Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Blogpocalypse Interview: Jeff Shelby

Author Jeff Shelby is a stand-up guy. I've had beers with him and played golf with him among the tractors and emus. So when I heard he had a new book out -- LIQUID SMOKE -- I thought it would be cool to give the four readers who frequent this blog a chance to find out about him.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: So Liquid Smoke is a book or something?

JS: Well, it's also something you add to your BBQ, but in this case, yes. It's a book. With words and everything. Not big ones, but words nonetheless. It's about a PI in San Diego who finds out his father is a horrible human being and then basically his life implodes.'s a feel good story you might find on Lifetime.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: Surfing. When’s the last time you did this, and how do you keep from drowning? Tell us why it’s an important part of your novels.

JS: It's been awhile. You keep from drowning by waving at the lifeguards before the sharks get to you. I grew up around San Diego, never far from the beach and the ocean was always a big part of my life. I thought that using San Diego as the backdrop for a crime fiction series would offer me the opportunity to use an underutilized locale in fiction. I thought that having a character who was an avid surfer would a small extra layer to the character's persona. I also thought it would offer me the opportunity to travel to San Diego and write the cost off.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: You’ve had a little hiatus since your last novel was published. Catch us up and talk about your expectations going forward.

JS: Ah, yes. The hiatus. Otherwise known as publishing no-man's land. It took awhile to find this third Noah book a home. I quit on it for awhile and then enough people told me not to quit on it, so I pushed forward. I found a fantastic agent (yes, BEER FOR LIFE) who believed it and found it the right home. I'm incredibly pleased that this book is now out there. My expectations going forward are to write a few more Noah books, win the Powerball and then run for governor of Texas. Also – I'm grilling a hamburger for dinner.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: I hear you’ve got an alter-ego writing another book. Spill.

JS: His name is Jeffrey Allen. His book is called Stay At Home Dead. It's about a stay at home dad, his family and a dead body in his mini-van. Also – there's a midget, which guarantees New York Times bestseller status. It's a goofier, less serious mystery than Liquid Smoke because that's how Jeffrey Allen rolls. It comes out in January.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: If you get wind of a dudes trip to play golf at Disney, you want in, don’t you? Admit it.

JS: Hell yes. And then we can get our nails done afterward!

BLOGPOCALYPSE: Are you working on anything else? What should we be watching for?

JS: I'm working on several other things – a standalone, the next Noah book, the next Jeffrey Allen book and a compilation of short stories. In the ever changing world that is publishing, I have a feeling you'll see them sooner rather than later. Does that sound cryptic? YES IT DOES.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: Any conventions or signings coming up. Tell process servers where they can find you.

JS: Sadly, no. Given that I am now enlightening America's youth as a full-time high school English teacher, travel has become a bit difficult during the school year. I will, however, be at the grocery store tomorrow if anyone wants to meet me there. I'm usually in the cookie aisle.

BLOGPOCALYPSE: What’s your one secret wish?

JS: I would like to star in a remake of Top Gun. And I'd like you to play Goose. I swear – this time I'll be able to reach the ejection handle.

I just hope Jeff is a better pilot than I am a golfer.

Readers are encouraged to leave rumors you've heard about Jeff (or made up yourself) in the comments section.


Keith Raffel said...

Jeff is one of the all-around good guys. Am hoping his classes are filled with resilient teens. And, Victor, don't tell him I said so, but he can really spin a yarn, too.

Christine said...

Liquid Smoke completely blew me away. The best of the three Noah books. I can't wait to see what's in store for Noah in book 4 (and 5...and 6...)

Jeff Shelby said...

You guys are too nice.

Keith Raffel said...

Too true.

Mo said...

I am so glad you kept at it and we finally saw the third Noah book. I'm wicked excited to hear more will be coming. I read the bit from Stay at Home Dead that was in that Amazon contest and it was great. The book has been pre-ordered for my Kindle. Please keep writing.