Where are you from?
San Francisco, CA
Who are your favorite writers?
Joan Didion, Nicholson Baker, William Maxwell, John McPhee, John Updike, Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, Tobias Wolff, TC Boyle
Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
So Long, See You Tomorrow, William Maxwell
Old School and This Boy’s Life, Tobias Wolff
Drop City, TC Boyle
Goodbye to All That (Didion essay)
What is your favorite quote?
“Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.”—Flaubert
What is the question most commonly asked by your readers? What is the answer?
Q: Are you named after Arlo Guthrie?
A: No. I’m named after a book called “Arlo” about a runaway boy who is taken in by a wandering minstrel and is later found to be a prince. My father is convinced Woody named his own Arlo after the same book.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The farm where I grew up and where my parents still make their living.
Where do you write?
Any place that’s quiet and has a flat place for a laptop