Ivy Pochoda | Episode 42

A native New Yorker, Ivy Pochoda has discovered the pull of the desert. After moving to LA, she'd heard folks talk about going to the desert. Eventually she took a trip to Palm Springs and, though nice, wasn't really the experience she was looking for. The second trip she booked a vacation rental 'near Joshua Tree National Park'. After driving for sometime past two entrances to the National Park, Ivy realized the definition of the word 'near' had different meanings to her and the vacation rental owner. Turns out, the reward for all that driving was staying in what's known as The Tile House in Wonder Valley.

Growing up in NY, Ivy started playing squash, found she was very good at it and ended up traveling the world to play. When her parents encouraged her to get off the 'road' and find something more stable, Ivy decided on writing. Her publisher parents weren't certain that was the right choice - Ivy has prevailed. Her third novel, 'Wonder Valley', was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year and her writing has appeared in many publications like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The LA Times, just to name a few.

Though only featured in three chapters of 'Wonder Valley', in this episode we talk about dealing with the reactions of locals, who may feel 'their place' may have been misrepresented in a work of fiction.

After watching a film about LA's Skid Row, Ivy decided to get involved with LAMP (Los Angeles Men's Place) Community, teaching creative writing in their arts program. LAMP has since merged with another organization and is now known as The People Concern.

Ivy finds herself planning to return to the desert even before the present trip she's on is over. Me thinks she's hooked.