Please subscribe to the monthly newsletter if you like to have articles, quotes, and podcasts shipped to your email, curated by yours truly. Also subscribe to the podcast and share it with friends. Thanks!
Butler is one of the smartest people I’ve ever spoken with. There’s a level of thinking and depth you don’t often hear from someone who’s in their mid-30s. You expect it from, say, George Saunders, but listening to Butler speak was a treasure for me and I hope so for you.
Like Holland, Glenn Stout, and Charles Bethea, Butler never studied journalism, yet he’s one of the best at his craft. I sense a theme that some of the best at this craft aren’t journalists by trade, but people who have a keen sense for language, are widely read, and think long and hard about the work. They aim for impact, not a sound bite.
“I was a poetry major in college which was of course of great concern to my parents.” —Charles Bethea
Here we are with the first episode of 2016, No. 16, sweet sixteen, Charles Bethea. This was a fun episode as we talk about Charle’s start in freelancing, his love of breakfast, and one of his favorite quotes of all time.
Like Eva Holland, Charles’ writing takes you places. He’s funny and his writing has a smooth feel to it. Suddenly you’re done with the piece and it felt like nothing, like gravity did all the work for you.
Aside from having his work published in The New Yorker (where he has a regular sports column on its website), the now-defunct Grantland, and Outside Magazine, he was also a producer on the short documentaryFair Chase, about persistence hunting. If you read Born to Runby Christopher McDougall, you know that this is a theory about man’s early hunting by wearing down and overheating four-legged prey.
Anyway, point being Charles is a busy man with serious chops.
Here’s the link to the episode since folks with mobile devices still can’t stream it from the blog post (Podomatic is NOT on its game with this bout of customer service). Here’s the embed anyway.
Also here are links to a sampling of Charles’ work. You can find more at his website charlesbethea.com.
“Nothing about doing this makes any logical sense. It doesn’t. It didn’t then. It doesn’t now.”—Glenn Stout
“You can only control one thing: And that’s your effort. There’s one thing you can control. You can’t control anything else…anything else.”—Glenn Stout
Glenn Stout is sort of a demi-god among writers because of his ability to coach the best of them. He’s also a GREAT writer and we delve into how he got his start, reading poetry in a baseball uniform outside Fenway Park while taking swigs from a bottle of bloody Marys.
The subject at hand is Carrie Hagen, author of We is Got Him. She and I met at grad school where she began fleshing out the story for We is Got Him. It’s her first book, but you’d think it was her third or fourth. I’ll let her do the talking.
As always I’d love for you to sign up for email updates (they arrive on Tuesdays if they arrive at all). Also be sure to subscribe to the podcast that way you’ll get the latest episodes of The Creative Nonfiction Podcast beamed straight to your favorite audio device.
There won’t be a new episode this week since my guest, author Carrie Hagen, couldn’t speak last week. No prob. She’s the author of We Is Got Him. If you like Erik Larson you’ll love Carrie’s book. We’ll get into that later.
This gives you plenty of time to catch up on what you may have missed.
Here’s John Scheinman, winner of the 2015 Eclipse Award for Feature Writing
Here’s Joe DePaulo, a 2014 Best American Sports Writing notable selection.
I need to buy more storage through my podcast host Podomatic and I’m having a hard time pulling the trigger on that. Money is tight, but I think the interviews are fun and educational. It goes to show you how deep the talent pool is out there. As I said in the intro to the Joe DePaulo interview, this is my excuse to talk shop with people I admire and promote their work in some small way.
Anyway, enjoy those interviews, subscribe on iTunes and please sign up for the weekly email newsletter that feeds your inbox with the latest podcasts and other tasty morsels. No spam, just useful stuff. You can always unsubscribe. No hard feelings.
Thanks for reading and listening. We’ll talk later.
“There’s no downplaying that moment for me. There’s no humble bragging that. It’s a straight-up brag, a measure of pride for me.”—Joe DePaulo
“I can’t abandon it. For me, I don’t know what else I’d do.” —Joe DePaulo
Maybe my favorite part of my conversation with Joe happens toward the end where we briefly touch upon drafting one particular writer in a Fantasy League for Narrative Nonfiction. I should’ve expanded on this, but I figure it’s going to be a much longer segment in the future.
This was a fun one. We talked about writers who inspired Joe and the harsh financial realties of the freelance game. (You can hear Episode 9 guest John Scheinman shed insights into this as well.)
I’ve shortened by Bookshelf for the Apocalypse segment to five books. Good stuff here.