The TAM 2013 Interviews Episode 7: Karen Stollznow

Those of you with far-reaching memories may recall the series of video interviews that my trusty sidekick Mikey and I put together from The Amazing Meeting 2013. I understand it is now 2014, but we had some technical difficulties (i.e., the computer he was using to edit everything unexpectedly crapped out and we needed to get a new one. Guys, computers are not cheap. Even with this baller blogging money. Apparently, the four-year-old semi-functional laptop I write on is not good enough for his fancy schmancy editing programs. La. De. Dah.)

Anyway, now that we have gotten everything back in good working order, Mikey has been able to get back in the swing of things.

For our long-awaited relaunch, we’re kicking things off with the remarkable Dr. Karen Stollznow. Though I had missed her talk at TAM, there was a gentleman who was also blogging there who told me that I absolutely needed to talk to her.

Holy cow. He was right.

First of all, Stollznow is a wonderfully delightful person. Second of all, in a series of extraordinarily interesting people, she stood out (to me) as the most fascinating person to interview. She has recently published her latest book, God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States.

I haven’t had a chance to grab a copy, though I plan to order one ASAP, but the book follows Stollznow’s journey around the country observing a huge variety of religious rituals. During this interview, she told me a couple of stories about her stranger encounters. She touches on everyone from the Amish to Scientology. Her story about stopping in to a Scientology church has since become one of my favorite stories to share with hapless strangers at cocktail parties (Note: I have never been to a cocktail party. Please invite me to one.)

Anyway, I was sincerely riveted by this whole conversation. Enjoy!



About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.


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