Saturday, August 19, 2023

Unexpected Weather Events on KYRS with Neal and Erin

KYRS's Neal and Erin
Six years ago, Neal and I met for the first time at Spokane's KYRS Community Radio on the occasion of the forthcoming publication of The Whole World at Once. We became friends within that hour interview, and I renewed my love of radio and  returned to his radio show to talk about books or to tell stories. Not long after, his co-host Heather left the show, and I took her empty chair. For the next four years, Neal and I co-hosted an interview show on KYRS called Personally Speaking where we met many of the actors, artists, and musicians working in the Spokane area. A few years ago, we reached the show's conclusion; we swore to meet up at least once a month for a drink and conversation but have not juggled that very well. 

So, when I knew my next book was slated for publication, I sent him the manuscript, and he asked when we should do the interview. Neal continues to volunteer at KYRS, hosting a weekly music show, and helping in the recent relocation of the station from the community building to the newly renovated central library.

I had not seen the new studio yet, and it's much shinier than the former studio with its exposed brick walls, ghostly sightings, and long history. It's probably not even worth comparing the spaces, in the same way one gets nowhere comparing a vintage store to Target. 

In its new location, the station's accessibility has allowed it to take on an even more present community presence, as it now functions as a gateway for locals to learn about broadcasting, use the attached studios for recording, and other outreach opportunities. Whereas before, a code was needed to enter the door to the three flights of stairs to the studio, now you can simply walk into the library, go to the third floor, and sit outside the glass window and watch a radio show in progress.

Today was my first interview about Unexpected Weather Events, and I'm lucky that it was with Neal since we have a flow to our conversation that makes for a good practice for future interviews. I'm also thankful to have such a good reader in Neal, for it's always different talking with someone who has read your writing and who enjoys reading, too.

We had an interesting conversation about houses and their function in my stories, I read one story aloud ("A Game of Telephone"), and we deliberated over the dread that comes into every story fairly early.

I hope that you had a chance to tune in and that you've marked your calendar to attend the book release on October 1st at Shadle Library, 2 PM. 

(The show aired live and a recording will be available in the future. I'll post that when the time comes.)

In sum, the new book was a good excuse to get together with Neal, the new KYRS studio is shiny and bright, we enjoyed a coffee at Atticus afterward, and we may return to the studio sooner than later, as a new radio series could be in the works. 

Stay tuned.  


Inside the KYRS studio,
photo by Erin Pringle