The Czech-born supermodel is back with ''Dancing With the Stars'' and a new novel

By Tina Jordan
Updated March 30, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

1 Dancing With the Stars is killing her. ”I’ve spent the last five years writing; the most athletic thing I did was knit. Now I work out six hours a day!”

2 No, it’s really killing her. ”I had a little breakdown yesterday; I stopped and couldn’t go on! They sent me home…. I liked writing a book much more!”

3 Her debut novel — the tale of a 15-year-old model, out April 10 — is not about her. Really. ”I did use my experiences; that is part of what writing is. But even if I had made the girl blond and French, people would still think it was me.”

4 She didn’t use a ghostwriter. ”Oh, no! I started by taking fiction classes at [New York City’s] New School. And then I kept writing.”

5 ”I didn’t let my mother or husband [ex-Cars singer Ric Ocasek] read [the manuscript]. Only my fiction workshop, 10 of us reading, writing, and critiquing each other’s work.”

6 Her literary agent didn’t care who she was. ”She said, ‘I’m not going to kiss your butt to take you as a client. People are going to take potshots at this book. It needs a firm rewrite.”’

7 ”I love to read — mostly fiction and memoirs. I’m starting to share books with my son Jonathan, who’s 13. I keep encouraging him to read The Life of Pi.”

8 She’s got a second novel in the works. ”I have a faint outline I’m trying to press the plot in, but first I need to become possessed by my characters, to be able to think in their voices.”