11-23-11 UPDATE:Podcast Update: Time to Read, Episode 19: Jeff Herzberg and Zoe Francois, 'Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day'
Here's the nineteenth episode of my new series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. The podcasts/radio broadcasts will be of books worth your valuable reading time. I'll try to keep the reports under four minutes, for a radio-friendly format. If you want to run them on your show or podcast, let me know.
My hope is that in under four minutes I can offer readers a concise review and an opportunity to hear the author read from or speak about the work. I'm hoping to offer a new one every week.
11-22-11:A 2011 Live Interview with Charles Frazier at Bookshop Santa Cruz
"It's not me telling you, there's this storyteller voice."
Bookshop Santa Cruz had invited me to interview Charles Frazier in front of their audience for his appearance there, but I wanted to get a clean, just-the-two-of-us conversation because, one never knows how the recording of a live performance will come off.
After we finished this first conversation, we took a break and went to a local restaurant, where we discussed life, literature, music and liquor, before returning to sit down in front of the usual crowd at Bookshop Santa Cruz; that is, well-informed, well-read, intelligent readers who know a good book and a good author when they see or hear one.
But mostly, Charles Frazier and I were simply having a blast as we talked. There was a great sense of interplay that made time scream by. But I did want to leave some time for the well-informed audience to ask questions, and they were wonderful as well. I've done a couple of interviews there now, and I have the equipment setup down.
"If we're going in the wrong direction, we could turn around and go back."
It's a nice sentiment, isn't it? But even Charles Frazier knows that it's at best unlikely, at worst, impossible. It had been four years since I last spoke with Charles Frazier. Back then we spoke at KUSP. This time around I talked with him at Bookshop Santa Cruz, not once, but twice. The first interview we did was just the two of us, sitting up in the office at Bookshop, chatting while he signed stock. At least he started out signing stock, but he rapidly just fell into our conversation about his newest book, 'Nightwoods.'
It's something of a departure for him, and to my mind, a welcome one. I really enjoyed the Southern Gothic and noirish elements. Moreover, while the novel is a great exercise in tight plotting, the prose has a lot of space in it. You're not just turning the pages to find out what happens, you're turning the pages to read.