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!