Last week, I threw out a question: Did anyone know some storytellers that I could talk to, maybe interview a bit? I didn’t plan on much, mostly to apply it to my Science in My Fiction articles.

But Kari Lynn Dell, the fabulous romance author from Montana, sent me two names: Jack Gladstone and Layne Gneiting. She’d met both of them at the Montana Storytelling Roundup and had glowing reports.

I fired off a couple of emails, not really expecting much. By this time, a vague idea was forming in my head: A short series of articles examining storytelling, both in its ancient and modern forms. The genre author in me couldn’t resist tying that to the surging popularity of podcasts and to writing itself.

Both Jack and Layne replied to me within the day. Layne, who was flying to London to teach for a couple of months, agreed to talk to me on Wednesday. Jack’s manager set up an interview for the next week.

Cue panic mode! I wasn’t planning on doing anything with this for at least a couple of months! It was a future project, the concept barely half-assed. And, of course, I’d managed to set up two phone interviews. I don’t like calling the dentist to set up an appointment, much less call someone I hold in a great deal of awe and respect!

I came up with a bunch of questions, called Layne, and promptly chucked the questions out of the window. We talked for an hour and a half, covering everything from childhood experiences, to faith, to tales of hard lessons learned. At one point, he apologized for rambling. I wasn’t buttering him up when I said that I could listen to him ramble for a very long time. The man has talent, and the gift of speech. I really hope that, someday, I can sit down, face-to-face, and listen to him speak.

(He also gave me a piece of feedback that, given my discomfort with speech and conversation, was the single best thing that he could have said to put me at ease.)

Today, I called Jack. Although talking to Layne had made me a lot more comfortable, I was far more nervous about Jack, just on principle. So much of my spirituality is formed from my experiences with Native American spirituality. To speak to an elder…nerves. Especially about staying on topic!

When I called Jack, he was driving through Montana. I had my computer recording the conversation, so I’ll let everyone listen to what he had to say.

(Disclaimer: I apologize for it being a random site, and without pretty images. I don’t feel like paying for an upgrade here that I *might* use once a year. I wasn’t planning on letting this see the light of day, but @mordantkitten asked for it, and it won’t ship, and Jack said too many good things. So I am not witty nor eloquent, and the quality is…iffy, and there is background noise. So sorry, charlie.)

Gladstone Interview

I’m excited to write these articles. The idea has grown from a single story, to wanting to write about 6-8 articles. I’m contacting storytellers from other countries and mediums. I will also be reaching out to a couple of podcasters and some bands that utilize story-telling in their lyrics.

After all, the first fantasy story was told around a campfire somewhere, and the first horror story, and the first adventure.


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