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Let's Talk Shop

Now That's a Great Story is a discussion with writers of all sorts--authors, journalists, screenwriters, songwriters, etc--about a passage or chapter of their favorite piece of work.  These works are  stories I love too. So together, the writer and I talk about what was going through their heads when they created it and who their influences are. Each episode is a chance for you, the listener, to understand an artistic worldview and to summon the courage to try something as daring.

Listen on:


August 19, 2019

Episode 31: A Season (One) Greeting

I talk about why I've decided to switch the podcast from a weekly format to a seasonal one. See you in 2020! Read more,

December 23, 2019

Kevin Alexander
Episode 30: Ambition and Obsession in America's Coolest Kitchen

James Beard Award winner Kevin Alexander talks with Paul Kix about the boozy and crazy story of Gabriel Rucker, the Portland chef at the heart of Kevin's book, Burn The Ice. Read more,

November 25, 2019

Episode 29: Question for You

The pod is beginning to eat into my writing time and I'm trying to figure out at what frequency I should release this podcast. I pose a few questions in the show and please tell me what you want to hear (or read)! Read more,

November 22, 2019

Ryan Holiday
Episode 28: The Art of Living Well, With Ryan Holiday

Paul Kix chats with Ryan Holiday, the entrepreneur and No. 1 NYT-best-seller, about Stillness is the Key, the book that nearly made Paul cry and will change your life. Read more,

November 18, 2019

Don Van Natta Jr_
Episode 27: The Story of the Billigans, With Don Van Natta Jr.

Paul Kix talks with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Don Van Natta Jr. about what happened when Don golfed with President Clinton, and how the round revealed as much about Clinton as any political biography. Read more,

November 11, 2019

Episode 26: After Show: The Novelty of It All

Paul Kix talks about the POV in Kitty Sheehan's essay, and how trying something unheard of leads to a lot of rejection and then, in Kitty's case, a viral and wholly original story.  Read more,

November 7, 2019

Kitty Sheehan
Episode 25: The Strongest Women in the Room, With
Kitty Sheehan

Paul Kix talks with the teacher-turned-writer Kitty Sheehan about the story that took her 40 years to write, about what happened to her and her family one day in 1978.  Read more,

November 4, 2019

Episode 24: After Show, When Bad Things Are Good Things

Veering off of Monday's convo with Sebastian Junger, Paul Kix talks about who altruism ultimately benefits and why the ordeal of terrible days and weeks have led to some of the best friendships of his life.  Read more,

October 31, 2019

Sebastian Junger
Episode 23: We Are Not Tribal Enough, With Sebastian Junger

Paul Kix talks with Sebastian Junger about Tribe, the Oscar-nominated director's and best-selling author's manifesto. The conversation will surprise and probably inspire you to re-think how you're living your life.  Read more,

October 28, 2019

Episode 22: After Show: "The And Rule"

Accentuating a point Patrick Radden Keefe made Monday, Paul Kix talks about a principle he learned from his first editor, about the arc and length of any story you report. That principle is called the And rule.  Read more,

October 24, 2019

Patrick Radden Keefe
Episode 21: "Say Nothing": Patrick Radden Keefe on The Troubles

Paul Kix talks with Patrick Radden Keefe, about a sequence of his best-seller, Say Nothing, and the questions he's seeking to answer, which unite us and perhaps haunt us.

Read more,

October 21. 2019

Episode 20: After Show: Trust the Process

Paul Kix pivots off one of Rich Cohen's points to discuss a way to live that the guy who played Walter White, the woman who created Fleabag, and the emperor who ruled Rome all knew. Read more,

October 16, 2019

Rich Cohen
Episode 19: The Craziest Business Story You'll Ever Hear, With Rich Cohen

Paul Kix talks with Rich Cohen, the seven-time New York Times best-selling author, about a sequence of his book on Sam Zemurray, a Russian immigrant who took on the world's richest man and various militias--and won. Read more,

October 14, 2019

Episode 18: After Show: The Story That Nearly Broke Me

On Monday, Wright Thompson talked about the story that nearly broke him. Today, Paul Kix talk about the piece that nearly broke him in his eight years working with Wright. Read more,

October 11, 2019

Wright Thompson
Episode 17: Wright Thompson on Ted Williams' Cycle of Suffering

Paul Kix talks with Wright Thompson about the story that's arguably their favorite: Wright's profile of Claudia Williams, Ted Williams' daughter. Read more,

October 7, 2019

Episode 16: After Show: When a Hero Becomes a Peer

Paul Kix pivots off his conversation with Cheryl Della Pietra to discuss a time when he was in awe of getting to work with someone he admired—which wasn't the best way to work with him. Read more,

October 3, 2019

Photo by Helen Barnard
Episode 15: Drugs, Guns and the Girl who Out-Gonzoed Mr. Gonzo

Paul Kix talks with Cheryl Della Pietra about her breakout novel, Gonzo Girl, based on her time as Hunter S. Thompson's research assistant, and having an ambition that is greater than your hero's. Read more,

September 30, 2019

Episode 14: Blundering Your Way to Expertise

Paul Kix riffs on Michele Rigby Assad's idea on expertise, and discusses the single most stressful episode to knowing everything he needed to know in his reporting life. Read more, 

September 26, 2019

Michele Rigby Assad
Episode 13: Outsmarting Terrorists, with Michele Rigby Assad

Paul Kix talks with former CIA agent Michel Rigby Assad about how she turned a presumed liability to her advantage in Iraq—and how you can do the same in your own life. Read more, 

September 23, 2019

Episode 12: After Show: Quake Books, or How Mrs. Wolfe Made Me a Feminist

Paul Kix talks about Quake Books, the ones that alter who you are as a writer and person. And he give some advice that your English or MFA professors won't like. Read more, 

September 19, 2019

Nathan Hill
Episode 11: It's More Fun to Have Fun, with Nathan Hill

Paul Kix and Nathan Hill discuss an hilarious four-page sequence of his New York Times bestselling novel, The Nix. Read more, 

September 16, 2019

Episode 10: The After Show: What Vito Taught Me About Class

Paul Kix dwells on class, something he and Eliza Griswold discussed, and relays how he succeeded and failed when navigating through America's most tribal city: Boston. Read more,

September 12, 2019

Eliza Griswold
Episode 9: The Quiet Horror, with Eliza Griswold

Paul Kix talks with Eliza Griswold about a chapter of her latest book, Amity and Prosperity, where a single mother comes to regret the deal she cut with a fracking company. Amity and Prosperity won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for nonfiction. Read more,

September 9, 2019

Episode 8: Staring Through the Fear

Paul Kix picks up where Monday's episode with Taffy left off, and he talks about how he learned to believe in himself through the most stressful, panicked months of his career.

September 5, 2019

Vincent Tullo for The New York Times
Episode 7: The Art of Taking Yourself Seriously

Paul Kix talks with Taffy Brodesser-Akner about her profile of Ethan Hawke, and how the work of trying to do great work is the story of not only Hawke's career but Taffy's. Read more,

Septemer 2, 2019

Episode 6: The After Show: All About Endings

Paul Kix pivots from what Chris Jones thinks on endings to what Oscar-winning screenwriters, wildly popular podcasters, and I think about them. Because how a story ends is how its audience remembers it. Read more,

August 29, 2019

Photo by Phil Jones
Episode 5: "A Trick is a Beautiful Lie" 

Chris Jones and Paul Kix talk about his profile of Teller the magician, which is really a profile of the battle between what the mind knows and the heart wants. Read more,

August 26, 2019

Episode 4: The After Show: Gifting Our Way Through Grief?

The Newtown tragedy still resonates. Paul Kix talks about his own connection to the story as a father and journalist, as he tried to make sense of how we express grief. Read more.

August 22, 2019

Photo by Joanna Ceciliani

Pulitzer-Prize winner Eli Saslow talks with Paul Kix about the hardest story he's ever written, a piece about the Barden family, who lost their son in the Newtown massacre. Read more.

August 19, 2019

Episode 2: The After Show: Sarah Hepola

An honest account of yourself invites readers to treat you—the whole you—cruelly. Writing a memoir like Blackout is a show of courage, and reading it closely can teach you a lot about braver. Read more.

July 29, 2019

Sarah Hepola
July 28, 2019

Sarah Hepola and I talk about her best-selling memoir Blackout, and how after one hard night of drinking she returned to consciousness having sex with a man she'd never met. It kept getting worse from there. Read more.

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