Scott Lasser reads new novel in Vail Valley
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado -Staring out at Manhattan’s soot-stained sky on Sept. 11, 2001, Scott Lasser -who will be in the Vail Valley Monday -was already writing in his head. It was purely by chance that Lasser, an Aspen resident, was in New York on that horrific day. “My editor called and ask me to come into the marketing offices… my daughter’s birthday is on Sept. 9, so I decided to fly out on Sept. 10 and was going to meet them on the 11th, which, of course, never happened. “If you were there on Sept. 11, it might have occurred to you to write something about it, even if you weren’t a writer,” Lasser said during a phone interview this week. “It was definitely occurring to me – that’s the writerly way – you’re living in some horrific thing and you’re figuring out how you’re going to describe it at the same time.”Lasser, who looks a bit like Gaston in “Beauty & The Beast,” will read from his new book, “The Year That Follows,” at The Bookworm of Edwards Monday at 6 p.m. “We are so happy to be able help give local authors an audience, and with writers like Scott Lasser, it’s easy,” said Besse Lynch, the Bookworm’s events and marketing coordinator. “Buzz around his writing has been building and building for a while now in the book biz, and now that enthusiasm for his work has spread to the general reading public.”‘It happened everywhere’Lasser’s original plan to publish the first post-Sept. 11 novel didn’t quite happen – “The Year That Follows” was released June 9 -but it was worth the wait. The book, Lasser’s third, is a captivating, compelling story from start to finish. Like Lasser, the book’s main character Cat flies out to New York City on Sept. 10, 2001. She was there to see her brother, who tells her he thinks he fathered a son. Tragically, he’s in one of the World Trade Center towers the next morning when it’s hit. The story intricately weaves together Cat’s search for her brother’s lost son, as well as a few other familial, relationship-centered subplots. “It took me awhile to get my novel part of it,” Lasser said. “I mean New York is a relatively small part of the book, just five or six pages total. The idea for the novel really grew out of being there, though.”That’s one way Lasser’s book is different from other books that center on Sept. 11. “My novel is the only one I’ve read that doesn’t take place in New York City. The majority of the story is set west of the Hudson. To me, that’s important. There is this idea that 9/11 happened in New York, but really it happened everywhere.”‘Writers would be paid like rock stars’Lasser lived in Aspen in the early ’80s where he was a ski instructor, but eventually moved to New York City to join the suit-and-collar ranks. “I was tired of being poor and feeling like I needed to have some sort of adventure,” Lasser said about leaving Aspen. “I settled on this idea of becoming a bond trader. That way I could make some money and either way, I’d get a book out of it.”Chuckling, Lasser commented he was likely one of the few people who went to work on Wall Street on a literary impulse.For five years, Lasser lived in New York City and worked for Lehman Brothers. “I just want to say, when I left in 2000, everything was fine,” he said. And while Lasser writes every day on a yellow legal pad, he still has a day job in finance. In Aspen he works as a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney financial adviser, although he wishes that writing novels could be lucrative enough to be his only gig. “Last night at an event I was at I said I was sure that in the kingdom of heaven, writers would be paid like rock stars, but it’s not the way it works now.”High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or email@example.com.
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