Kirstin Valdez Quade is the guest. Her debut story collection, Night at the Fiestas, is now available in paperback from W.W. Norton & Company.
I first met Kirstin on April 1, 2016, at the Ace Hotel Theater in downtown Los Angeles. We were standing side-by-side in the wings, just as she was being introduced at Literary Death Match. She went to walk out onstage, and as she did I turned to her and said, in a deadpan/jokey way, "Don't fuck this up." She smiled, but only kind of (to be fair, it was dark, and things were happening fast), and then almost immediately I began to question my judgment, wondering if the joke had been ill-advised. The good news is, Kirstin didn't hold it against me. In fact, she barely remembered it.
In today's monologue, I talk about mediocrity and Hollywood and delusions of grandeur.