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May 28, 2009 / schulerbooks

Bestselling Mich. Author Jeffrey Zaslow to help pen “Captain Sully” memoir

Mich. Author Jeffrey Zaslow currently has 2 books on the bestseller lists, and will be at our Lansing location tonight at 7 p.m. for a talk and signing!  Click here for more information!

If there’s one person that BookExpo America attendees might be clamoring to see this weekend, it’ll be Chelsey Burnett Sullenberger, aka “Captain Sully,” the US Airways pilot who brought Flight 1549 to a safe emergency landing on the Hudson River back in January and will be telling his story thanks to a book deal with William Morrow. Highest Duty is scheduled for publication this fall, which means time is of the essence—and that’s one of the key reasons Sullenberger has turned to Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow to co-author the memoir.

Zaslow, whose beat at the paper covers “‘[the] thousand emotionally charged transitions that… come without a roadmap,” currently has two books on the bestseller lists: The Last Lecture has been a huge hit for over a year, and over the last month it’s been joined by The Girls from Ames—which, Zaslow explained to us during a phone call last week, he was actually in the middle of writing when he heard about Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch‘s plans to address students after learning of his fatal pancreatic cancer diagnosis. “I just thought it would be a good column,” he thought—and it was; the kind of column that gets passed around all over the world. The Last Lecture was never a sure thing as a book: Pausch took a month to decide whether he really wanted to spend so much time during his last months working on the project; when he finally agreed, he did many of his interviews with Zaslow by phone, using his headset while keeping up his bicycling exercise routine.

But they got it done, and Hyperion was able to publish the book while Pausch was still alive in the spring of 2008—and then Zaslow had to get right back to work on reporting the details of the decades-long friendship amongst a circle of women in Ames, Iowa, if he had any hope of meeting the deadlines necessary to get The Girls From Ames in stores by the following Mother’s Day. “As a newspaper writer, I’m used to trying to write good copy really fast,” Zaslow told us (and readers clearly believe he’s hitting the mark). “But I’d love for my next project to be something that could take me ten years,” he added, and then laughed. We didn’t think it very likely, either—but then, we wouldn’t want to have to wait that long.

Original story here: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/authors/telling_our_stories_with_little_time_to_spare_117281.asp

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