Monday, August 9, 2010

A is for Alan

Alan Orloff is an East Coast author and my first guest for the special edition 7-SS series, Back to School A-Z. You'd think I'd be jealous of him because he's a published novelist, but I'm most jealous of his MBA. (Yes, really.)
Alan Orloff
Anyway.

Alan's debut novel Diamonds for the Dead was released in April 2010 from Midnight Ink.

When Josh Handleman returns to his boyhood home to sit shiva for his estranged father, he gets the shock of his life: his frugal dad was a diamond collector worth millions. Now the gems are missing and Josh begins to suspect his father’s death might have been murder, not an accident.



His second book Killer Routine: A Last Laff Mystery will be released in April 2011.




Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? Gym class. (There’s only one person on the planet with less musical talent than me. Hi Mom!)
  • high school or college? college
  • school lunch or sack lunch? School lunch. Sloppy Joes, to be specific.
  • crayons or markers? Markers. I have a Sharpie addiction. (In case you’re wondering, Magic Markers are a gateway drug.)
  • first crush: P.B.
  • favorite subject: Besides Gym? P.E. Also, math.
  • favorite teacher: Ms. Mauzy. Awesome.

Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)

I approach writing as a job, and I write to a daily quota. When I hit it, I’m done. I’ve been known to get up in the middle of a sentence. (When it comes to writing, I guess I’m not very weird. Now, in the rest of my life…)

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

Preternaturally - (used in a sentence) Preter naturally preferred chocolate over broccoli.

(Hey, give me a break! I’m still trying to figure out the difference between lay and lie. I studied engineering, for Prete’s sake!)

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
  • The last book I finished reading was The Last Domino by Adam Meyer
  • I gave it 5 of 5 stars.
  • One word to describe it is Riveting-Disturbing (see how I used a hyphen to construct one word?)
Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

In my senior year, I was trying out for the golf team. During one of the practice rounds, I played with the coach and had a particularly disastrous nine holes. The next day, I went into his office and asked him if I made the team or not. He said, “I don’t know. Who are you?” Obviously, I made a great impression! (Believe it or not, I did make the team. I didn’t play in any matches that season, but I did make the team!)

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your writing?

I think my experience is atypical for a writer. In school, I hated all my English classes (reading classics? Blech). I despised my writing assignments. I was always the kid who made the margins 3 inches wide so my papers seemed longer. (Irony: my father was an English teacher!). In college, I majored in engineering (little writing); I went to grad school for an MBA (at MIT, not really a hotbed for writers!). So how did I end up writing fiction? (Not a rhetorical question—I have no idea how I ended up writing fiction.) I’ve always have loved reading, and I’ve always admired writers, so maybe…just maybe…dunno.


Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

I’m very susceptible to Herky-Jerky-Camera-Induced Nausea (yes, I coined the term myself. You like?). When I watch a video or film that’s been recorded with a hand-cam, one that shakes and shimmies and bobbles along, I get nauseated. It’s violent, and sudden, too. One second, I’m fine, the next—stop the ride, I want to get off. I “watched” the entire Hoop Dreams movie with my eyes closed. Don’t invite me over to watch home movies. Please. For your sake, and for the sake of your upholstery.



TOMORROW: B is for Beth

11 comments:

  1. Good start! I wonder how many people enjoy reading despite their high school English teachers, rather than because of their efforts. I had many wonderful teachers, but one of my English teachers made reading about as engaging as trigonometry (no offense to math majors).

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  2. Alan is not only interesting and funny, as the interview proves, he's a fine novelist too. And (I'm sorry, I'm going to get all misty-eyed now) a fellow nerd!

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  3. Very cute Alan, now where did you say you were from? You sound like a typical Brooklyn Kid... the only thing missing was attending either Brooklyn Tech or Stuyvesant.

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  4. Aerin - Thanks so much for inviting me today--I had a lot of fun!

    John - I hear you. I couldn't even finish some of the books we had to read in HS English. (And I'd understand Shakespeare a whole lot better if he had written in English!)

    Steve - Calling me names again? NERDS (SLIDE)RULE!

    Adam - Thanks!

    NoraA - Actually, I'm a native Washingtonian (suburbs, anyway). My mother was born in Brooklyn though.

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  5. Won't invite you over to see Cloverfield or REC* then!
    And I'd definitely select music over gym.

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  6. A terrific start to the series, Aerin. And the new look for the web site is terrific.

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  7. If writing is your bent I think it's hard 'not' to end up doing it, no matter your background.

    Enjoyed this.

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  8. Well done! Off to a great (and funny!) start!

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