When she was in grade school, H.L. McCutchen used to write and perform plays with her two brothers in her family's garage. Now she is an award-winning playwright who trained at the Iowa Playwright's Workshop. She based the plot and characters of her new novel, Lightland, on a play she had started writing. McCutchen received a grant from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays, a project in cooperation with the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and the Dallas Morning News named her "Most Exciting New Playwright." A graduate of Dartmouth College, McCutchen lives with her husband, Tom, her two daughters, and her two dogs in Durham, Connecticut.