How Bestselling Novelist Aris Janigian Writes


Manage episode 263730123 series 2355239
By Kelton Reid. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


The bestselling, award-winning novelist, Aris Janigian, had a candid conversation with me about the recently "mandated dystopia," his circuitous path to bestselling author, the city as muse, and what it means to be a transgressive writer.

“As a cognitive social psychologist, I can tell you without any hesitation that the human mind really is built for deception.” – Aris Janigian

The author of six novels (all without traditional representation), critics hailed his 2012 novel This Angelic Land – set during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots – as "today's necessary book," and his novel Waiting for Lipchitz at Chateau Marmont, spent 17 weeks on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list.

Janigian holds a PhD in psychology from the Claremont Graduate School and was formerly Senior Professor of Humanities at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

He was a finalist for Stanford University's William Saroyan Fiction Prize and has been a contributing writer to West, the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine.

The second book of Janigian's Waiting for... trilogy, Waiting for Sophia at Shutters on the Beach, "... is a satirical mashup of Nabokov's Lolita and Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground."

The book has be described as "... an unflinching, deadly serious ... tragic-comic view of male sexuality in the era of #metoo."

*Note: This interview was recorded at the beginning of May, 2020.

Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.

In this file Aris Janigian and I discussed:
  • The life of a lazy author
  • Why graduate school corrupts good writers
  • Wisdom on the importance of mentorship
  • How the cruel mistress of Los Angeles plays a character in his works
  • The self-censorship of academia
  • And why life is the best teacher
Show Notes:


Anti-racism Resources Donate to any of the following: Podcasts to subscribe to: Articles to read:

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

295 episodes