Caveman’s Lead Singer Never Stopped Thinking His Band Would Be ‘The Biggest Thing’

“I’m always forever thinking that I’m going to be doing the biggest thing. If you don’t believe you’re going to be the biggest thing, then why are you doing it?”

The Black Lips Were Told They’d End Up Working at a Gas Station

“We were all told there was no way we would amount to anything, we’d be working at a gas station. It’s kind of cool now because we’re more successful than the teachers who told us that.”

Stephen Dobyns Was His Own Toughest Critic

“The poems I read were wonderfully graceful poems and then I wrote something that looked absolutely like dogshit and the impulse was to stop entirely, and sometimes I would, but then I’d come back to it.”

Patrick Carney: From ‘Bad Boy Bands’ to the Black Keys

In this interview, Carney speaks candidly with Opening Lines about how he got peer pressured into playing drums in high school, the lowest point he’s faced in his time in The Black Keys and why he thinks it’s harder for aspiring musicians to reach a wide audience today.

The Miseducation of Mona Simpson

As Simpson tells OpeningLines in this interview, the idea that she would pursue a career as a writer – let alone a fiction writer – was anything but a foregone conclusion for the girl who grew up in a single-parent household.

Woody Norris: Birth of an Inventor

Norris spoke with Opening Lines about his very first invention, the incredible story behind his big break and what inventors today need to do in order to become successful.

Ron Carlson’s Stories Got Censored in Fourth Grade

Carlson, a renowned short story writer and novelist, speaks with Opening Lines about his early days writing horror skits and how teaching nearly killed his writing career.

For Jennifer Egan, Success Came Too Soon

Jennifer Egan was fortunate enough to get a short story published in the New Yorker when she was just 26, but as she confesses in this interview, in some ways, it made her writing career much more difficult.

Paul Muldoon: Man of Low Expectations

Paul Muldoon is not only one of the most prominent poets writing today, but he is also among the few who may truly be considered a celebrity. Muldoon speaks with us about his first poem, what happened after he met Seamus Heaney and why poets should always keep their expectations low.

Sloane Crosley: Great Writer, Terrible Painter

Sloane Crosley

Those who read Crosley’s work seem to end up with one of two conclusions. Either they praise her as one of the funniest women writing today, or they bash her for being… well, one of the funniest women writing today.

Christian Barter: The Working Man’s Poet

In the nearly 30 years since Christian Barter first started to write poetry, he has only managed to publish one book of poems. That effort was well received, but Barter still must make his living far away from academia, working on a trail crew in Maine. So what is it that keeps him writing?

John Wray’s Unfinished Work

John Wray could be the future of American fiction, unless he gets sidetracked by another hobby first.