Claudia Lefeve gets Jack’d

Ladies and gentlechums, the getting of jack’d has been on one Hell of a serious ride lately. Continuing on with the trend, I have another major player in the game of awesome. This time around it’s Claudia Lefeve. A lover of skulls, pugs, and one of my favorite television shows. Are you ready for this? Let’s Get Jack’d!

JW: We have another Fringe lover in the house o’ Jack. It’s not often you come across a fellow Fringe-ite; but when you do, you know something special is about to appear from some parallel universe. We’ll cover all sorts of ground here, but I must first speak of Fringe. There’s something so magical about that show. It’s X Files all over again but without the aliens. Its’ well acted, well written, well directed – it has all the makings of a major hit, but for some reason it has remains on the, well, fringe. I am always amazed upon viewing each episode, that something as well done as this show doesn’t have more of a following. And yet, even with mediocre ratings, the network decides to keep it going (for only one more season) just to treat the show and the fans with the respect they deserve. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes of the quality of the show.

Actually, when I look at your list of favorite shows (Buffy, Fringe, Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story, and Bones) my first thought is, “Hey, who cloned me?” But then I get over myself and simply be glad there are more people out there enjoying non-mainstream entertainment. I mean seriously – the average TV diet of the average viewer these days is nothing more than the drool-inducing reality TV. I don’t get it. Or maybe I do – maybe the average viewer simply doesn’t want to dig deep into the trenches of thought when watching television. This could easily parallel the average reader and why romance is so popular.

I kid the genre and the reader – with love, much love.

CL: I spent weeks participating the twitter campaign to save Fringe for another season. Glad there are folks who appreciate the effort, although I’m sure a few of my peeps hated me during those Friday Fringe tweet blasts!

And in the spirit of full-disclosure, I have to admit –I feel like I’m in a confessional – I do watch a couple of reality shows here and there. Ever see My Big Redneck Vacation on CMT? Let’s just say I watch it from a research standpoint for future characters.

Non-mainstream media viewing pleasure certainly parallels the average reader habits. Okay, maybe not most, but there are certainly a few. I’ve gotten a few eyebrows raised – at least I assume they’re raised based on their reviews – at my interpretation of alternate realities in my book Parallel (I swear, it’s not a pun). Really? Because nice guys always finish first or the heroine is always tall blonde and gorgeous in real life? But in reality, I think folks are much more likely to suspend disbelief when it comes to television vs. books. Or maybe it’s just my book…

JW: It’s funny that you mention suspending disbelief. I have a bit of a problem with people’s selective suspension. It’s like they’ll suspend their disbelief in vampires and zombies and ghosts being alive, but when it comes the method of killing or the idea that a hero or heroine couldn’t pull off a certain act – well, I have to call shenanigans! It’s like saying “The messiah did exist, was killed, and came back to life; but NO, ghosts and other undead creatures cannot possibly exist.”

Again, I say shenanigans.

And you’ve also touched on another interesting subject – beauty. For some odd reason, even readers want to think the characters in a book are drop-dead gorgeous. They want their heroines to have DD breasts (and be able to pull off major combat with them) and their heroes to have nothing less than six pack abs and a jaw line that could cut glass. And yet – these same people cry out that the Hollywood idea of beauty if damning to the human spirit.

She. Nani. Gans.

Reality, it seems, is a very subjective idea. This is especially true in genre fiction, film, and TV.

I am a big fan of William Gibson’s work. I’ve always found with is novels I just have to open the book and tell myself that I’ll believe whatever reality Gibson concocts. If I don’t just accept that ride, I’ll have a very hard time reading him.

Oh, and bless you for helping to save Fringe! I just wish it could have been saved beyond the next season. 🙁

CL: It’s funny that YOU should bring up hot chicks with DD breasts. I’m working on a short piece right now and my character fits that exact image. Then again, she’s a stripper, so she has to have big boobs.

I’ve never read William Gibson (please don’t end the interview), then again, I’ve yet to read Harry Potter, but I get what you’re saying. Maybe I’m just a lazy reader. I’ll buy just about anything the author is selling in terms of sci-fi and horror. For me, it’s much easier to believe in the unexplained than the realities, or rather unrealistic expectations, that romance or other genres offer. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good happily ever after, but I’m more likely to put my faith in Bigfoot or the Chupacabra.

Take Twin Peaks for example – I’m re-watching it on Netflix now – who would have thought the killer was a demonic spirit named Killer BOB who took possession of Laura Palmer’s father? Sure, the network spoiled the show by introducing the killer mid-way through the second season, but it didn’t stop the show from being a cult classic. If I spoiled this for anyone, sorry, but the show’s been canceled over twenty years.

Maybe they’ll do a spin-off of Fringe. They could call it, Conversations with Gene, where every episode Walter gets doped up on coke and talks to his cow in order to solve crimes. Wait, that sounds a lot like Sherlock Holmes.

JW: Walter is such a great character. Of course I attribute that to the brilliant acting chops of John Noble. What an incredible talent to bring such quirk and charm together. He’s like Sheldon Cooper all grown up, stripped of the over-bearing ego. When I watch these shows I often wonder what brilliant talent would do for the characters I have created in my books. What would Adrian Brody do to Jacob Plummer, Emma Stone to Bethany Nitshimi (or even Jamie Davenport)? I often think it’s only a matter of time before the right person reads either the I Zombie or the Fringe Killer series and decides to make a film or TV series of the books.

I have to think that right? Shoot for the moon? Well piss on the moon, I want to aim straight for another Universe all together! Can I get a Muhaha?

And you make a great point. Romance novels are more fiction than anything. Real life doesn’t work that way. In real life women are crazy and men are pigs. The only real-life men that behave the way men do in romance novels are Spanish or gay.

And now…the crowd pummels me with tomatoes and dirty socks!

CL: I have two spare rooms and they’re reserved for Walter Bishop and Sheldon Cooper. It’d be like the best continuous slumber party ever! Though, while Walter might be fond of my pugs, I think Sheldon might have issues, as he only likes cats.

Which brings me to your point on talent; that perfect image we have for our characters that’s captured only by the right actor. Then again, it can always backfire. How excited are readers when their favorite books are turned into movies, only to find out the wrong actor is playing the lead? Remember The Da Vinci Code? Not everyone was thrilled about Tom Hanks playing Robert Langdon. And just yesterday I saw something on Dateline (or some other show) announcing Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher in the upcoming movie One Shot. I just don’t see it… Okay, I’m not a fan of Tom Cruise, but still… Jack Reacher? That’s a reach yes, this time, pun intended.

All I know is, if I ever sell the movie rights to any of my books – I’ll be joining you on that trip to another universe – I’d be nice to have a say on who gets cast. It’d be just my luck they’d stick Miley Cyrus to play the role of Etta Fleming.

Am I actor bashing enough for you?

And just so you know, women ARE crazy. I worked in law enforcement for years, so trust me, I know. But I have to disagree with you on the whole Spanish men are romantic notion. I’m Hispanic and I ended up marring a gringo. He takes me hunting…now that’s romance.

JW: Romance is relative. And romance with relatives is wrong, just wrong.

Yeah, Tom Cruise… wow. That’s the problem with Hollywood – they have this list of actors (the “A List”) who are hot and they’ll cast them in roles they have no business in… just because they’re hot. That’s why if my I Zombie series is ever turned into movies, I’d want a director like Rob Zombie to be at the helm. He’s good at giving Hollywood the finger and in the end, his movies end up being amazing. I strongly believe he is one of the best directors of horror in the current crop. He manages to deliver this layer of dirty reality on top of all of this fiction. That’s a challenge in any medium.

CL: Are you sure I’m not your clone? Rob Zombie is one of my favorite directors, and of course Joss Whedon. So, we’re agreed? You can have Zombie and I’ll have Whedon direct my Travelers Series (not really Zombie’s style). Deal?

And yes, romance with relatives is never right. I heard the best quote on Duck Dynasty last night – yet another reality show I’m guilty of watching – “Working with family is like dating your cousin…it’s awkward.” So, I don’t recommend doing either.

I’ve had a fabulous time chatting with you and now I can tell all my family and friends that I’ve been Jack’d!


Claudia Lefeve was born and raised in the Gulf Coast border town of Brownsville, Texas; a curious place where folks see curanderas in lieu of shrinks, tortillas are served at every meal, and even gringos speak Spanish. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and two pugs.

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