I continue my journey to paint a holistic picture of the publishing industry. I was lucky enough to have Ben LeRoy on, who started both Bleak House and Tyrus Books, and has had a comprehensive experience/career within the publishing world. In this podcast, we cover a really fascinating history of Ben starting and selling his two small presses to bigger publishing companies, the strange relief of moving from your companies, the actual value of a publishing company, humanity’s desire to be taken care of, agents, publicists, how some books resonate and others don’t, bookstores, problematic authors, the “bummer talk” (hey, you’re excited about getting a book deal, but I have some bad news…), do you have a marketable book?, a debate over book pricing, giving books away for free, and finding your inner worth.
This is probably the best podcast yet. On this one, Michael and I shoot the shit about weightlifting, bitcoin, tide pods, and books for a few minutes, then jump into the state of publishing, how to revolutionize the current model, making books that people will read, what it's like to be an indie publisher, and how we can create a future for ourselves within the current publishing world. I feel really pumped about this one.
This one is packed with insider info. Enjoy.
On this episode, we talk about promotion, the Alphasmart Neo 2, writing cigar books for Playboy, the "good old days" of being paid good money by magazines, Elon Musk nuking Mars, CIA astral travel, creating propaganda magazines to drop overseas, crime writing influences, the Chuck Palahniuk Effect, the joys of crime fiction, writing sequels, the "bag of money" trope, the awesomeness of Megan Abbott, and his new novel.
Follow Nick on Twitter: @nkolakowski
This episode is a pure blast of inspiration and positivity. I loved every second of recording it.
Today we have Victoria Price, author of Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, and the most recent The Way of Being Lost: A Road Trip to My Truest Self. It feels like an organic journey, in which Victoria takes you through her process, learns to give up control, and starts living with joy. I loved it. A bit of a change of pace, and I've got to say, an entirely welcome one.
We talk learning how to live with fear, how to mitigate it, how to relearn how to love the things you love doing, workaholism, writing about her complicated relationship with her mother, Victoria's theory on liminality and growth "The Wildflower Ethos," and why she loves horror fans.
Scott's one of my best buds. Recently, we released his new novel Jack Waters on Broken River Books. I think that Scott is one of the only writers out there doing whatever the fuck he wants. He's everything I could ask for in an author and a friend: intelligent, insightful, talented.
On this episode, we talk about: what makes a Broken River Book, the origins of Jack Waters, magical realism in Latin American writing, dictators that fixed countries, revolutions turning to fascism, Mulholland Drive, the compromise at the heart of America, Invictus, people who want power needing to be kept away from power, engaging with writers you dislike honestly, Takashi Miike, what i mean by “good” and “bad” writing, leaving imperfections in writing, Raging Bull, Heaven’s Gate, Southland Tales, preferring audacity over quality, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Zabriskie Point, colonial literature, things that bother me vs. things that are a problem, our current tendency to torture ourselves with the news, and climate change.
Follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottAdlerberg
Here's the article he wrote about Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kleist (mentioned in the podcast)
Today on the podcast we have Mr. Johnny Shaw, the author of Floodgate, Dove Season, and Big Maria, among others. Johnny is one of my best buds from Portland, and he's currently travelling the world. We have a really funny conversation about writing and making shit work. We talk about
furries on patreon
living within your means
cost of living for writers
writing patois in dialogue
comedies that aren’t funny
having a sense of humor
Today on the show we have my favorite thinker, the one and only Conner Habib!
Conner knows how to live: he's a writer, he's appeared in over 100 porn films (he won awards for some of those!), and he's the host of my personal favorite podcast, Against Everyone with Conner Habib. He's had some awesome guests (check out the list here) and killer solo episodes. It's a show about having conversations, big ideas, sex, the occult, and philosophy.
On this episode, we talk about the intersection of art and politics (and where they should diverge), our encounters with the police state, the limits of comedy, what you mean vs. what you do, sex in writing, Dennis Cooper, and how to speak your mind on Twitter.
Conner Habib on Twitter: @ConnerHabib
Another never-before-met guest on the show today! I had a good time talking with Greg Levin, the author of In Wolves' Clothing, about a guy who goes undercover to bust child sex rings. We talk about workshopping with Chuck Palahniuk, rapping, promoting yourself, and how to balance dark comedy with deadly serious subject matter.
Follow him on Twitter: @greg_levin
Follow me on Twitter: @brbjdo
Douglas Light stopped by the podcast to talk about his new novel Where Night Stops, out February 13th from Rare Bird Books. This is a big "book talk" episode, and we also talk about pacing, cutting out all the bullshit, outlining vs. going with the flow, collaboration, dialogue, adapting his books for film, and getting shit-talked by Peter Fonda.
Side note: this is my favorite read of the year so far (I know, it's early, but I get excited about good books). Make sure you pre-order this one if you're a fan of Denis Johnson's Nobody Move, Joan Didion, or even my books (I feel like they're cut from the same cloth).
Jeff Jackson is one of my favorite living writers, and he's back on the show to talk about a whole gang of stuff, namely:
death of lit
singing vs. writing
the bad positivity of writing advice
leaving everything on the page vs. letting ideas simmer
going back and reading old writing
the great Dougie Jones debate
how time and boredom enhances emotional impacts
Jeff's theater production of The Dream of the Red Chamber, a play that’s meant to be seen in your dreams
“normal” people who make fucked up shit
enjoying mean-spirited art
applying state fascism to art
policing people’s imagination
dennis cooper’s work (specifically the sluts)
the value of intersectional critique
butting up against the limits of your talent
Follow him @DeathofLit