MSU alumna releases her first novel
Everybody knows the only thing MSU is known for is beautiful, easy, party girls ... or so think the U-M guys in the newly released book, “Pretty Smart Girls — Lace Up,” written by MSU alumna and author Shae Ross.
The book is centered around the rivalry between a group of MSU girls and a group of U-M guys as they compete in a high-stakes entrepreneurial competition.
The book, the first one she’s written, was released Monday.
Ross said she has always loved writing. Her interest in creating a book of her own started when she was in high school and college, devouring romance novels and dabbling in writing.
“You get to a point after you’ve read so much of that where you feel like you know, ‘I wish that book would have ended this way,’ and you start coming up with your own ideas,” Ross said.
Ross said she didn’t pursue writing in college, as she planned on going to law school. After graduating, Ross said she practiced law for a while and got a little burned out with her career. She wanted to do something more creative, so she started writing on the side and investigating what it would take to get published.
“I told myself I would finish a book, and I did,” Ross said.
Ross said “Pretty Smart Girls — Lace Up” is more of a romantic comedy. While writing, she said she was influenced by her experiences as a student at MSU and the rivalry between the Spartans and the Wolverines.
She said she heard the stereotypes surrounding each school, such as “go green, go white; can’t read, can’t write,” and the arrogance of U-M students.
Ross was in that environment as a student and wanted the stereotypes to come into play with her characters.
“I have that sort of background of the rivalry, and a lot of it is good-natured and humorous,” Ross said.
Ross currently lives close to MSU’s campus, although her husband went to U-M.
“The rivalry thing is something that’s almost constant in our lives,” Ross said. “When you get out of college and move away, that kind of stuff usually goes away ... but he’s in enemy territory here.”
Ross said while many aspects of the book are comedic, it also contains good messages about business.
“I think there’s value to kind of looking at the interactions they have and the message about workmanship and the ethics in the work environment,” Ross said.
She said the book shows what it takes to be successful in a business environment.
This is important to Ross because she said she has a particular interest in promoting women in the business world.
“I have an interest in seeing Spartan women succeed,” Ross said.
Ross said she sees a lot of her friends getting stuck in one particular area of their careers, and she hopes that pattern will break, something she was able to do with writing her first novel.
She said she has been very fortunate with this book, getting to jump around with her career and try different things.
“You just have to keep your opportunities open and create your own opportunities,” Ross said.