Smoking With Jeff Landon

Read the Story September 15, 2005

Okay, Jeff. We need to know. Where in the world did you get this story?

I have no idea where this came from. But I’ve seen the way that guys act in groups and I was interested in that, and it’s also about friendships and time and all that. For me, most stories start with an image, or some overheard conversation. The stories that never work—again, I can only speak for myself—are the stories that you know, from beginning to end, before you write them. The surprises and accidents are almost always the best parts.

“You don’t have to be Victor Newman to be torn.” I love that line. It’s so freakin’ perfect. How did Victor Newman find his way into this story?

OK, I used to watch Young and Restless, in college. And Victor Newman just makes me laugh, still. He looks the same, fifty years later, and he’s still suave with the ladies! But, again, this was just something that dropped from the sky. You know how that goes. You’re writing and writing, and your people start to talk, and sometimes they say something that surprises you, and that’s what you keep.

I see a graphic novel here. How would you picture it?

Oh…these guys are too ugly for a graphic novel, and I don’t think the kids want to see some fifty-year-old man’s dimpled ass. But I do try to write, always, with pictures. Sometimes I’m sure I overdo it. But in this story, sure, there’s snow, and that late night blue look of snow, and mountains. I sure couldn’t draw it.

At SmokeLong, we long for stories that have that Landonesqueness, but man, we’ve figured out that only you have it. How would you describe that voodoo that you do so well?

Well, I’m not sure the world is really clamoring for my voodoo…I don’t know. I like stories about normal people doing daily things. I think life is, always, funny and sad, and I try to get that in there. And I have some friends who help me, who tell me when something works or doesn’t, and I’ve learned, if nothing else, to be patient with stories.

What’s next for Jeff? Any super secret projects on tap?

Just writing stories and teaching the youth of America how to become better citizens.

About the Author:

Jeff Landon has been published in numerous places, print and online, including Crazyhorse, Wigleaf, FRiGG, Another Chicago Magazine, F(r)iction, and others. He is also a contributor to New Micro, an anthology of flash fiction published by W.W. Norton in 2018. Lately, he's been doing some chair yoga.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.