Except for the time she spent as a police officer in Plano and Tyler—when she couldn’t get past the “emotional shutdown” required by the job—Kim Wozencraft has always been a writer. She kept a journal as a child, as a student at Richland College in Dallas, and later, during a fourteen-month stint in federal prison, when she recorded her memories of getting addicted to drugs and getting shot. Writing about such things hasn’t been easy—“To go back to a place of despair and violence is upsetting,” the 43-year-old says today—but it has brought her to a second career: In the late eighties she shaped her prison journals into the novel Rush, which became both a best-seller and a movie. Since then Wozencraft has written two more novels (1993’s Notes From the Country Club and The Catch, which is due out in October), edited a magazine (Prison Life), co-founded a film production company whose first feature, Slam, won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and begun speaking on the horrors of addiction, as she does in an essay for this month’s issue of Texas Monthly (see “The Needle and the Damage Done,”). She has also taken time out to raise two sons, Dashiell and Maxwell. “I get up very early to write—sometimes three or four in the morning—and can be in a really horrible place,” she explains. “Then suddenly somebody says ‘Mommy’ and transports me back to this good reality.”