Michael Shapiro - The Creative Spark (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 4:00pm

Introduced by Larry Habegger

Creative people have a certain spark: a brightness in their eyes, an inquisitive way of looking at the world, a desire to make things. But that spark doesn't reside solely in people you may view as creators. It's in all of us.

The Creative Spark is a collection of interviews with some of the most creative people of our time: musicians, authors, visual artists and chefs. These makers speak about what drives them, what helps them to see the world in fresh ways, and what inspires them turn their visions into art.

During the past decade, Michael Shapiro has interviewed some of our brightest creative luminaries. Among the authors are Amy Tan, David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver, Pico Iyer, and Frances Mayes. His work as a music journalist has led to interviews with legends including Smokey Robinson, Lucinda Williams, Graham Nash, Lyle Lovett, Melissa Etheridge, Merle Haggard, and Jethro Tull bandleader Ian Anderson. And he's spoken with creative masters in other field, such as director Francis Ford Coppola and comedian Joan Rivers.

Yet it's not simply that Shapiro has had access to so many supremely talented and creative people -- it's that he gets them to go deep. Moments into his conversation with Lucinda (her fans call her by her first name), she tells Shapiro about how decisions made about her mother's funeral led to fissures in her family. From this achingly personal conversation, readers can glean fresh insights into why Lucinda has such a devoted following and why her songs open listeners' hearts.

There are people who you might not expect to find in this collection, such as explorer Jane Goodall, whose entire life has been a creative endeavor. Then there's San Francisco Giants announcer Mike Krukow, who turns every broadcast into a work of art. And there are a couple of chefs, such as SingleThread's Kyle Connaughton, who are transforming the way we approach fine dining.

Unexpected revelations pop up in every chapter of The Creative Spark. Iowa folksinger Greg Brown isn't a household name, but his fellow musicians revere his poetic compositions.

Each chapter starts with a short biography of the creative person being profiled then segues into Q+A. This collection brings together some of the best-known artists of our time with others who may not be as famed but who have something important to say about living an artful life.

The Creative Spark stands as a testament to human achievement, showing how creativity illuminates our world and how it resides in each and every one of us, just waiting to break out

Michael Shapiro writes about travel, food, books, environmental issues, and the performing arts for U.S. newspapers and magazines such as National Geographic Traveler, The Sun, and American Way. His first literary book, A Sense of Place, is a collection of interviews with the world’s leading travel authors. In 2017, Shapiro delivered a Sonoma County TEDx talk entitled, “The Space Between,” about how global travel can foster understanding. A native New Yorker, Shapiro lives with his wife in Sonoma County. He volunteers as a whitewater raft guide for an outfitter that takes special needs people on outdoor adventures. For more about The Creative Spark, or to contact Shapiro, see www.thecreativesparkbook.com.

Larry Habegger is a travel writer, editor, journalist, and teacher, who has been covering the world since the 1970s. As a freelance writer for more than 30 years and syndicated columnist since 1985, Habegger's work has appeared in many major newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles TimesChicago Tribune, Travel & Leisure, and Outside. In 1993, he cofounded the award-winning Travelers' Tales books with James and Tim O'Reilly, and is currently executive editor. His latest book in the Travelers' Tales series is The Best Travel Writing, Volume 11.

"Questions are knowledgeable, probing, and thoughtful, leading to moments...as when Melvin Seals recalls his hesitancy to join The Jerry Garcia Band as “a church boy walking into a world of all these skeletons.”...The artists’ discussions are organic and sometimes amusing, and their inclusion is guided by Shapiro’s admiration of his subjects.

—Foreword Reviews

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
The Creative Spark: How Musicians, Writers, Explorers, and Other Artists Found Their Inner Fire and Followed Their Dreams Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609521769
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Travelers' Tales Guides - November 9th, 2019

"Knowledgeable, probing, and thoughtful." --Foreword Reviews