Alli has written for the Mountain Xpress, an alt-weekly in Asheville, N.C., since 2001. She's been the arts section editor since 2013. "How to Talk to Rockstars" is based in part with her 14-or-so years spent interviewing artists of all genres, but especially touring musicians.
The novel — think "Almost Famous" meets "The History of Love" — follows wallflower-turned-journalist Bryn Thompson. She has a dream job: she interviews rock stars. Bryn’s professionalism keeps her on track, but also emotionally removed from the gritty world of back stage, bars and drugs that she writes about. That is, until she meets musician Jude Archer, whose songs haunt her. As an unlikely friendship grows out of Bryn’s obsession with Jude’s album, Bryn begins to rethink all of the carefully-contrived rules that until now have helped her maintain a professional distance.
"This bright, fleet novel is a true delight—an engaging, perceptive, precisely observed and slyly funny meditation on fame and love, in particular the love of music." — Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain and Nightwoods
"A very interesting take on the world of rock ’n’ roll. An unheard perspective." — Joseph Arthur, musician and artist
BIOAlli Marshall grew up in Western New York and has called the mountains of North Carolina home for more than 20 years. She's a Warren Wilson College graduate and completed her MFA in creative writing at Goddard College.
She's been named the best arts reporter in Western North Carolina in the annual Best of WNC reader's poll, 2011-2014. She received awards in editorial reporting from the North Carolina Press Association in 2005 and 2014, and from the International Festivals & Events Association in 2004. She also took home top honors in the Cupcakes for the Cure bake-off (local ingredient category) — but that’s another story.
And though Alli doesn't like to brag or anything, over the course of her career she's interviewed Yoko Ono, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Aimee Mann, Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Michael Franti, Neko Case, Daniel Lanois, Ziggy Marley, Peter Murphy, Grace Potter, Jamie Lidell, Kishi Bashi and many, many others.
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