From rockstar to novelist—’80s pop rock icon Susanna Hoffs made a bold and courageous career shift to give us her debut novel, This Bird Has Flown, a sexy, hilarious, and heartfelt story about a 33-year-old one-hit-wonder whose luck is about to change. Join us for an intimate conversation about the power of words and music with this versatile artist who found her freedom as a writer after playing the setlist that made her famous as the co-founder of The Bangles. Now in her third act, Susanna not only shows us how to reinvent ourselves but how to reinvigorate our creativity. This is going to be a spirited discussion about the creative process and how songwriting and building a novel are more similar than we think—Susanna will bring her guitar and offer insights into both. In conversation with novelist and writing coach Holly Payne, host and producer of the Page One Podcast. $40 adv/$45 door includes a copy of the book.
Sponsored by Office of Economic and Workforce Development
“Part British romcom, part Jane Eyre, and one hundred percent enjoyable” —Tom Perrotta
Boasting one of pop’s most beloved voices, Susanna Hoffs was born and raised in Los Angeles with an ever-present soundtrack of ’60s music. She loved to sing and play guitar, going on to study dance and art in college. Stirred by punk and new wave, Susanna started her first band with David Roback (Mazzy Star) while at UC Berkeley. Upon returning to L.A., she placed a want ad which led her to Vicki and Debbi Peterson. In December 1980, they met in the garage of Susanna’s parents’ home and a band was born. Blending ’60s garage rock, lush harmonies, and jangly guitars, the Bangles became a seminal band of the ’80s with a string of hits from three platinum-selling albums. Over the decades since, the Bangles continued to tour and release LPs.
In 1991, Susanna released a pop-heavy solo album, When You’re a Boy, followed by her eponymous LP, which was met with critical praise. After working together in the Austin Powers films, Susanna and Matthew Sweet released three volumes of their acclaimed Under the Covers series. In 2011, she released Someday, a retro modern solo set that was a stylish homage to the ’60s pop that she grew up on. Most recently, she worked with acclaimed producer Peter Asher on her album The Deep End. Susanna has collaborated with Rufus Wainwright, Tom Petty, Chris Martin, Mike Campbell, Jack Antonoff, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, Aimee Mann, Andrew Bird, Jon Brion, Maya Rudolph, and many others.
Susanna released her first novel This Bird Has Flown in April of 2023. The New York Times called it the “smart, ferocious rock-star redemption romance you didn’t know you needed.” NPR called it “a love story — and a valentine to music.” It was a Los Angeles Times bestseller.
Holly Lynn Payne, MFA, MIM, is an award-winning, internationally published author of four novels, private writing coach, and the host and producer of the Page One Podcast. Her debut, The Virgin’s Knot (Dutton), was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers book. She earned a master’s degree from USC, BA in journalism from University of Richmond, and has served on the faculty of the California College of the Arts, Academy of Art University, San Francisco State University and Stanford. She is the former CEO and founder of Booxby, a startup that built AI powered book discovery software, backed by a grant from the National Science Foundation. She has served as a volunteer producer for Litquake, the West Coast’s largest literary festival and lives near a mountain with her daughter and dog, and enjoys mountain biking. She is also a trained intuitive healer in Energy Medicine®.