Dan Schorr is no stranger to high-profile jobs and media attention. A longtime White Plains resident, Schorr runs his own firm, Dan Schorr LLC, which he founded after cutting his teeth serving as inspector general for the City of Yonkers and a New York sex-crimes prosecutor. As such, he was frequently tapped by national news organizations, like CNN and Fox, to serve as a legal analyst. Now Schorr is trying his hand at literature, with his new political thriller, Final Table. Touching on such hot-button issues as sexual assault, #MeToo, and cancel culture, Final Table is the story of a down-and-out former poker champion who crosses paths with an ex-White House staffer who recently suffered a sexual assault. The unlikely duo form a high-stakes alliance that just might redeem, or ruin, both of them. We caught up with Schorr recently to find out what inspired his turn as novelist.
My mother was a high school English teacher. When I was a little kid, she would bring home books regularly and encourage me to read and talk about them. So, I had this interest in writing from a very early age, and it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to write a novel. I wanted to do that long before I was ever sidetracked by the legal and investigative parts of my career.
I’ve generally seen that sexual misconduct is portrayed in an inaccurate way in fiction, television, and movies. Often, sexual assaults are shown as a stranger lurking in the shadows who jumps out and attacks someone. Or, in child cases, it might be some pedophile snatching a child from a park. In reality, the cases that I have investigated and that I have prosecuted mostly involve assaults by people whom the victim knows and trusts, and where [the victim is] in a position of vulnerability. Often, the cases that I have investigated involve people who have some kind of consensual sexual activity, where one person draws a line of consent and the other person violates that line. So, it was important to me to show that complexity and the nuances of how real-world sexual misconduct occurs and how the aftermath of that can have ranging repercussions beyond what people already assume are the negative consequences.
Writing a novel forced me to think deeply about a lot of different issues that were in my head, but I hadn’t really been able to focus on and put into dialogue or characters. I think it’s a kind of a self-therapy, where the things that bother you or bad experiences in your life you can write about in a book and [deal with] through fictional characters. That was cathartic. So, I found the experience very, very positive in terms of getting all these things that are deep inside my mind out on paper.
I am working on a second novel, about sexual misconduct in collegiate athletics and the corporate investigations industry. Both of those issues I have had a lot of experience with and — just like my first novel — I am trying to show parts of worlds that I don’t think people get to see in everyday life and show the inside of how things really work, in my experience. My goal is to have it published in the fall of 2023.