We chatted with Keillor at the annual Moth Ball in New York, an event dedicated to reviving the lost art of storytelling. At previous outings, we heard Keillor talk about being shamed back to Minnesota after coming to New York with aspirations of writing for the New Yorker. This time around, he spoke of patiently waiting in line at the ER, as polite Midwesterners are want to do, all the while suffering from a stroke. As always, Keillor’s tales made artful use of revealing details balanced against a genuine human empathy.We probed Keillor about his facility for shifting between mediums, the challenges of churning out good material for three+ decades, and how even he – like any man of flesh and blood – is susceptible to the mighty distractions of the Internet.
You’ve done radio, books, movies. Is it difficult to shift between so many mediums?
Your show has been on for 35 years. Is it hard to keep coming up with new material?
The amount of material you’re able to produce is enviable. Do you have a new source of inspiration each week?
What motivates people if there’s no promise of a comfortable lifestyle at the end of the road?
Do you have a specific work process?
What do you do to overcome that first hurdle, getting that first idea onto the page?
Photo courtesy of Flash Rosenberg.