Monday, January 6, 2014

Michigander Monday: Douglas Trevor

I'm pleased to welcome Douglas Trevor to Michigander Monday!

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

Douglas:  I grew up in Denver, Colorado, and didn't move to Michigan until 2007, when I joined the English Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I write short stories and novels but I'm also an academic who specializes in English Renaissance poetry (writers such as John Donne and William Shakespeare).

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

Douglas:  Well, my most recent book is a novel entitled Girls I Know that is set in Boston (where I lived in the 90s). Girls I Know follows three characters whose lives are changed after a restaurant shooting. The central character, a 29-year-old named Walt Steadman, witnesses the shootings and ends up trying to help the daughter of the restaurant's owners, Mercedes Bittles, cope with the loss of her parents. The third character is a twenty-year-old named Ginger Newton who is writing a book on evil she has entitled Girls I Know. In broad terms, I guess you could say the book looks at how people respond to misfortunes that they are themselves not responsible for, and the unlikely ways in which individuals--young and old--can connect with one another by virtue of such misfortunes.

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Douglas:  I'm almost done with a collection of stories, some of which are set in Michigan, that look at people whose lives are changed by virtue of books. The stories follow a wide-range of characters, some of whom are inveterate readers, some of whom feel that books and learning impinge and limit their lives, some of whom haven't had the chance to be educated and are trying to educate themselves, and some of whom find themselves in stories/version of their own lives that they want to break out of.

I've also started another novel, set in Denver and about a central character who uncovers secrets about his family, and the neighborhood in which he grew up.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Douglas:  My next reading is going to be in Chicago, at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, on January 11, 2014 at 7 PM.

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

DouglasNicola's Books is my favorite bookstore because the staff is so wonderful--highly read, engaging, and they do a wonderful job promoting books that they like. My favorite library is here at the University of Michigan, again because of the amazing staff.

Debbie:  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Douglas:  I'm a big fan of the Crystal Lake/Sleeping Bear area of Michigan. In October I gave a reading in Petoskey and had a great time there. That's a beautiful town (and they have a great bookstore there too--McLean and Eakin).

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

Douglas:  I am a homebody. I like to see movies at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, listen to music at the Blind Pig, have drinks at the Old Town Tavern.

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

Douglas:  Everyone should know of my splendid colleague Keith Taylor. Keith is a fantastic poet, teacher, and editor, and he is a tremendous proponent of the arts here in Michigan. Plus, he's a great guy with whom to hang out.

Debbie:  Last question.  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders, others as Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a Michigander or a Michiganian?

Douglas:  I am a Michigander. Go Blue.

Debbie:  We'll add you to the Michigander column!  Douglas, thank you so much for joining us today for Michigander Monday!

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