Although her first book, “Cinderella Has Cellulite: And Other Musings from a Last Wife,” is in its second printing, Donna Arp Weitzman hesitates to call herself a writer.
“I’ve always been in the business world,” she says. “I’ve never worked in the English area. I’ve just always loved anything having to do with literature.”
But in the early 2000s, Arp Weitzman’s life changed dramatically. After 25 years of marriage, she went through a divorce, moved to Dallas and met Herb Weitzman. The commercial real estate mogul would become her second husband — they now live in our neighborhood. Dating later in life proved challenging.
“I can’t remember [dating] in my 20s because I was married so long,” she laughs. “I think I didn’t like it then and I certainly didn’t like it the second time … It’s hard to discern honesty sometimes. And it’s very time consuming.”
She coped by cracking jokes and sharing humorous stories about the process with her girlfriends. Their conversations were so funny, she decided to write them down. Pretty soon she had a few chapters worth of content. In a serendipitous moment, Arp Weitzman met “a young book editor” at a party.
“I said, ‘You know, I’ve got these little chapters about dating when you’re older and all the things that happen,’” she remembers. “‘Will you take a look at it?’”
The editor specialized in biographies, but agreed to give Arp Weitzman’s anecdotes the once over — they left her in stitches.
“She said, ‘If you decide to do a book, I’ll edit it,’” the author explains. “So she became my accidental editor.”
The self-published book sold more than 1,000 copies in its first two months on Amazon and was eventually picked up by Greenleaf Book Group, a publishing house based in Austin. Arp Weitzman now has a three-book deal with Greenleaf. “Prince Charming has a Migraine” and “Sex and the Siren” are two of her upcoming titles. The author, though she’s still reluctant to call herself that, possesses seemingly boundless energy. She’s currently busy collaborating with a group of TV writers to develop “Cinderella Has Cellulite” into a network series.
“I’m not a TV writer and I’m not a screen writer,” Arp Weitzman admits.
She’s fine with relinquishing some creative control, but she insists upon having the final say when it comes to the show’s portrayal of Dallas women.
“The women here are phenomenal — smart, attractive, hardworking,” she says. “I think some TV shows in the past have made them look much less intelligent. I don’t want it to look like we are all about money and big hair and plastic surgery. I will not have that. We have an unusually intelligent community of women in Texas.”
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