Willy Vlautin

(Photo: Jeremy Petersen)

Willy Vlautin fronted the Portland, Ore., band Richmond Fontaine for more than two decades and currently plays with The Delines. He's also an established author, whom the late science fiction writer Ursula Le Guin called "one of the bravest novelists writing." This year Vlautin published his fifth novel, "Don't Skip Out On Me."

Jeremy Petersen recently caught up with Vlautin at Denver's BookBar for a Guest DJ session. Vlautin highlighted some classic rock from Bruce Springsteen and The Who, and some of his own music.

Vlautin also spoke about his literary influences, being scared of Tom Waits' music as a kid and how his music and novels inform each other. Read interview highlights below.

On his love of John Steinbeck's writing:

"I read six of his books, all his major works, by the time I was 17. I loved him. He made my life better. I disappeared into his stories all the time just for comfort."

On the relationship between his writing and music:

"They live on the same block, or the same apartment complex. I guess you could say my records are the soundtrack to my novels. So much of my stories feel like music."

Enjoy a Spotify playlist of Willy Vlautin's song selections below. Special thanks to BookBar for hosting the interview.