Proving a student can have a life outside of law school, Daria Snadowsky has just published her first novel, Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Random House, 2007).
The 2006 Boyd School of Law graduate describes Anatomy as "the product of a long, circuitous personal and professional path marked by numerous mistakes, failures, and dead ends (oh, and did I mention countless rejections?)."
She continues: "Not surprisingly, the most rewarding part has been hearing back from readers who have gotten hold of advance copies of the book and connected to the characters and story. And at the very least, now when someone asks me what I want to be or what I'm interested in, I have an answer."
Snadowsky, who moved to Las Vegas from New York City with her family in 1992, is a 1997 graduate of the Meadows School. From there she went to Emory University in Atlanta where she majored in film studies, wrote for the school newspaper, and interned at Las Vegas Weekly in the summer of 1998 and at Creative Loafing, an Atlanta magazine, the following summer. After college she worked as managing editor of INsite Magazine in Atlanta.
In an autobiography on the Random House website, Snadowsky recounts her problems in figuring out what she wanted to do with her life. She found that journalism was a productive way to fill spare time. "It's not so much that I enjoyed journalism," she writes, "but as extra-curriculars go, it was convenient time-wise. Squeezing in an article here and there was very doable, and receiving feedback from readers was very gratifying — I loved the feeling of 'connecting' with people I'd never met before but who were nonetheless affected by my written words."
When she realized she wanted to connect on a more emotional level, she decided the teen "chick lit" genre offered a better outlet than journalism. While between jobs, she started Anatomy, a coming-of-age story of two high school seniors experiencing first love and sex while navigating the transition from high school to college.
Having exhausted her resources, she moved in with her family and "decided to do the 'responsible' thing and go back to school," she says. "After I finished writing Anatomy of a Boyfriend's first draft, part of me wanted to go on and try to write a second book, but another part was scared I was going to find myself at 30 years old with a hoard of unpublished writings and no professional skills. So law school seemed like a 'sensible' way to bide my time and gain new life experiences while attempting to get published.
"Unexpectedly, law school helped my writing a great deal. In my legal writing classes, the professors stressed succinctness and often gave us word-count maximums. This was polar opposite of my college classes, where I got higher grades the longer papers I wrote."
Snadowsky found an agent and during her second year in law school got a publishing offer. Her studies began to take a backseat to the novel's revisions. "It felt so sinfully fabulous sitting in class editing a love scene on my laptop when I was supposed to be taking notes on civil procedure."
Although Snadowsky, who earned a joint bachelor's and master's degrees in four years at Emory, says she had a "lousy gpa in law school," she clearly was paying attention because in October she passed the state's tough bar exam. She hasn't decided whether she wants to practice law. "I'd love to write more, but that second novel is still gestating."