Lauren Graham has a day job as Sarah Braverman on the NBC drama "Parenthood," but she decided to fill up her free time by writing a novel.
"I don't know why I don't pick up knitting or watercolors," the 46-year-old actress joked in a recent interview, "but I wanted to write a book. There were times and days when it was fun and exhilarating and a lot of days where it was really hard."
The story isn't autobiographical, but obviously Graham could relate to Franny's struggle to break into show biz.
"I was more interested in (the) waiting, auditioning ... and that feeling when you're on the outside of something looking in. So many people in general and young actors specifically spend so much time there, and many people never get beyond that, I just thought that's what I wanted to focus on."
Graham illustrates parts of the book with pages of a calendar showing Franny's erratic schedule with multiple auditions one day and, for some weeks at a time, none at all.
"In the '90s, the way you kept your calendar was to write it down, and I well remember at the end of a year you could look back and see literally, physically your year. ... So much of being an actor at any level is waiting. Especially when you're starting out, the waves are even more dramatic of nothing versus something."
Graham's publisher has already asked her for a second book. She thinks Franny's story will continue in Los Angeles.
"I never want to do necessarily the world of superfame and glamour and parties and clubs. A, because I don't know that world and B, it's not interesting to me. But I would like to see this character do her first series. ... I think you could have a lot of fun in Los Angeles. ... L.A. is easier to make fun of and I would really like the opportunity to do that," she laughed.
Once again, Graham will have to fit in writing with her "Parenthood" schedule. The series has been picked up for a fifth season and this time for 22 episodes. The show hasn't had a full season order since year two.
"Given everything else that's going on (at NBC), we sort of emerged as slow and steady and you just don't know. It's year to year."
Could Franny's story be adapted for film or television?
"To me it would be a compelling TV show because it lends itself to that serialization ... and Mae Whitman will star as Franny Banks ... after she's done playing my daughter on 'Parenthood,'" joked Graham.
Fans of Graham's previous series "Gilmore Girls" have renewed enthusiasm and hope for a possible film, thanks to Rob Thomas' wildly successful use of the Kickstarter website to finance a movie of the defunct TV series "Veronica Mars."
Graham says it's not her decision.
"The difference with 'Veronica Mars' is they had a script already and the star and the creator had a united vision in terms of doing it. I had talked to ("Gilmore Girls" creator) Amy (Sherman-Palladino)... years ago about a movie.
"It's not up to me, I can't make it happen on paper, but I understand, and it is a funny world now where like fans made a 'Veronica Mars' movie happen, and I'm sure people are like, 'Well, hold on. I want my favorite thing to be a movie,' and I totally get it and I wish I had a more satisfying answer."