Episode 63: Jonathan Evison on Life After the Bestseller List

Jonathan Evison

Jonathan Evison

This week, New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Evison joins us for our last live show from Boise’s Storyfort literary festival. Evison, who’s the executive editor of The Nervous Breakdown, rose to fame with his 2008 novel All About Lulu. For this episode, Evison — who appeared with Stewart O’Nan on our podcast a couple of weeks ago — leaves no stone unturned, touching on a wild array of topics ranging from his newest book, Lawn Boy, his writing process, thoughts on characters and narrative, and his optimistic outlook on his home team, the Seattle Seahawks, in 2018.→ READ MORE

Episode 62: Willy Vlautin on Working-Class Heroes

Willy VlautinA Boise hotel suite is the GrottoPod’s roving studio this week as our Storyfort Festival episodes continue. We talk with five-time novelist — and Richmond Fontaine and The Delines frontman — Willy Vlautin. X guitarist (and BQ crush) John Doe calls Vlautin’s newest book, Don’t Skip Out On Me, “Beautifully crushing and complete,” so you know it’s good. A hotel room in the West might be ideal for sitting down with Vlautin, whose first novel, The Motel Life, is set in his Reno hometown. We talk about growing up working-class in the West, and expecting to find adulthood mostly on a barstool but writing novels and songs instead.→ READ MORE

Episode 61: August McLaughlin on Building a Brand

August McLaughlin

August McLaughlin

When one-time model and actress August McLaughlin set out to become a writer, she never imagined she’d become a brand. Inspired after overcoming struggles with body image and an eating disorder, McLaughlin emerged to become an author, podcast host, activist and one of the country’s leading experts on women’s and sexual empowerment. This week, the host of Girl Boner Radio, and author of the forthcoming book Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment, joins BQ and Larry for a live podcast at Storyfort 2018 to share her revelations and turning points, her future, and how anorexia is like a bad relationship.→ READ MORE

Episode 60: Stewart O’Nan and Jonathan Evison at Storyfort

Jonathan Evison and Stewart O'Nan

Jonathan Evison and Stewart O’Nan

For the first of four episodes recorded at the Storyfort Festival in Idaho, the GrottoPod breaks format and sits in a Boise nightspot with Stewart O’Nan, whose 16 novels include Snow Angels, West of Sunset, and City of Secrets, and New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Evison. There — minus BQ, and just prior to the release of Evison’s newest book, Lawn Boy — O’Nan, Evison and host Larry Rosen go granular on the nuts and bolts of writing, publishing, promoting and why a Pittsburgh native would write a book about the Boston Red Sox.→ READ MORE

Episode 59: Natalie Baszile On Catching Oprah’s Eye

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile’s ascent from working in her family’s business to publishing her first novel is the classic story of a 20-year “overnight” success, one that ends with a TV deal and a playdate with Oprah. Join Natalie as she steps into the GrottoPod to talk about the ups and downs of her journey, including how she bounced back from “the darkest summer” of her life, how her novel Queen Sugar caught the eye of Harpo Productions and director Ava DuVernay and became a TV series, and why fiction writers can benefit from the teachings of Robert McKee.

READ MORE

Episode 58: Green Apple’s Pete Mulvihill On Indie Bookstores

Pete Mulvihill

Pete Mulvihill

In 1993, Pete Mulvihill chose an uncertain future in San Francisco over graduate school in Oregon, then “stumbled into a temp job” at iconic local bookstore Green Apple Books. Flash-forward a quarter century: Mulvihill is now co-owner of two Green Apple stores and a member of the American Booksellers Association Board of Directors. He joins the GrottoPod this week to talk about how he found his life’s work, why he’s committed to local businesses, how Green Apple addresses the ongoing challenges of technology and how a self-described “library kid” became a pillar of the San Francisco literary community.→ READ MORE

Episode 57: The SF Diaries Team On Telling Great Stories

Tara Ramroop and Eugenia Chien

Tara Ramroop and Eugenia Chien

One of the best places to find compelling stories and characters is public spaces. Like, say, the bus. Launched a decade ago by a San Francisco State class assignment, the Muni Diaries blog quickly grew into a multimedia mini-empire. Now it’s known as San Francisco Diaries, the newly-rebranded brainchild of one-time journalism major Eugenia Chien and former local newspaper reporter Tara Ramroop, who produce a website, live shows and a podcast, all dedicated to stories about living in San Francisco. This week, Eugenia and Tara join the GrottoPod to share their own San Francisco stories, their roles as journalists, emcees and editors, and why they chose to expand their focus beyond “transit stories” and tales of “shoulder humpers” and cigarette-smoking personal bus drivers.READ MORE

Episode 56: Anna Brones On A Balanced Life

 

Anna Brones

Anna Brones

Anna Brones followed her heart, and it led her around the world — and into a career writing books about her favorite things: bicycles, food and Swedish culture. Her latest, Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way, explores the Swedish way of finding balance in life and work. This week, Brones joins the GrottoPod to discuss her journey from “small town hippie” to traveler, epicurean, artist, activist and writer, her struggles with “I should” vs. “I am,” and why she’s not at all bitter about not being her high school’s valedictorian. 

READ MORE

Episode 55: Tamara Barak Aparton On Leaving Journalism

Tamara Barak Aparton

Tamara Barak Aparton

Tamara Barak Aparton got more than than she expected when she left the San Francisco Examiner for a post with San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s office. The former reporter found that, far from being the dry, staid environment one might expect in city government, California’s only elected Public Defender encouraged his new public information officer to be creative. This week, Aparton tells us how humor can engage the public, what she’s learned from a career that’s ping-ponged between newspapers and public relations, some of the ways writers and journalists can survive and thrive in a constantly changing media landscape, and how, in a different universe, she and Bridget were best friends in high school.→ READ MORE

Episode 54: Kimberley Lovato On The Art of Travel Writing

Kimberley Lovato

Kimberley Lovato

Everybody, it seems, aspires to be a travel writer. This week’s guest, Kimberley Lovato, author of Unique Eats and Eateries of San Francisco and two more books, is already there. Join us as Lovato shows us how the travel-writer sausage is made, including both the glamour and the grind, the journalism behind the glitz, the challenges of writing a food guide, what happens when all the copies of your new book burn up in a warehouse fire — and why it’s better to be a writer who travels than a traveler who writes. 

READ MORE