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 frontman of the critically acclaimed band Richmond Fontaine.