This week Laura and I talk a bit about being ill, Chang Rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, Bonnie ZoBell’s What Happened Here, Scott Phillips’ Rut, The Showtime show Californication and it’s bizarre affect on my perception of the writing life. Where’s my Runkle? Fantasies I shouldn’t be having at 43, and all the stuff I’m working on.
In today’s episode I talk with editor and publisher Fred Ramey about why I flaked out on him during my last visit to Colorado, the origins of Unbridled Books and his relationship with co-publishers Greg Michalson, as well as one possible fate of the publishing industry.
Fred Ramey is co-publisher of Unbridled Books, and you can check out Unbridled Books entire catalog at http://unbridledbooks.com (including this one novel written by this one dude I’ve known since I attained consciousness). Throughout the years, Fred and his publishing partner, Greg, have published books that have caught the attention of prize committees for the PEN/Faulkner and PEN/Hemingway awards, the National Book Award, The American Book Awards, and The American Academy of Arts and Letters. So, the secret theories and ideas that are debated in their twenty-plus year conversation about what should or should not go into a novel must be pretty damn good.
In Shoptalk #5 Laura and I talk about:
Dating, Dr. Seuss, going back to school . . . again, Station Eleven, my lazy spoiler alert, Neverhome, having no idea the narrator was a woman, dealing with traffic, Scott Phillips, Game of Thrones, um, um, um. . . Victor Hugo, American Horror Story, um, …..Arrow and comic book movies, the ubiquitous nature of Hozier’s Church, Greg Dulli, burn out, the possible anthology of old Project for a New Mythology contributors, Bad Food Christmas, Atheist at the children’s service.
In today’s episode, I talk with Peyton Marshall about the intuition of kids, getting the first book published, a certain rock band in her past, the aesthetic of workshops, and, of course, The Iowa Writers Workshop conspiracy (or lack thereof).
Peyton is the author of the novel Goodhouse published by Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux. Her writing has appeared all over the place, including A Public Space, Tin House and The New York Times. You can read more about Peyton at her website http://www.peytonmarshall.com. Bonus points if you already knew Peyton was a member of the 90’s era Riot Grrrl band The Third Sex .
Today, we talk a bit about Emily Mandel's Station Eleven and make plans to discuss it at length once we're finsihed . . . and then we talk psychosis.
Today’s guest is Taylor Mali. We talk about long held family businesses, the purpose of language, how one ends up in Kansas, poetry slams, and jumping at the chance to be a full time poet.
Taylor is a four-time National Poetry Slam champion, the author of What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World, and three books of poetry What Learning Leaves, The Last Time As We Are, and the newly released Bouquet of Red Flags. You can read more about Taylor, find his books, and watch videos of some of his performances at this website http://www.taylormali.com . You can also check out his Youtube channel for the performance of “The Naked Gardener” recorded in-between the two halves of our conversation at the KATE Conference in Wichita, KS.
A special thanks to Kansas Association of Teachers of English for letting me crash the last day of their conference to steal an hour of Taylor’s time, and for graciously allowing me to also share lunch with a number of fine English teachers.
While I’m still on hiatus, I thought I’d ramble on a bit about the Amazon v. Hachette contract dispute and how it’s hurting the writers more than anything else. Coincidentally, one of my previous guests, Laird Hunt, is published by Little Brown, a Hachette imprint. So, I thought I’d reissue his episode to follow my unplanned and unscripted thoughts on the matter.
But even better, I’d recommend making a trip to Indiebound.org and finding your nearest independent bookstore. Consider giving them your business instead of Amazon - especially if the book you’re looking for is published by Hachette or one of its imprints. You’ll certainly be able to pick up a copy of Laird’s book easily at an independent bookstore.
And, of course, if you want to read some more about Laird, his book, and some of the good news happening around it, here is are a few links to some reviews and to the article about the film option.
In this episode Laura and I talk about all sorts of stuff: bad weeks, writing habits, self-publishing, mindless entertainment, vampires, romance, and working with the disturbed (including writers). Below are some links to some of the books and writers we mentioned.
Lantern Journal, with Gavin Pate’s collaboration with Derek Fenner.
You Animal Machine - Eleni Sikelianos
Taking a little hiatus again to get back on top of my scheduling and to focus on some creative issues - like writing query letters to agents and finishing a new manuscript. So, while I’m tending to my business, I figured I’d repost a few of the early episodes. Today’s repost is my conversation with Emily St John Mandel, who recently made the long list for the National Book Award for her new novel Station Eleven.
In this episode I talk with novelist Andrea Portes about growing up in Nebraska and Rio among other places, her time as a script reader for Paramount Pictures, the lessons learned from working with good editors, and how, when we first met, I showed her the trick where I put both of my feet in my mouth.
Andrea is the author of Hick (Unbridled Books), Bury This (Soft Skull Press), and the just released YA novel Anatomy of a Misfit (Harper Teen). Hick was made into a movie starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne, Juliette Lewis, and some dude named Alec Baldwin. You can read more about Andrea’s first two books at her website http://andreaportes.wordpress.com or more about her most recent book at Harpercollins.com.