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Podcast Episode # 113 - The Secrets of Economic Development with Novelist and Econ Dev Don Erwin (Encore)

The surprisingly thrilling world of econ dev

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
2 min read
Podcast Episode # 113 - The Secrets of Economic Development with Novelist and Econ Dev Don Erwin (Encore)

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Episode #113 of the Econ Dev Show Podcast is now live. Today's episode is an encore presentation of of one of my favorite episodes from 2021.  In this episode, I talk with Don Erwin about his book Buffalo Hunting in Alabama: A Novel.

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Erwin wrote the novel to make economic development more relatable and exciting to the general public, who often have negative perceptions of the industry.

The book follows a protagonist who reluctantly returns to Alabama to work in economic development, getting involved in high-stakes mega projects and talent recruitment. Erwin incorporates real economic data about Alabama to ground the fictional story in reality. He also includes insider knowledge and "secrets" of proactive economic development strategy like identifying growing companies before they have an expansion project.

Erwin and Carlson have an in-depth discussion about the writing process, promoting the unique novel, and the benefits of producing an audiobook version. Carlson compliments Erwin for innovating within a little-known genre and exposing more people to the positive impacts of economic development.

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In our pre-interview, we asked Don:

What's been your most influential book and why?

I inhale books, so it’s impossible to name a specific one.
For writing "Buffalo Hunting in Alabama," the most useful book was "Story Engineering," by Larry Brooks.
My favorite thriller fiction writers are Daniel SilvaDavid IgnatiusNelson DeMille, and John Grisham.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I think it helps understand how people make site decisions.

What is your favorite productivity tool or resource?

For writing a book, it’s the dictation/transcription feature on iPhones and iPads and the outlining features of Microsoft Word.
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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. Also: Sitehunt CEO and economic development consultant in Greater Houston, Texas.


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