful) relationships. Rothchild’s book, How to Get Divorced by 30: My Misguided Attempt at a Starter Marriage, was released January 26, 2010, after Penguin Publishers came across the article and wanted to publish a memoir. Rothchild has also written for Psychology Today Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, match.com and dippolitics.com. Although always busy freelancing articles for various publications, or flying out to book signings all over the country, Rothchild still finds time where she resides in Los Angeles for the little things in life like her cat, Spork, her love for frozen yogurt, and her obsession with vampires and black nail polish.
“I always knew that I wanted to be a writer,” said Rothchild. “When I was 11 or 12 years old, I read an ‘Interview with a Vampire.’ I was so completely immersed in those books that I realized if I can create my own world with my writing then I can control my own environment with my writing. I always had the habit to jot down funny conversations I heard while out with my parents. Because my father was a writer, it just made sense. I grew up surrounded by writing and watching him write. I must say it is probably the least glamorous job in the world because you sit alone in a room wearing sweatpants. But there is something glamorous to me about people reading what I write.”
From a very young age, encouraged by her father, this now 33-year-old Jewish Boston College graduate always felt the need to write. Her philosophy is that if she doesn’t write it, it isn’t real. Always propelled to write down everything, whether it is something that happened to her or a story idea, Rothchild’s mantra is about writing things down to define her reality. “The process of sitting down and writing can be very scary for a lot of people,” she said. “Some dread it and continue to put if off. For me, I’m not afraid of it. Maybe I’m afraid sometimes that the writing won’t be very good. You have to do a little bit everyday, and because I’ve been doing it since I was seven or eight years old, it comes naturally to me. I feel if I don’t write, my life isn’t complete. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? For me, if I live my life and I don’t write about it, I haven’t really lived my life.”
Moving to LA upon graduating with a degree in theater specializing in playwriting, Rothchild soon realized that living in LA and getting in touch with the big-screen people was more than just tough love. One night, prior to her moving to the west coast and while she was eating out for dinner with a few college friends, Rothchild was deep in conversation and David Black, the executive director of Law and Order, overheard her. At the end of dinner, he had given her his business card and told her that he liked her spunky personality and he would give her a job after she graduated. Thinking she would get many offers down the road, Rothchild didn’t find it necessary to keep track of the card and lost it within a few weeks. Years later, while struggling to balance freelance writing and waitressing, Rothchild had learned a valuable lesson and has kept every business card she’s received since.
The hardest part about being a freelance writer, according to Rothchild, is that the need to write should always be there. “If you don’t write all the time, then you aren’t a writer,” said Rothchild. Writing for at least five hours a day, six days a week, this freelancer, memoirist, and screenwriter calls writing her cardio. “I do write like it is a job and as if I have a deadline even if I don’t have a deadline because it forces me to produce good material, said Rothchild. “Eventually I hit a wall, but usually in five hours I accomplish a lot. You have to build up to writing a lot. When you get used to it and when you’re really feeling it – it zips right along. I enjoy writing in coffee shops because I can sit in a corner while there is this soft chatter around me and I don’t have to focus on it. If someone says something that gets my attention I’ll listen for a few seconds. Afterwards, what’s going on will have energized me and then I can get right back into what I’m writing.”
Rothchild has continued to freelance. After she pitched and published the LA Weekly article “How to Get Divorced by 30,” following her actual divorce from her husband of three years, both Penguin Publishers and Universal Studios showed an immense interest in getting a memoir and movie out of it. Readers can tell the article and memoir has proven anything but anti-male. “If anything, I’m hardest on myself,” she said. “The book is about not buckling under pressure to get married. The whole general response to the book has been that I have had such a weird life but that I’m really relatable.”
Now with the recent release of her book and meanwhile in the process of writing the script for Universal Studios, Rothchild feels like she has obtained the expert title in relationships. Although she does not have a psychology background, Rothchild claims that she has always been obsessed with analyzing people and relationships. Her regular columns for Psychology Today and How to Get Divorced by 30 – both the article and the book version- have gotten Rothchild labeled a professional and expert in this particular field. Having been asked to be on an episode of VH1’s Tough Love, which will air within the next few months, and constantly interviewing for many women’s websites and magazines, she has been deemed as the relationship expert. “By failure, I have been the expert.”