Author Interview: Brandi Carlile

The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, producer, and six-time Grammy winner opens up about a life shaped by music in Broken Horses—a candid, heartfelt, and intimate story. We spoke with author Brandi Carlile about the inspiration for Broken Horses, the 31 songs that accompany the audiobook, and more!

“I thought I knew Brandi through her music and friendship, but I didn’t truly know her until I finished the last page of Broken Horses. I don’t think I truly knew myself….I read much of it with my palms sweating, heart swelling, tears falling. This book is a gift from Brandi’s soul to the reader’s. Broken Horses will go down as one of the great memoirs of our time.”

Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed

Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.

I was inspired to write the book because I sat down to write one day and felt that what I was writing couldn’t fit into a 3 1/2 minute song. As I wrote more and more, I realized I was writing a book. I didn’t know at the time whether anyone needed to read it per se, but when I was finished, I believed that someone did.

In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise listeners about your audiobook?

I recorded 31 songs in an isolated chamber void of reverb or affectation.

Have you listened to your own audiobook? If so, what struck you about the narration?

No. Like most people, I’m uncomfortable with the sound of my own speaking voice. I like listening to myself sing, but not speak, so I won’t listen to it! But I’ve heard that it’s been impactful for folks who have.

What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?

I view independent bookstores in the same way that I view independent record stores. I see them as great protectors of vulnerable art. They’re really important to artists and enthusiasts alike.

Header photo by Austin Hargrave

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