Today I am thrilled to assist author Jeff Shear with the LAUNCH of the Jackson Guild Series. Jeff Shear is an accomplished writer on many fronts. He started his writing career by serving as a staff correspondent for National Journal, with regular venues at the White House and Congress. He is the author of the book, The Keys to the Kingdom, which was an investigation into a weapons deal between the US and Japan (the FSX), published by Doubleday. He has been a Fellow at The Center for Public Integrity, in Washington, DC, where he was one of several contributors to the book The Buying of the Congress, published by Avon. AND He has written numerous TV scripts for the National Geographic Channel, Discovery, and The History Channel.
In the past few years Jeff Shear has been working on a fiction series that focuses on political intrigue and a fascinating character … Jackson Guild.
MELANIE ROCKETT: You are now promoting the third book in the Jackson Guild Series. Can you tell us a bit about the Series and how you came up with the main character Jackson Guild?
JEFF SHEAR: Blame interests me, because it draws lies. For instance, when public officials skid over the truth, they don’t fall, but they do come up with a raft of simple explanations for their trip. The FBI, in the Jackson Guild books, describes a $65 billion fraud as a Ponzi Scheme. (Something like Bernie Madoff’s game changer during the financial crisis of 2008.) A Ponzi—someone who steals from Peter to Pay Paul—is served up as a simple dish for the media to feed to the public. That ensures reporters won’t have to dig into that mountain of mash potato money, which happens to be hiding a nuclear bomb. Jackson’s different.
MELANIE ROCKETT: Your third book is Black Mesa, The Final Report Does the title have special significance?
JEFF SHEAR: It’s a novella, and, yes, New Mexico’s Black Mesa is sacred to the ancient Tewa Pueblo people. It lies at the foot of Los Alamos, where the first atomic bomb was built. The hero of my series, Senate investigator Jackson Guild uncovers a terrorist plot to set off a nuclear weapon in the beating heart of Washington. But there’s a twist. When Guild travels to Black Mesa, he learns that outing the conspirators will set the gears of nuclear war in motion. That plunges Guild into a lose-lose situation, and he’s got to walk the razor’s edge between the Truth and its Consequences. It may be that our hero is the real enemy.
MELANIE ROCKETT: You have worked at making Jackson Guild as “real” as possible. You not only have a Facebook page, and a series of videos but you also have a knockout web page at jeffshearbooks.com. I suspect your fans must love it!
JEFF SHEAR: No one has really done this before, re-creating their character in a YouTube video; please correct me if I’m wrong. Seeing the character being interviewed shocks people. Everyone comments on how strange it seems to see Jackson Guild come to life. They love it. They say he fits the book perfectly. People want to know who the actor is. So, let me present to you, the brilliant actor Russell Martin
MELANIE ROCKETT: Many of my readers are authors and freelance writers. The big daily worry is “production.” You have not only written or participated in some very serious books, but have written numerous screenplays. Now you are also writing novels. How do you structure your time for writing AND still manage to engage in some pretty serious marketing?
JEFF SHEAR: Fortunately or unfortunately I write all the time, 8 am to 7 pm, five or six days a week. (Yes, I goof off and look for opportunities to avoid writing. Some of my favorites are going to Home Depot, Target, etc.) I write slowly. I make lots of mistakes, but I never quit. When I begin a story, I want to know how it will resolve. Notice, I didn’t say I need to know the ending. A story rarely stops, although I’m proof that that’s not always the case. Really, what an author wants in the last thousand-plus of words of a story is resolution, having the events and characters weave together into a conclusion. Resolution is a magnificent word. I recommend studying its meanings. Check the sensational online dictionary, wordnik.com.
As for promotion, it’s endemic to publishing, and that goes for Indies as well as traditionally published authors. Whatever happens, a writer must do his or her own promotion. It sucks. Yes. I’ve actually put off promotion for several years because I wanted my series to have a foundation. Now I have it. So let’s consider this interview the official launch of the Jackson Guild Series. Really. You heard it here first.
MELANIE ROCKETT: What’s next? Will the Jackson Guild Saga continue, or do you have other projects on the back burner?
JEFF SHEAR: Jackson Guild is my Virgil, my guide into a national and international disruption, a genuine dystopia. What I mean, for example, is people like you and me sitting at the breakfast table unaffected (or so it seems) by the chaos in Nigeria, the civil war in Iraq, and the disintegration of Syria. Our lives go on. There’s still Monday Night Football, but… what you see developing in the Jackson Guild story, is the rapid shredding of our American comfort zone.
Check out Jackson Guild’s short story, “The Blood Conspiracy.” http://new.ereaderiq.com/dp/B00E7BH33U/a-blood-conspiracy-a-short-story-a-jackson-guild-s/
MELANIE ROCKETT: Jackson Guild is a wounded man with a mission. If you want to keep track of what he is up to, be sure to join Jackson Guild’s Facebook Page.
The Jackson Guild promotion, which begins with this interview, starts here: JacksonGuild.com
It may appear that the reader is starting at the end of the story, but each book will stand alone, even the novellas and short stories.