19 Jessamyn Violet interview

Jessamyn Violet, author of Secret Rules to Being a Rockstar and musician, shares her musings on the power of creative inspiration, music, and more. In conversation with host Cody Sisco, Jessamyn discusses the rock and roll lifestyle, writing a true-to-life Hollywood coming-of-age novel, and the power of being an outsider.

Photo credit: Erin Naifah

Jessamyn Violet is a writer and musician based in Venice Beach. Originally from Boston, she has a BFA from Emerson College and an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts. She’s published a book of poetry called Organ Thieves (Gauss PDF, 2017) as well as short fiction in Ploughshares and more. Her debut novel Secret Rules to Being a Rockstar was published in 2023. She is also the drummer for the band Movie Club.

18 Dr. Melissa Chadburn interview

Dr. Melissa Chadburn, author of A Tiny Upward Shove and self-proclaimed recovering journalist, shares her inspirations during this episode to re-launch the BookSwell Intersections podcast. In conversation with host Cody Sisco, Melissa discusses the foster care system, recovering her Filipina heritage and language to research and write her novel, the ethics of witnessing, and how to balance darkness and light.

Dr. Melissa Chadburn’s writing has appeared in The LA Times, NYT Book Review, NYRB, Paris Review online, and dozens other places. Her debut novel, A Tiny Upward Shove, was published with Farrar, Straus, & Giroux in April 2022 and was longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award. She was just awarded her Ph.D. from USC’s Creative Writing Program. Melissa is a worker lover and through her own work and literary citizenship strives to upend economic violence. Her mother taught her how to sharpen a pencil with a knife and she’s basically been doing that ever since.