Tom Soter has written a witty and perceptive collection of books in the past year, all while working a 9 to 5 job, running a 25-year-old weekly improv comedy jam, and teaching three improv classes a week. He has also had to deal with Parkinson’s disease for the past 11 years. How does he do it?
With inspiration from Victorian author Anthony Trollope, who, while working fll-time at the post office, wrote 47 novels in a 30-year career, Soter found a role model for his life and his creativity. He has himself produced nine books since January 2014, including his latest two, Look at Them Now and Driving Me Crazy.
Look at Them Now features short fiction by the author and his longtime friends, Tom Sinclair, Alan Saly, and Christian Doherty. The four wrote the 40 stories in the book – 10 stories apiece – between 1968 and 1975. Most have not been read since they first appeared.
“On reading these old stories,” says Soter, who selected and edited the science fiction, mystery, and fantasy tales, “I have to admit, some of them really wowed me. It’s sometimes hard to believe that they were written by teenagers.” The pieces first appeared in self-published magazines that Soter created and sold in high school.
Driving Me Crazy represents a collection of personal essays, the third in his ongoing “does anyone really care?” memoir project that started with the acclaimed Overheard on a Bus. The new book features nearly 50 amusing anecdotes about his crazy life and family, including his online dating adventures, and also features a revealing interview with James Bond screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz (“Diamonds Are Forever,” “Live and Let Die”), and a conversation about improv comedy with improv legend Carol Schindler.
Soter’s other books include Overheard on a Bus; Disappearing Act; Bedbugs, Biondi & Me (humorous but useful advice for co-op and condo owners); A Doctor and a Plumber in a Rowboat: The Essential Guide to Improvisation (co-authored with Carol Schindler); and The Whole Catastrophe: My (Often Terrific) Life, a combination autobiography and memoir, which he edited and co-wrote about his 1960s advertising executive father George (one of the original “Madmen”).
About the Author: Tom Soter is seen every week as the host of the long-running “Sunday Night Improv” comedy jam. He has taught improv since 1987 and has been an editor at Habitat magazine since 1982.