Last week, I sat in my tub Tornado Alley-style (because jackhammers outside my house) to talk with my first GrubStreet writing instructor, James Scott, all-around good guy and author of the incredible novel The Kept. I learned a ton from him about writing craft and how to be a good instructor. He introduced me to the works of Sherman Alexie, Aimee Bender, and so many others. Also, he introduced me to some of my favorite short stories, stories that fall outside the realm of the typical writing class. They’re fucking amazing and hilarious: Flag Day by James Bartels and Diary of the Living Dead or: Are You There God? It’s Me. Also, a Bunch of Zombies by Jake Swearingen (love the name because I’m a huge Deadwood fan).
It sounds incredibly stupid, but until then I didn’t realize that literature could also be funny and dark (and sometimes wonderfully ridiculous). I was an English major. Everything I read was seriously serious and super important. What a gift to realize that literature could also be fun.
Anyway… it was a good time talking with him. He also spoke with my amazing Novel Incubator instructor Michelle Hoover, who is KILLING it as an author and teacher. I adore her. We both adore red wine. We drink it together often.
The list of discussion topics is a spectacular keyword explosion of my favorite things: “Hanging Judge” Parker, Paula Abdul, FINGERHUT MAGAZINE, Solid Gold Dancers, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, FRANKENSTEIN, Sam Cooke…
Here’s more about the episode: “KELLY J. FORD revised and sharpened her debut novel, COTTONMOUTHS, in Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program with our second guest, MICHELLE HOOVER. She and James talk about crappy drafts, depression, the woods vs. the forest, coming out narratives, and tents full of mannequin parts. She also describes her process, including using formulas and borrowing the scaffolding of other narratives. Then James asks Michelle about novel writing and workshopping.”
It’s a terrific podcast for writers and readers, alike. #dosubscribe