The Evison's writing and escape cabin.

George and Johnny chat and sip beer at Johnny's
outdoor writing spot while Ella basks in the shade.

"West of Here" won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award in 2012.

Fireweed in alpenglow as we were leaving. A lovely day.

We were in "West of Here" territory . . .
"The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving"
won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award in 2013.

The inside writing lab.

Jonathan Evison has been thrice nominated as the 'Most Engaging Author' by the American Booksellers Assn. We agree.

. . . . and as this sign in Johnny's
man-space attests.
Part of a grand room in the cabin.
A painting of the original cabin hanging
inside the updated cabin.

as the guestroom suggests . . .
"I am doing the things that I wish my favorite books didn't do or I wish they had. I write books that I want to read."

"I had the advantage of failing for so long that I never got hung up on (publishing and success)."

“After a while I was just writing books to become a more expansive person. I couldn't stop myself . . . I owe my whole life to writing. ”

Jonathan Evison: Novelist

"I just think of the words and the language as the blood running through the veins of a story."

Jonathan is happiest reflecting the world around him. He writes. With passion. With swing. Always. Because he has to.
We gleaned more great quotes from Johnny than we have from our other interviews with living writers. Here are a few more of our favorites:

The King Without a Crown
– 1976 (published by Seattle Pacific University Press)
All About Lulu
– 2008
West of Here – 2011
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
– 2012

Awards & Honors:
All About Lulu

2008 Hudson Booksellers Best Books of the Year
2009 Washington State Book Award
2009 Richard Buckley Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation
The El Magazine Best Books of the Decade
Time Out Chicago Best Books of the Year
West of Here

New York Times Best-seller
2012 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award
2012 Hudson Booksellers Best Books of the Year
September 2012 Indie Next Pick
Publishers Weekly "BEA Galley to Grab" and "Top Ten: Literary Fiction" pick
2012 Booklist Editors Choice Award
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

New York Times Editors Choice
2012 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award
2012 Hudson Booksellers Best Books of the Year
September 2012 Indie Next pick
Publishers Weekly “Top Ten: Literary Fiction” pick

Interview Movie
(Embedded version below)

Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
control click if you are on a Mac. )


Sequim, WA

Run Time:






Born San Jose, CA; raised in the Seattle area.

Youthful Influence:

His father who introduced him to the oral tradition of "Tiger Stories" (Kipling), Dickens at 6, and Vonnegut at 8. Mrs. Hosford, his third grade teacher who got him to write his first novel. Count Basie who taught him to swing.

Favorite Authors:

Jack London, TS Eliot, Nabokov, Melville, Dickens, Vonnegut, Tom Robbins.

Creative Habit:

Before young children came into his life he wrote from 4:30 to 10 am. Now he goes to his cabin a couple of days a week for marathon writing sessions, but he is always writing. He writes on ceilings and walls, uses thought maps, notebooks, research.

to support both his writing habit and his growing family. He was also one of the founding members of an early Seattle punk rock group, March of Crimes (others in this group went on to start Pearl Jam and Soundgarden).

It was a beautiful, warm day when we met Johnny at his woodsy cabin where he does much of his writing. Despite the easy going pace of the day, his interview wastes no time shifting into overdrive to rocket through dozens of topics we’re certain you will find fascinating and fun.

In this fast paced interview, Johnny (as he is known by his friends) tells of his early start publishing his first book in third grade, then a very long period of writing before publishing his novel, All About Lulu in 2008. It wasn’t his first novel, but it was his first to be published, and it won the Washington State Book Award and hit best-seller lists across the country.

Between these two published works, he tells, were numerous other books, a few of which were buried, literally, in the earth. During the long, dark period, he worked tending yards, sorting tomatoes, hosting a radio show and doing whatever

When we began Authors Road almost four years ago, our plan was to interview writers who wrote, like Asimov and Steinbeck claimed, because they breathe. As you’ll see in this interview, Jonathan Evison is a writer for whom this is certainly true – as he explains, he writes because he has “no other choice.”


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