‘SHOWBOAT: THE LIFE OF KOBE BRYANT’ By Roland Lazenby

8f35161680f5fe05cb87208bebf2964dOctober 25 was the publication day for SHOWBOAT: THE LIFE OF KOBE BRYANT (Little Brown and Company) by Roland Lazenby, the bestselling author of MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE and numerous other basketball and sports books.

“With the publication of SHOWBOAT: THE LIFE OF KOBE BRYANT, it is high time we recognized author Roland Lazenby for what he has become: the finest sports biographer of our time,” said Peter Golenbock, author of 10 New York Times bestsellers. “First with the astonishing MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE and now his having written an incredibly researched, beautifully written biography of this enigmatic Laker superstar, Lazenby has entered rarified air: one is wowed by what one learns and at the same time you can’t wait to read what comes next.”

That’s the highest praise from someone who knows the genre and the craft. And other stellar reviews are rolling in.

I’ve read Roland’s biographies of Michael Jordan and Jerry West. They’re excellent. As I’ve said before, Roland digs, reports and provides rich context and revelations about these complex sports icons, weaving it all together in a page-turning narrative. What more can I say?

I’m very much looking forward to reading SHOWBOAT.

In addition, I know Roland as someone in our region who is wonderfully generous when it comes to mentoring and encouraging writers and authors. I’ve seen and experienced it firsthand. We are lucky to have him.

Advertisements

Back to College With Biographer Roland Lazenby

25423_booksigning_bonnp
Image courtesy of The Daily Tar Heel.

I went back to college last Friday with biographer Roland Lazenby, who signed copies of his Michael Jordan: The Life.

Check out the short video by The Daily Tar Heel featuring the gregarious author. We were situated near the front of the Student Stores on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. (I’m in the background wearing Carolina blue.)

It was a gorgeous autumn day and there were good vibes in the student bookstore and on campus.

I also had fun talking to the two sophomore journalism students who shot the video and interviewed the author.

Celebrating ‘MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE’ By Roland Lazenby

MichaelJordan
Buy at Amazon / Barnes & Noble

It’s May 6, publication day for MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE by veteran basketball writer and author Roland Lazenby. (And also a friend of yours truly.) The MJ biography is a massive work in so many ways, 700 pages of digging, reporting, context and revelation by the same talented author who so wonderfully presented Jerry West, a complex basketball icon, and the West Virginia roots that formed him.

“Michael has had a huge, huge life,” Roland told Ed Sherman, who wrote an early review for the Chicago Tribune. “It’s a business story, a basketball story, a baseball story, a cultural story, a family story, and I could go on.”

If you’re an MJ fan or a basketball fan, you’ll definitely want to read this story. If you’re interested in the compelling biography of a person who transcended his sport and shaped culture, order your copy and start reading.

Dan Smith and Roland Lazenby.

I’m a fan–of Roland’s. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him the last few years because we live in the same area. He has tremendous passion for his work, and a generous spirit when it comes to helping and encouraging other writers and authors. I’ve seen it firsthand. I’ve experienced it firsthand.

 

Roland shared this MJ nugget in his author bio at Amazon.

“Michael Jordan saved my life once,” he said. “It was during the 1995 playoffs, Chicago vs. Charlotte, after a practice at the arena in Charlotte.

“He was walking out of the building with a group of reporters following. Walking backwards, I was leading the pack, with my tape recorder in his face, interviewing as we walked. I was a foot from walking off the loading dock at the back of the arena, about a 10 foot fall onto concrete, when he reached out and grabbed my arm to stop me from going over the edge.

“So when I say that I have an interest in Jordan, I mean it.”

It’s so fortunate that his genuine interest in Jordan has resulted in this definitive biography. If they gave out rings for such things, like they do for NBA champs, Roland would get one for MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE.

My Q&A with ‘Contemporary Authors’

It’s nice when I’m reminded in small but important (to me) ways that I’m a published author.

Not long ago I was contacted by Contemporary Authors, an annual directory (print and online) that lists information about 120,000 writers in all genres. I was informed that I’ll be listed in a future edition.

In addition to checking my listing, they asked me a few questions.

Q. What first got you interested in writing?

A. I liked books growing up. I admired writers and authors, and wanted to be one from a young age but spent a lot of years thinking it was not a viable career option.

Q. Who or what particularly influences your work?

A. As an author, I like nonfiction, history, biography, a good sports story. A few of my favorite authors are Laura Hillenbrand, Rick Bragg and Roland Lazenby.

Q. Describe your writing process.

A. I do my best writing in the morning, spending a half day or so making progress on a manuscript. I try to write a clean, high-quality first draft to cut down on rewriting. My editing process is largely focused on trimming.

Q. What is the most surprising thing you have learned as a writer?

A. That I was able to navigate all the steps needed to be published by a major publisher.

Q. Which of your books is your favorite and why?

A. Only one is published–THE LONGEST SHOT–but another one is on the way, due out from St. Martin’s Press in September 2014 to coincide with the Ryder Cup. Like children, I love them equally.

Q. What kind of effect do you hope your books will have?

A. I’m more than satisfied when readers say it was a good story that was well told.