First Draft with Sarah Enni

First Draft Episode #184: Rhett Miller

Rhett Miller (find him on Twitter and Instagram), musician and writer, is a solo artist as well as lead singer of The Old 97s. His first book for children, No More Poems: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse, illustrated by Dan Santat (listen to his First Draft episode here).

Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode

  • How Rhett’s given name is Stewart Ransom, sorta like Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (listen to his First Draft podcast episode here)
  • His childhood biking to the original location of Half-Price Books, now a national chain.
  • Rhett tore through the Ian Fleming James Bond series as a kid
  • And he got to meet one of his literary heroes, Kurt Vonnegut, in real life, but the interaction didn’t go quite as planned
  • As a kid, Rhett’s mother would read aloud to them Helter Skelter, the account of the Charles Manson and Manson Family murders written by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
  • I discuss how Jon Klassen was on First Draft and discussed becoming a more empathetic, feeling person and artist as he grew older
  • Stephen King books that had an impact on Rhett include On Writing, 11/22/63, and his book with his son, Owen King, Sleeping Beauties


  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green being one of the books Rhett has read with his kids as a way to talk about difficult subjects, head-on


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Every Tuesday, I speak to storytellers like Veronica Roth, author of Divergent, Michael Dante  DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender, or John August, screenwriter of Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Together, we take deep dives on their careers and creative works.

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Direct download: Rhett_Miller_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:03am PDT