When questioned about his thoughts on writers sometimes being told to “pick a lane and stay in it,” i.e., choose fiction or nonfiction—but not both—Mosley explained that notion is inherently a capitalist one. He added that even when artists are told that what they are working on will not sell, they should forge ahead.
Regarding his book Twelve Steps to Political Revelation, Mosley explained that it was a handbook for a revolution in thought, that if you can get people to think differently about what they do day-to-day, then you begin to foment change.
Mosley talked about the publishing institute he started at City College in New York because there were not enough people of color in publishing.
Mosley explained that while more people of color are now getting published, it is not because of a real “movement,” but rather because it is profitable.
Mosley touched on the history of publishing, i.e., how although it is now a business, it was not always that way exactly.
Asked what in his career he would change, Mosley replied that he would not change anything—that if you want to get rich, you should go into real estate, not publishing.
Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than 43 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 23 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation, among other publications. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.
Podcast editing and episode notes by author and podcast producer and host Matthew Félix (matthewfelix.com).