Thursday, March 30, 2017

What is Johnny Shaw reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Johnny Shaw, author of Imperial Valley (A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco).

His entry begins:
One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night by Christopher Brookmyre

Comedic density. It’s an important idea to me and my work. If I’m going to be funny, I’m not going to skimp on the laughs. One gag per page is weak. I’m going to try to get in as many as I can while retaining character development and story progression. The Marx Brothers or Zucker/Abrams approach. Quantity and quality.

As hard as I try, I don’t come close to Christopher Brookmyre when he’s trying to be funny. The density of the humor in his early books forces me to set the book down every minute or so. And it’s not one shtick. It’s a wide range of approaches: situational, character stuff, absurdity, over-the-top violence. Brookmyre has a full comedy quiver. Whatever the comedy equivalent of Green Arrow’s boxing glove arrow is, Brookmyre’s got that and...[read on]
About Imperial Valley, from the publisher:
Jimmy Veeder has finally settled down, completing his dramatic transformation from hell-raiser to family man. With his new wife, Angie, and eight-year-old son, Juan, he lives the quiet life. No trouble, no problems.

Or so he thought. But this is Jimmy Veeder’s Fiasco, after all.

The night after his wedding, Jimmy is lured right back into a world of danger and mayhem when childhood friend Tomás Morales, the current crime lord of Mexicali, turns up on his doorstep offering information about the whereabouts of his son’s grandfather, for whom Jimmy has been searching for years.

Jimmy and Angie head to Mexico—one part honeymoon, one part expedition to find Juan’s grandfather—accompanied by old pals Bobby Maves and Griselda.

The trip immediately careens into chaos when they find themselves shadowed by thugs, shot at by cartel soldiers, and forced into a confrontation with a violent, volatile drug lord. The fight spreads from Sinaloa back to Jimmy’s doorstep, putting everything Jimmy cares about directly in the crosshairs.
Visit Johnny Shaw's website.

The Page 69 Test: Plaster City.

The Page 69 Test: Imperial Valley.

Writers Read: Johnny Shaw.

--Marshal Zeringue