Author Interview – Alli Marshall

Welcome to this week’s fabulous rendition of Author Interview Friday! I am proud to bring to you the insight of Alli Marshall, the author of How to Talk to Rock Stars. 

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  1. Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

I think I realized I actually could be a writer when I went to Goodard College for my MFA. I don’t believe that everyone who wants to write needs to get an MFA, but for me that focus cemented the idea. That, and paying back                                                                                                        the student loan!

2) What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

I write literary fiction that’s often inspired by real-life events and personal narrative. I kind of wish I wrote pithy mysteries, but that’s not what comes out when I write. I imagine it’s kind of like being a songwriter — you might want to be an Etta James but if, at the end of the day, you’re actually a Zooey Deschanel, you have to work with what you’ve got.

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

I love literary fiction, some memoir, and the occasional mystery.

3) Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

I’m sort of fickle. I love a character until I discover a new one who I love even more. I recently read “The Paris Wife” and loved the voice of Hadley. Theo Decker from “The Goldfinch” stayed with me — I still think of him sometimes!

Among my own characters, I think my favorite is Tobias Bridge, a musician from my novel, “How to Talk to Rockstars.” He’s very in-the-moment and alive — kind of over-the-top but he has a good heart and a great sense of style. I’ve wished more than once that I could hang out with him in real life.

     4) There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?

I’d certainly consider it. I think that if that opportunity ever presented itself I’d follow in the footsteps of one of my favorite authors, Ron Rash, and be very hands-off about it. I don’t think I’d try to control the screenplay or view the film as an extension of the book. The two are usually very different projects.

         5) How do you handle writer’s block?

I’m a writer and editor for my day job, so I really don’t get writer’s block. Some days the ideas are better than other days, but I can always write something. The same is kind of true for working on fiction — I can’t always write a lot, and sometimes I get stuck on what should happen next or if the story is even working at all. But there are always other ideas to work on, essays to write, little sketches and, if nothing else, my journal to turn to.

I think that may be the key…always have more than one thing going on at a time!

 6) What inspires you?

Great books, antique stores, vintage clothing shops, travel, rainy days, old movies, small beach towns, weathered barns, skeleton keys, and pretty much any song by Gregory Alan Isakov.

I love this list! I want to do a very retro “RIGHT ON!” for you. 

 7) How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

I’ve never had anyone make the face! But I live in a very artistic town where everyone is involved in some kind of creative pursuit. If I was, say, an investment banker in my free time, people might give me a strange look.

I would look at anyone strangely if they told me they were an investment banker! 

8) Finally, tell us where to go to find you:



Twitter/Instagram: @alli_marshall





My favorite local bookstore, Malaprop’s:

Thank you Alli! We appreciate you taking the time out to talk with us today.

Remember, if you want to be featured in your own interview, let me know! I might just be able to make that happen…Happy weekend All!