Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s "Too Much Water So Close to Home" that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published four novels: "The Motel Life," "Northline," "Lean on Pete" and "The Free." His fifth, "Don't Skip Out on Me," was published in 2019. Vlautin was also the founder and front-man of the critically acclaimed band Richmond Fontaine.