Q: I’ve never heard the name “Ethlie” before. Where’s it from? 

My mother named me to honor her older sister, Ethel, who died while saving a child from drowning shortly before my birth. “Ethlie” was meant to be sort of “little Ethel.” I’ve spent a lifetime spelling it for people.

I was the only Ethlie around until people started naming their daughters after me. Flattering, yes, but I had gotten used to being unique.  Of course when I was a kid I used to pretend my name was “Susie,” just to be normal.

Q: Did you always want to be a writer? 
No. I still don’t want to be a writer. I just don’t know how to do anything else.

Q: Is that your real hair? Are those your real curls? Is that your natural color?
Don’t laugh. This is probably my most frequently asked Frequently Asked Question. The answer is: Yes, yes, and almost. I really do have red hair, but I don’t think this particular red is actually found in nature. I color it with anything from curry powder to Thai tea to Kool-Aid… you could make a meal of my head. The curls just do that all on their own.

Q: I was a big fan of “The Gossip Show.” Do you miss being on TV? 
Yes, it was a lot of fun. When you’re seen on camera, people come up to you on the street and say ‘hi’… clubs and restaurants treat you better… you get invited to parties and concerts and awards shows… you even get free clothing and make-up. The downside is that I was perceived as a gossip, something I actually am not.

What’s Kevin Sorbo like? What’s Michael Biehn like? What’s Lea Thompson like?

One’s really handsome, one’s really sweet, one’s really intense. You figure it out.