Saturday, July 2, 2011

Jeff Abbott at Murder by the Book


Scott D. Parker

On a hot night in H-Town, the last day of June, Jeff Abbott revealed the secret to the greatest author research scam in history.

I first learned about Abbott last year when he published Trust Me. I can't recall how it was I came to know about the book. Perhaps it was the fact that the hero, Luke Dantry, worked at the University of Texas, or that part of the story was set here in Houston. Regardless of how I came to Trust Me, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and Abbott landed himself on my Must Read List.

He's touring Texas this year, visiting bookstores to correspond with the publication of his new book, Adrenaline. New to American readers. English readers already have the second book in their hands. When I learned Abbott was going to have a signing at Murder by the Book, I cleared the calendar.

Since the last time I attended a signing--our very own Joelle Charbonneau--McKenna Jordan changed up the shop a bit. Well, not the shop, just where the authors give their presentations. Where once the authors station was up near the front, now, the authors answer questions and talk about their books at the back of the store.

Standing next to the shelf of used espionage paperbacks, Abbott talked enthusiastically about Adrenaline. It's Sam Capra's first adventure. Once Abbot shifted his books from traditional mysteries--and series characters--to thrillers, he wrote stand-alones. Many readers questioned Abbott about the return of Luke or some of his other protagonists. In his mind, he puts those characters through the wringer without having to think about leaving them in one piece for the next book. That's the beauty of stand-alone books.

With Sam Capra, Abbott set out to create a series character. But everything's been done before. Or so he thought. What about an ex-CIA agent? Done. Okay, what about one who is only twenty-five, at the beginning of his life? Better. Ah, and how about if this young, ex-CIA agent say, owned bars across the world? Bingo!

Yeah, but first he's got to be saved from an exploding building, see his pregnant wife kidnapped, and be accused of treason. That's not a spoiler. That's dust jacket copy.

Thursday was an exciting night to meet Abbott. In the UK, his first YA novel landed in the stores. Yesterday, Adrenaline was published, complete with loads of accolades. It's like being on the cusp of something huge.

How about that author/research scam? What better way, Abbott reasoned, to learn about different bars in Europe that to...visit different bars in Europe. It was one of his European publishers who commented that Abbott had stumbled upon the greatest research scam in history. I mean, think about it: he gets to go to bars, drink a cocktail or two, and it's all tax deductible.

Hey. You know. He's on to something. I think my next hero is going to be a food critic in the Caribbean...

Book of the Week: Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott. As if I'd do something else...?

1 comment:

Jeff Abbott said...

Wow, thanks for the nice write-up. It was good to meet you at the signing.