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"Ladies and Gentlemen," by Adam Ross

Adam Ross, Ladies and Gentlemen
Random House, Eric England

Jeff Glor talks to Adam Ross about "Ladies and Gentlemen," a collection of stories about the journey brothers take together.

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Adam Ross: Since it's a story collection, each piece had its own inspiring incident or image. I was a child actor and "Middlemen" is based on a funny thing that happened during an audition with my best friend's beautiful older sister. "The Rest of It" arose from a harrowing story a bartender I worked with told me in between shifts one afternoon. "The Suicide Room" was born of apocryphal stories I'd heard about student hijinks while at Vassar. It's worth noting, though, that I wrote these stories whenever I got stuck while drafting my debut novel, "Mr. Peanut," so they orbit similar themes of cruelty and self-awareness. I think of it as a companion book.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

AR: Story to story it's always the creative tension between your plan or vision for the narrative and that moment where your writing takes off in a completely unexpected direction. It's an odd business: you write and write and write to build up enough confidence to let go.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

AR: Let's see: I've been an actor, a bartender, an editor, a journalist, a teacher, a waiter, a lifeguard, a lacrosse and tennis coach, a computer consultant and an assistant to a movie producer. There's no telling.

JG: What else are you reading right now?

AR: I just read Per Petterson's "Out Stealing Horses" and am currently plowing through Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian." I highly recommend both.

JG: What's next for you?

AR: I'm researching a new novel that's been on my mind for a quite a few years. Can't wait to start. 

For more on "Ladies and Gentlemen," visit the Random House website.