Monday, April 26, 2010

Grub Tales: Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author the story collections My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow, the novel Which Brings Me to You (with Julianna Baggott), and the non-fiction books Candyfreak and (Not That You Asked). His new book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life came out on April 13.

RUN FOR GRUB: How did you learn about Grub Street?
STEVE ALMOND: I must have been one of the first instructors hired by Eve. This was, gosh, 1998? I don't even remember how I learned about Grub, but the first class I taught was so full of amazing writers that I was sold. (That class included Ellen Litman, Jane Roper, and Jami Brandlihow's that for a bunch of hotshots!!).

RUN FOR GRUB: What's your most magical Grub Street memory?
STEVE ALMOND: I'm sure it was that first class. I was so astonished by the talent. I was like: "Now why am I teaching this class again?"

RUN FOR GRUB: What was the best advice you ever received at a Grub Street event?
STEVE ALMOND: I believe it was Chris Castellani who told me to "Hold on loosely, but don't let go." Words to live by.

RUN FOR GRUB: Have you ever complained at a bookstore because the manager wasn’t stocking enough books by Grub Street writers?
STEVE ALMOND: Constantly.

RUN FOR GRUB: What are the best three running songs of all time?
STEVE ALMOND: I don't run, so I can't tell you. And even if I could tell you, that would just be what gets me psyched up to run. Everyone has their own aerobic anthems.

RUN FOR GRUB: I'm reading your treatise on what you call your drooling fanaticism and I have a questions: Do my musings on the music I’m using to train qualify me as a drooling fanatic? If so, is there some kind of membership card I can tuck into my wallet between my license and Mastercard?
STEVE ALMOND: I'm not sure that's something you'd want to flaunt. Besides, Drooling Fanaticism is really a matter of how music makes you feel at a particular moment, not a lifestyle decision. But you appear to need validation, so I will provide it. I hereby pronounce you, Catherine Elcik, a Drooling Fanatic, Private First Class. Now hit the dance floor and give me ten!

RUN FOR GRUB (mumbled): Yes, sir...

Editor's noteIf music has ever kicked your joy up a notch, salved your sadness, or made you feel like you had no choice but to listen to this one amazing track again and again and AGAIN, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life is a must for your library. Click here to make it yours!

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