Episode 102: Jamie Ford on the Value of MFAs

Award-winning author Jamie Ford joins co-hosts emeritus Larry and BQ for the second of two live podcasts recorded at the 2019 Storyfort Festival in Boise, Idaho. Their conversation with the Montana writer touches on the Ford family’s experiences in the American West, Ford’s journey from comic book-reading “artsy kid” to best-selling author, the value of an MFA versus life experience, and the extensive research and writing that produced his recent novel, Love and Other Consolation Prizes, as well as his award-winning debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Episode 101: Tara Conklin Live At Storyfort

Tara Conklin author

New York Times best-selling author Tara Conklin is our guest this week as she joins co-hosts emeritus Larry and BQ onstage at the Storyfort Festival in Boise, Idaho. Conklin talks craft, vision and work habits and shares tales of her mid-career switch from law to fiction writing. Her first novel, The House Girl, grew out of a short story, and her latest book, The Last Romantics, zoomed to the top of the Amazon.com fiction rankings when it was chosen by Jenna Bush Hager as her pick to kick off the TODAY Show Book Club.

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

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

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.

Episode 30: Christian Winn On Finding Your Writing Path

When Christian Winn moved from Seattle to Boise, he didn’t realize that he was also jump-starting his writing career. Twenty years later, he’s Idaho’s writer-in-residence and a central piece of Boise’s literary scene. Winn, author of the short story collection Naked Me, respected writing teacher and founder of the Storyfort Literary Festival, joins the GrottoPod this week to ruminate on his path, the nature of “western” writing and how it feels to be Boise’s prodigal son.