Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Alan Goldsher  

Pen Name: A.M. Goldsher

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;


-- Blog --
-- Website --
-- Alan Goldsher on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Author lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Alan Goldsher is a novelist, ghostwriter, journalist and bassist. He is the author of ''Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion'', ''Hard Bop Academy: The Sidemen of Art Blakey'', ''Jazz Messengers, Modest Mouse: A Pretty Good Read'', and the novel ''Jam''. He co-wrote ''Midnight Movie'' with director Tobe Hooper - known for directing "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Alan has also written chicklit as A.M. Goldsher. His chicklit novels ''The True Naomi Story'', ''Reality Check'' and ''Today's Special'', ''Marabout'' and ''No Ordinary Girl''.As a ghostwriter, Goldsher has collaborated on projects with comedians Bernie Mac and Fred Willard; actor Robert Englund, Ironman triathlete Sarah Reinertsen, and "American Idol" contestant Sanjaya Malakar, among other notable celebrities and public figures.Alan's sportswriting has been published in ESPN The Magazine,,, and He also reviews books for Kirkus.During his 10-plus years as a professional bassist, Goldsher recorded with Janet Jackson, Cypress Hill, and Naughty by Nature. He toured the world with Digable Planets and performed at the 1994 Grammy Awards.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Midnight Movie: A Novel
ISBN: 0307717011

Three Rivers Press. 2011

The good news: Director Tobe Hooper has been invited to speak at a screening of Destiny Express, a movie he wrote and directed as a teenager, but that hasn’t seen the light of day in decades. And Hooper’s fans are ecstatic.

The bad news: Destiny Express proves to be a killer . . . literally. As the death toll mounts, Tobe embarks on a desperate journey to understand the film’s thirty-year-old origins—and put an end to the strange epidemic his creation has set in motion.

Featuring the terror, humor, and sly documentary style Hooper devotees remember from such classics as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Midnight Movie is vintage Tobe Hooper, again demonstrating the director’s place as one of the godfathers of modern horror.

Paul Is Undead
ISBN: 1439177929

Gallery Books. 2010


For John Lennon, a young, idealistic zombie guitarist with dreams of global domination, Liverpool seems the ideal place to form a band that could take over the world. In an inspired act, Lennon kills and reanimates local rocker Paul McCartney, kicking off an unstoppable partnership. With the addition of newly zombified guitarist George Harrison and drummer/Seventh Level Ninja Lord Ringo Starr, the Beatles soon cut a swath of bloody good music and bloody violent mayhem across Europe, America, and the entire planet.

In this searing oral history, discover how the Fab Four climbed to the Toppermost of the Poppermost while stealing the hearts, ears, and brains of smitten teenage girls. Learn the tale behind a spiritual journey that resulted in the dismemberment of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Marvel at the seemingly indestructible quartet’s survival of a fierce attack by Eighth Level Ninja Lord Yoko Ono. And find out how the boys escaped eternal death at the hands of England’s greatest zombie hunter, Mick Jagger.

Through all this, one mystery remains: Can the Beatles sublimate their hunger for gray matter, remain on top of the charts, and stay together for all eternity? After all, three of the Fab Four are zombies, and zombies live forever. . . .

In a Single Bound: Losing My Leg, Finding Myself, and Training for Life
ISBN: 076276127X

Lyons Press. 2010

See Sarah on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's first "Body Issue"

Touching, funny, and honest, In a Single Bound is the story of how a feisty little girl from Long Island became one of the world’s most famous disabled sports figures. An inspiring memoir of courage, spirit, and determination.

Dancing to the Music in My Head: Memoirs of the People's Idol
ISBN: 1439136149

Gallery Books. 2009

Sanjaya Malakar, the most popular contestant on Season Six of American Idol, gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at his meteoric rise to fame on one of the most-watched shows on television.

Despite finishing in seventh position, Sanjaya Malakar was the most talked about contestant on the sixth season of the television phenomenon American Idol. Best known for his flamboyant hairstyles and screaming young fans, Sanjaya quickly became a household name. His unique style, soft-spoken demeanor, and ingenious song selections made him a fixture on numerous entertainment programs and magazines and led to a huge and devoted fanbase that still remains today.

Here, in Dancing to the Music in My Head, he takes fans behind the scenes and reveals what it’s like to star on one of television’s most popular shows, and how the experience forever changed his life. In his own words, he shares how he soared from obscurity to worldwide fame, from waiting on line amongst thousands of hopefuls to touring with the Top Ten finalists all across the country and being named one of Time magazine’s Most Influential People of the Year in 2007. From attending a dinner at the White House to being the subject of parody on Saturday Night Live, Sanjaya has captured national attention in a way that far exceeds that of most ordinary suburban teenagers.

Modest Mouse: A Pretty Good Read
ISBN: 0312356013

St. Martin's Griffin. 2006


Unruly and antagonistic, the Washington State rock trio Modest Mouse would seem like one of the least likely candidates for mainstream stardom: Their often brilliant live performances sometimes collapsed into utter chaos. Their highly original, highly off-center songs ran as long as eleven minutes. And their leader managed to raise eyebrows among music writers, law officials . . . and sometimes even his fans.

But Modest Mouse persevered. They didn't compromise their original, compelling musical style, nor did they lighten up on the attitude. They just waited for the world at large to catch up.

In 2004, with the release of their smash single "Float On," it finally happened. And it was worth the wait. For everybody.

Journalist Alan Goldsher uncovers the strange, little-known details of Modest Mouse's rise from DIY indie heroes to platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated international superstars. Goldsher also reveals the troubled background and fractured history of frontman Isaac Brock, a charismatic, cantankerous singer/songwriter who has spent as much time avoiding the media as he has attempting to control it.

Thoroughly researched, sharply funny, and filled with more than thirty rare photos, this unauthorized biography shows how Modest Mouse trashed the Behind the Music mold and created their own unique version of the rock 'n' roll, rags-to-expensive-rags success story.

The Record Haus
ISBN: 1413702244

PublishAmerica. 2003

You’re Perry Hardaway. You lead a band. You haven’t been laid in forever. And you assistant manage a Chicago music emporium called The Record Ha¼s. Your boss is a freak. Your staff ignores you. One co-worker is a skatekid with a penchant for customer harassment. Another can’t keep his hands away from your tushie. Your band has changed its name more times than it’s rehearsed. Your dream girl is a lesbian. Your love life is a farce. And that record store? It’s going out of business. In seven days. A comic novel inhabiting the same universe as his acclaimed debut Jam, The Record Ha¼s is a melding of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity and Kevin Smith’s Clerks. It’s a commentary on the destruction of small business—how the end of one store can alter the lives of its customers, the neighborhood landscape, and the world of an everydude named Perry.

ISBN: 157962040X

Permanent Pr Pub Co. 2002

Everybody knows someone like James Justus.

James is a wonderboy, that guy who can do anything he sets his mind to—all with seemingly little effort. Good looks, great personality, big heart, amazing artistic instincts, the works. You’d be hard pressed to find a chink in his armor.

Everybody knows someone like Frank Craft. Frank is the eternal outsider, the resolute sort whose off-center goals compel him to howl against the prevailing winds. He’s not your prototypical “natural,” but his determination more than compensates. He’ll work his hindquarters off to realize his dreams, whatever they might be.

James Justus and Frank Craft are friends. Good friends.

James Justus and Frank Craft are also musicians. Great musicians.

James is the definition of a prodigy. With little-to-no training, he’s mastered the entire woodwind family, trumpet, trombone, guitar, and piano. The quantity and quality of his talent is almost frightening.

Conversely, Frank is, well, Frank—-he’s a superb drummer, but has to constantly fight his own limbs to achieve the perfection he so desires. But driven by an obsessive love for jazz-—and an abiding love for his high school dreamgirl Sara Rogers—-Frank Craft molds himself into one helluva percussionist.

After a rocky start, James and Frank’s quartet HoverCraft develops a unique bebop-meets-rock style that enraptures their fellow Chicagoians, and attracts the attention of record industry maven Mitch Busey. After the band signs their major label recording contract, Busey renames them Jam, then immediately throws them into the recording studio, where they wax an album highlighted by the stalwart single, “Guess What.”

As “Guess What” begins its steady climb up the charts, Jam takes to the road, where their life becomes a blur of sold-out shows, lustful and worshipful listeners, interminable bus rides, power struggles, petty arguments…and head-spinningly brilliant music. James, the band’s frontman, is forced to deal with the fallout of sudden adulation, while Frank, the band’s heart and backbone, is forced to deal with James’ expanding ego—-an ego that threatens to tear apart both the band and their friendship.

An internationally recognized musician, a music industry veteran, and a respected music journalist, Alan Goldsher has delivered an authentic, compelling, poignant novel peppered with insider insights about the enigmatic and fascinating music business. “Jam” is a passionate tale of money-hungry musicians, sleazy record companies, over-adoring fans, the majesty of jazz, and ultimately, a creative soul who is true to himself and to his art.

Hard Bop Academy
ISBN: 0634037935

Hal Leonard. 2002

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers was one of the most enduring, popular, reliable and vital small bands in modern jazz history. Blakey was not only a distinguished, inventive and powerful drummer, but along with Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, he was one of jazz's foremost talent scouts. The musicians who flowed seamlessly in and out of this constantly evolving collective during its 36-year run were among the most important artists not just of their eras, but of any era. Though their respective innovations were vital to the evolution of bebop, hard bop and neo bop, the recorded work of the Messengers sidemen has never been properly analyzed. Until now. Hard Bop Academy: The Sidemen of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers critically examines the multitude of gifted artists who populated the many editions of the Jazz Messengers. In addition to dissecting the sidemen's most consequential work with Blakey's band, jazz musician and acclaimed novelist Alan Goldsher offers up engaging profiles of everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Terence Blanchard to Hank Mobley to Wayne Shorter to Horace Silver to Keith Jarrett to Curtis Fuller to Steve Davis. And that's only the beginning. Goldsher conducted over 30 interviews with surviving graduates of Blakey's Hard Bop Academy, many of whom spoke at length of their tenure with the legendary "Buhaina" for the first time. Alan Goldsher is a bassist who has recorded with Janet Jackson, Digable Planets, Cypress Hill and Naughty By Nature. His writing has been published in Bass Player, Tower Pulse, Sport and BasketBull: Chicago Bulls Magazine. Goldsher's debut novel, Jam, was published in 2002 by Permanent Press. He lives in Chicago. Hardcover.

No Ordinary Girl (Little Black Dress)
ISBN: 0755358589

Little Black Dress. 2011

A brilliant but reluctant new superheroine must use her quirky superpowers to save the world in this entertaining romance from A.M. Goldsher

Abbey Bynum never asked for her strange superpowers she was born with them and man, does she hate them. Only a few family members and her ex-fianc, the uptight government bureaucrat Murphy Napier, know her secret. But when supervillain Jon Carson appears on the scene under the guise of a brilliant new defence lawyer at her work, Abbey knows she must embrace her 'weird stuff' to have any chance of thwarting his plans for world domination. There's only one person who can assist her: Murphy. He's had a complete makeover since their split two years ago, but can he help Abbey triumph in her epic superbattle of good versus evil, winning back her trust and her heart in the process?

Today's Special
ISBN: 0755339967

Little Black Dress. 2008

Chef Anna Rowan is living her personal dream, running chi-chi restaurant TART with her boyfriend (and general manager) Byron Smith. It seems like being the stars of a reality-TV show about a restaurant can only be a good thing - they've got nothing to hide, right? Unfortunately, while the restaurant may not have any secret problems, maybe Anna and Byron do - and under the hot glare of the TV cameras, there's really nowhere to hide...

The True Naomi Story
ISBN: 0755339924

Little Black Dress. 2008

It's every girl's dream: to be catapulted from a boring, everyday existence into a world of fame, riches, adoring fans and critical acclaim. This fabulous and page-turning novel follows the path of the loveable Naomi, from her days waiting tables in New York's East Village, to signing a record deal and playing packed stadium gigs. It's as if one day she woke up to find the dreams she had as a shy, gawky teenager from nerdsville had all come true at once...

But stardom isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Soon Naomi's adrift in a world where lovers are players, where friends quickly become enemies, and where you never quite know just who you can trust. Can Naomi learn to play the game of fame before her star comes tumbling down?

Reality Check
ISBN: 0755339940

Little Black Dress. 2008

Bad-gal singer Jenn Bradford is living the dream. But when her latest album gets distinctly un-dreamy reviews she comes down to earth with a crash. Jenn desperately needs a muse to get her music back on track. But who's going to inspire her? Elliot, the music journo who's tailing her around town? Kevin, her no-good but so good-looking ex? Surely not her boringly clean-cut and conservative neighbour Porter! He doesn't dig music - at least not Jenn's kind. But is it possible that he might just dig Jenn...?

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)