Mr. Serious now available

Mr. Serious (Essays, Columns, Eulogies), by Scott Saalman

Herald humor columnist Scott Saalman gets "serious" with his latest collection of 35 essays, columns and eulogies. The book includes interviews with a widow who talks about the unsolved murder of her truck-driving husband; the widow of a small-town funeral home director and "the rock" friends erected at the town river walk in his memory; the mother of the "All-American" daughter who died from heroin addiction. The book also includes Saalman's memories of his grandfather making apple cider in the fall; the love of his high school life who died in her early 30s from a rare cancer; his buddy Matt who died in a plane crash a year after college graduation. The book also contains two of the greatest love stories in his life, one of his parents, who are approaching 55 years of marriage, and one of pen pal letters that turned to love letters between a Vietnam War machine gunner "in country" and an 18-year-old nursing student (they're now approaching their 50th anniversary). Saalman also writes about his writing influences: Pat Conroy, Joe Aaron, Ernest Hemingway and folk musician John Prine. Serious Praise For Mr. Serious: “Scott Saalman’s collection of essays, Mr. Serious, offer serious insights to our serious times. By turns clever and smart, reflective and touching, Saalman’s writing is always interesting, in the best sense of that word, and beautifully modulated. Read this book – seriously.” -Matthew Graham, poet, New World Architecture; A World Without End “I love Scott Saalman’s writing! His essays bring to mind Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, Jean Sheppard’s A Christmas Story, and sweetest of all, my own lifelong memories of Indiana. He writes about the lives and feelings of everyday Hoosiers, doing so with humor and love.” -Jason Wilber, singer, songwriter, recording artist, Reaction Time "A talented humor writer, Scott Saalman shows his range in Mr. Serious, a collection of columns and essays that will make you cry, smile, and think. Whether he's remembering lost love or admiring his parents' long marriage, ruminating on parenthood or the books that shaped his life, Saalman dives deep to consider life's big questions. His natural storyteller's voice will make you want to pull up a chair and listen."  -Sarah Layden, author, Trip Through Your Wires  “Scott’s deeply personal and sensitive writings are so important today in a seemingly disparate world. You will be inspired to turn off the TV, put down your phone, and think about your own story and what it means to be alive.” -Laurie Becher, a subject in this book’s story, The Rock “If you think all there is to humor columnist Scott Saalman are phobias, colorful kin, mishaps, missteps and strange coincidences, you’re wrong. There’s also the serious side of a journalist and essayist. In this collection, he writes about senseless murder, heroin addiction, grief, growing up, loving parents and much more — serious writing that is insightful, informative, compelling, moving and, yes, sometimes funny. These are columns and essays that get people talking. Good reading.” -John Rumbach, Herald co-publisher, Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame “Scott Saalman’s new collection of stories deftly balances his signature mix of sly humor and genuine heart. Though he describes himself as an “innate snooper," his curiosity and intuition more often provoke the kind of “shade tree conversations” that shine a light on the folks who have profoundly influenced his life. From the opening gem of a valentine to his parents (“Amore: A Toast”), to reconciling feelings for an adolescent love while she was on the journey to her death (“The Girl Across the Field”),  to the complexities in helping a stranger whose son was in jail pen a letter to his daughter ("Fathers"), these compelling tales of love, life, death, and sickness and health stir one's soul." -Bernadette Quigley, actress, Mr. Robot; In America "Mr. Serious introduces an intriguing side of Scott Saalman...whether addressing the tragic or the wondrous, he not only does so with such grace and poignancy, but also with an enchanting sense of familiarity." -Austin C. Morgan, contributing editor, aaduna literary journal