Lori Ostlund’s editor asked her to make a list of authors she’d like to write promotional blurbs for her new novel. At the top of her list was Richard Russo.

Russo, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer from Camden, did one better. He invited her to Maine to talk about her book.

Ostlund, whose novel “After the Parade” was released last week, will join Russo Oct. 7 at SPACE Gallery in Portland to discuss the challenges facing an emerging author and their experiences in publishing.

“I love his work, so of course I am thrilled,” Ostlund said by phone from her home in San Francisco.

Their talk is the first event in the national Authors Guild Literary Series and is organized locally by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Russo is vice president of the Authors Guild, a national organization that supports and advocates for writers. Another Maine writer, Roxanna Robinson, is president. Future events in the series have not been announced, but the series will pair an emerging writer with an established writer for a casual conversation.

Russo will interview Ostlund from the SPACE stage. The talk is free and begins at 7 p.m.

The format appeals to Ostlund. It’s easier being interviewed by someone who understands your business than talking to strangers, she said.

“I grew up in a town of 400. One of the rules you abide by when you grow up in a small town – you don’t talk much. My father has always said, ‘Keep your business to yourself,’ ” she said.

“I’m always really uncomfortable talking about myself. I think sometimes when I am talking to someone who may not be a writer, the questions may get a little more personal. When I am talking to someone who is a writer, I assume the questions will focus more on the book. We both understand the process of writing a book, and you draw from what you know.”

Ostlund is an emerging writer, but she is not unknown. Her first book was a collection of stories, “The Bigness of the World.” It won the Flannery O’Connor Award, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and the California Book Award for First Fiction.

One of her stories from that book appeared in “Best American Short Stories,” which Russo edited.

“After the Parade” is her first novel. It’s based on her experiences growing up in a small town in Minnesota. Her parents owned a hardware store, where Ostlund worked. “I overheard a lot,” she said. “I think I always wanted to write a book about a small town, or always assumed that I would. When I think about a small town, I think about the people and I think about secrecy. I thought a lot about why people leave and why some people prefer what’s familiar.”

She chose to leave her small town.

“We were Protestant. We never went anywhere except the hardware store convention in Minneapolis. After spending the first 18 years of my life not going anywhere, I discovered I wanted to be on the move,” she said.

She’s lived across the country, including New Mexico, North Carolina and now California. She also spent a few years in Malaysia.

Ostlund began her promotional tour in her adopted hometown of San Francisco last week. After a stop in Seattle, she heads to the East Coast for events in Boston, Maine and North Carolina.