Monday, October 8, 2012

Michigander Monday: Scott Lasser

I'm pleased to welcome Scott Lasser to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Scott, please tell us a little about yourself.

Scott:  I was born in Detroit and grew up in its environs.  About halfway through college I started reading novels--for fun. Saul Bellow had a great line that writers are readers who are moved from admiration to emulation.  That was my path; I started writing.  There came a time when I was in my early thirties, with a wife and son and two degrees and no money, when I decided I would be a Wall Street bond trader.  It was a crazy idea, but I didn't know better.  I figured the worst thing that could happen is that I'd get a book out of it.  So, off to business school I went (where I started my first novel, of course), and then to Wall Street.  I landed a job at Lehman Brothers.  Little did I know how that would turn out.  I ended up working in finance for almost 20 years. (I wouldn't recommend it.)  For the last 12 months I've been trying to make a living as a writer.  We'll see how that goes...

Debbie:  And, of course, we want to know all about your books.

Scott:  I've published four novels: Battle Creek (a baseball novel), All I Could Get (that book I got out of Wall Street), The Year That Follows (a 9/11 novel, born out of a meeting I had scheduled in NYC on 9/11/01 with the publisher of All I Could Get), and Say Nice Things About Detroit (a Detroit novel, as you might guess; the world needs more of them).

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Scott:  Yes, of course.  As for books, let's just say I'm working on another.  I've also turned in a movie adaptation (written with Derek Green; see below) of Say Nice Things About Detroit and am working on other projects for the screen.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Scott:  I am reading at the Berkley Book Corner this Thursday (10/11), then making appearances at the Metro Detroit Book and Author Society Luncheon on Monday, 10/15 in Livonia, then another that night at the Warren Civic Center Library. Details are on the events page of my website.

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?

Scott:  I'll go with Nicola's in Ann Arbor.  I admit to missing Shaman Drum.  I mean no disrespect to any bookstore.  It's a tough, tough business, and those in it are fighting the good fight.

Debbie:  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Scott:  I had a great week this summer in Detroit.  I have fond feelings for Ann Arbor.  My grandfather grew up in Onaway, MI, and as I child I spent many a summer at Black Lake, which I still remember with great love.  And the UP is a world unto itself. A great world.

Debbie:  Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Scott:  I've got to admit, I love football.  I try to get to a game or two in Ann Arbor every year, and to catch the Lions whenever I can.  Likewise, I try to catch at least one Tiger game a year.  Shifting gears, I've heard great things about the Traverse City Film Festival and would like to attend one of these years.  And, I'm open for suggestions.

Debbie:  A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

Scott:  My friend the writer Derek Green is someone you should know about.  He's a great writer who, so far, has published only one book, but it's well worth checking out.  New World Order is the title.  He's close to completing another.  He and I have worked on a number of screen projects together.  He comes from Jackson.

Debbie:  Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

Scott:  The people.  Trust me: to truly appreciate the forthright, can-do attitudes of Michiganders, you probably need to spend a few years somewhere else.

Debbie:  Last question.  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: what’s the better term, "Michigander" or "Michiganian"?

Scott:  Puh-leeeeze.  Michigander.  A 'Michiganian' sounds like the member of some weird cult.

Debbie:  Another for the Michigander column!  Scott, thank you so much for joining us today for Michigander Monday!

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