Friday, January 23, 2015

Jeff Adams Stops by for an INTERVIEW!

Hi, Jeff, I’m happy to have you stop by the blog today. Why don’t we start out by talking a little bit about you? I know some things about you like you used to live in New York and you like hockey, but even I haven’t talk to you long enough to know more than the surface facts. So tell us, have you always liked hockey? Did you grow up in New York, or did you move there as an adult?

Jeff: Thanks for having me Wade, I'm happy to be here! I was born in Michigan and I have a memory from when I was five or six of going to a Red Wings game. I loved watching those guys speeding around the ice, colliding with each other. I've loved hockey ever since. Before I got to NYC, there was 15 years in Alabama, which included high school and college and then five years in Eureka, California, which is where I met my husband, Will. We returned to that area of California this past summer after fifteen years in New York.

WK: As a spin-off of the above, were the circumstances growing up similar to the gay hockey player controversy that you have in your Hat Trick series? I am reading Hat Trick (the original) now, and I was wondering how much content was from personal experience.

Jeff: None at all is from my personal experience. My childhood was nothing like Simon's. His story is pieced together from various things. There are stories in the media periodically of teens who have similar coming out experiences, especially with their parents. The idea of teammates becoming a couple grew from a thought I had watching three guys, who I got to know from a hockey practice I used to go to. They were tight friends and played on a team together. I wondered what would happen if two of them became a couple. None of that happened in reality, but it made a good story.

WK: I'm actually glad to hear that…

What is the perfect writing atmosphere for you? 

Jeff: Perfect is parked in front of my Mac in my home office. Sometimes with music, usually Broadway tunes but sometimes rock and pop. I can write almost any where. With my iPad I've written in Starbucks, waiting rooms, planes and on the subway. In fact, I'm answering these questions sitting in an airport.

WK: Wow, that is impressive. Not sure I could concentrate that well! But I DO like broadway tunes.

Was there someone who inspired and encouraged you to begin writing creatively?

Jeff: I had an awesome English teacher, Janice Winkour, who got me really going in to writing, and Shakespeare, in tenth grade. There'd been a little writing in middle school, but she really lit the fire. I've been writing to one degree or another ever since. I co-founded a literary magazine, The First Line, with a friend back in the late 90s and wrote and edited for that for several years. The magazine continues today, but I departed to focus more on writing longer form stuff.

WK: Why did you start writing M/M romance? I see that you have several books out like The Adventures of Jake #1, and A Bicycle Built For Two, along with a reprint of Rivals, so I wonder if they are all romance based? (Since I haven’t read the whole collection.)

Jeff: Jake and Rivals were the first things I wrote and had published. Jake was originally in a print anthology called Nerdvana and was later reprinted as an ebook from JMS Books. Rivals was done for a holiday anthology call from Dreamspinner. It didn't make the anthology, but it did become a standalone ebook. Eventually the rights reverted back and I put it back out, with a couple new scenes, with JMS Books.

Why did I do those? I'd been reading m/m romance and was encouraged by Will to write and submit.

WK: And you should always listen to Will! :)

You recently released the fourth book in the Hat Trick Series, Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp. Did you begin writing this series with the intent of writing more than one, or did it evolve into a series as the characters spoke to you?

Jeff: Originally Hat Trick was going to be standalone, and then one thing led to another and suddenly it was a series. I was working on the second novel when Hat Trick Overtime: A Classic Winter's Night came to mind. It was triggered by the events happening around the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, one of which was the Great Lakes Invitational playing outdoors at Comercia Park. Since Simon and Alex went to Univeristy of Michgian, they'd play in that event so why not have a short story that sends them there?

I decided to do another Overtime installment between books two and three because it's a great way to tell brief stories to show more about the guy's lives. Summer Camp takes places about 18 months after Hat Trick 2: Playing the Rebound and a couple months before Hat Trick 3: Penalty Shot will start.

WK: Cool… In Summer Camp, I see in the description that there is a camper, Dylan, involved. Have you contemplated writing another hockey trilogy either involving Dylan or another such student who may have been in the same summer camp that Alex and Simon are a part of? Sort of the “next generation” or hockey players?

Jeff: There are several spin offs that are possible. Some fans of asked for Leo and Matt's story to be written. They're from the first book. They show up again briefly in book two and Leo is along for the ride in Summer Camp. Characters that will be central to Hat Trick 3 have many, many spin off possibilities. As for Dylan, never say never...

WK: Many of your characters are in high school and early college.  What is it that draws you to characters in this period of their personal growth?

Jeff: Teenagers are so influx as they work to establish their identity while getting influences from parents, friends, teachers and others. There is a lot of material there to turn into stories.

WK: Is the Young Adult genre your particular favorite to write? Why or why not?

Jeff: It's certainly becoming that. I've loved reading the stories and have quite taken to writing them. Hat Trick transitions from Young Adult to New Adult. I'll have a new book out in February, called Flipping For Him, which is YA. Later this year I'm starting a new YA series, called Codename: Winger, which will be unlike anything I've written so far. Once I figure out if I can make that work, I'll talk about it more detail.

WK: Good. Because just the NAME has me wondering. I want to know! Codename: Winger just sounds cool.

Do you have a “day job”? Tell us about it and how you work writing into your schedule?

Jeff: I'm a project manager for a company that creates mobile websites, apps, tablet sites and more. Even though I'm West Coast based, I work East Coast hours. Most days I'm done with work by 2:30, and I use the rest of the afternoon to write. It's been a really great pattern to be in since we moved as it gives me more time per day to write.

WK: Are there certain topics that are problematic for you as an author? For example, some writers have difficulty writing sex scenes, where others have no problem at all. I was wondering if you have your own tough spots.

Jeff: Describing the place the characters are is something I need to improve in my early drafts. When Will reads he sometimes says it's like my characters are in a black box. I'm working to improve that with each new story I do so there's a more distinctive sense of place that I don't have to add in later.

WK: I’ve seen interviewers as things like, “Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have a favorite?” I believe that you’ve mentioned Simon was your favorite before. Does he still hold the #1 spot, and why?

Jeff: Simon continues to hold that spot. Telling so much of his story, and knowing where he's going to end up at--there is still Hat Trick 3 and one more Overtime installment coming this year to complete the series this year--has been great. He was a good teenager whose growing up into a pretty cool adult. Jackson, from book one, also has a special place in my heart because he's the ultimate friend.

WK: Is there anything else you’d like to add about Hat Trick, Playing the Rebound, or Summer Camp?

Jeff: It's been an awesome journey as readers discover Simon and Alex and I'm honored they've been embraced as they have. I hope people enjoy the brief glimpse at the guys' with the guys in Summer Camp and are ready to jump into their senior year at University of Michigan when Hat Trick 3 comes out this summer.

WK: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs? 

Jeff: Coming first is Flipping For You, which will be out in February. It's the story of high school juniors Kevin and Shin who meet in Central Park one spring afternoon. They are very into each other, however Shin's parents want him to date only Japanese boys, which Kevin s not.
I mentioned Codename: Winger earlier. I've scribbled some things down for this already, including what might be most of its prologue. I'm super excited for this idea, which was birthed at GRL in Chicago. I'm not comfortable yet to go into too much detail yet. 
I think there'll be some other shorts in the works, too. There are a couple submission calls I've seen that I'd like to do, plus I've got another story I'd like to bring back into ebook.

WK: And, because you often have the random “Michael Kudo” question thrown at me, I added an off-the-wall one of my own that I was asked before and found interesting… “If you could sit down to dinner with one person, past or present, who would it be and what’s the one question you’d love to ask?

Jeff: I love how Michael is becoming a question brand.
Jonathan Larson, the writer/composer of Rent, which is my favorite musical. I'd love to ask him to discuss how he adapted La Boheme into the very modern story that he created.

WK: Where can readers find you on the internet?

Email list (subscribe and get no more than two emails with updates each month):

WK: Would you like share an excerpt from Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp with us?

Jeff: Sure thing! Here's a excerpt from the beginning of the story.

"Simon, as many great summer trips as we've had, I think this might be the best one yet and it's only just started," Alex said right after he let go a contented sigh.

Alex and I went camping every summer. We'd spend at least a week at a campsite, as far into the woods and secluded as possible. Just us, a tent, and basic provisions. It was a blast. For our fourth summer trip, we mixed it up big time and so far I loved it. Neither of us went to summer camp as kids, but this year we decided to spend a month working at camp.

It was the end of the first day, and we were sitting on the steps leading up to our cabin. We were tucked in the woods near Muskegon, Michigan. The cool evening breeze, mixed with the wood smell of the cabins was perfect. It smelled like summer. Adding to the idyllic scene was sitting between Alex's legs with my head resting against his chest. We looked out across the campground. Other counselors were hanging out in front of their cabins while the campers were in bed since it was past light's out.

“You're right," I said, craning my head up to look at Alex. "Meeting the campers today was great. It's gonna be awesome coaching for the next month."

Back in March, we'd been approached by Carson Stilson, a wealthy Michigan alum, to coach at a new hockey camp he was starting. He transformed an abandoned arts camp into a hockey retreat with four half-sized rinks and one regulation one. Stilson invited college players to coach for camp's inaugural year. It sounded like a great way to spend part of our summer, playing hockey and getting some sun. We jumped at the chance to do it.

While Alex and I had jobs, I was still at the Ann Arbor LGBT community center and Alex was at EdgeTech in Detroit, we managed to negotiate time away to come up here.

I gave a contented sigh as I snuggled in closer to Alex. It was early June, so it wasn't super hot and there was a nice breeze blowing from the lake across the grounds. It made it very comfortable. The grounds were cool. There central area had six cabins for the campers and coaches arranged around a courtyard. Outside of that there were bathroom facilities and an administration building. There was also a boathouse, which I hadn't been to you, down by the lake. The new buildings on the grounds were the rinks. I can't imagine the investment to build the three buildings that housed the ice facilities. There were basic necessities in terms of locker rooms, but the ice was well kept. I'd played on much worse at private rinks over the years. 

"Hey guys," Leo said, coming towards us from the cabin next door. Recommending Leo as a coach had been easy for us. It was awesome we were going to hang out with him for a month. We hadn't done that since we'd all gone away to college. "I forgot how much I hated going to sleep when I was a teenager. I thought we'd never get everyone settled down."

I nodded. "We had slightly better luck. Maybe we just wore our guys out more."

Leo stepped over me and sat down on the step above Alex so we could easily see each other while we talked.

"How are your guys?" Leo asked. 

"We've got an interesting assortment of players," Alex said. "We saw some that are really good, but others who need a lot of work. I like that it's mixed though. It'll make the concept of working as a team that much more important so the stronger players support the weaker ones."

"I think it'll challenge our coaching, too," I said. "We've only worked with people of like skills before. Advancing players starting at different levels is going to be interesting. I'm glad we've got the daily coach's check-in so we can all learn from each other."

"I'm paired up with a guy who's going to coach college hockey," Leo said. "Kieran graduated a few weeks ago and got a gig as an assistant at Boston. I'm hoping to learn a lot from him."

Alex kissed the top of my head as I absently ran my hand over his leg. I considered shifting positions, but then decided not too. Everyone knew we were a couple, and there was nothing even PG-13 in what we were doing. 

"I was worried about using up our vacation for this," Alex said, "but I'm already sure it was the right choice."

"Me, too," I said. "We're out in the woods, and for longer than we would've been if we were on actual vacation. Plus you got to come along, too." I held up my fist for Leo and he bumped it.

"It's good for me too since Matt's working in California for most of the month," Leo said. "He'll be back just before we head home." 

The cabin screen door opened slowly and out stepped Dylan, holding a hockey stick in one hand and his skates in the other looking like a deer caught in the headlights. Dylan was fifteen and a good skater, but he needed to work on his aim.

"What's up, Dylan," Alex asked. With Leo, Alex and me blocking the stairs, he couldn't go easily around us. 

"Uh," he paused, obviously trying to decide what to tell us.

"Looks like you're trying to break curfew," I said matter-of-factly. "Since I doubt you're going to the bathroom with skates and a stick."

He opened his mouth to say something, but closed it without speaking. He stared at us and we stared back, waiting for whatever he was going to say.

WK: Do you have a give away or to offer?

Absolutely! For one lucky commenter I'll giveaway an ebook. They can choose either Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp, or the first book in the Hat Trick series in case they are new and want to start from the beginning. I hope people leave comments, too. I'll check in periodically over the next few days to answer any questions that may come up. Make sure to leave your comments by Jan 30, 2015 so you'll be in the giveaway.

Thanks again for having me Wade... let's do it again sometime! And thanks to everyone for reading the post, too.



Simon and Alex, now between their junior and senior years at The University of Michigan, decide to put their jobs on hold for a month and take the opportunity to coach hockey at a summer camp for teenagers.

They've got a cabin full of good players to work with and the focus is to get them ready to win the camp championship. One camper, sixteen-year-old Dylan, requests extra help because he needs to get a scholarship and the guys make it their mission to help him succeed. 

With their best friend Leo along for the trip, Simon and Alex are setup for a great time at camp, until another coach tries to seduce them. How they respond to the unwanted advances, while  balancing commitments to their campers, will test them both.





Jeff Adams caught the writing bug in middle school and finally became a novelist with the Hat Trick series. He's currently working on the final novel in the series, Hat Trick 3: Penalty Shot, which is due out this summer. He's also written a number of m/m romance shorts, including the recent re-release of Rivals. Jeff and his husband, Will, live in the peaceful, coastal beauty of Humboldt County, California. He also covers the Detroit Red Wings, as well reviews books that feature LGBT hockey players, for To learn more about Jeff, visit and follow him on Twitter at @hockeyguynyc.

WK: I was supper happy to have Jeff stop by. He is one of my most favorite people. I am working through Hat Trick (the original) and I'm on page 171 ish. He is being kind hand hasn't threatened to kill me yet since I am so freaking slow. So far, I love it!

Please comment below and let Jeff know what you think.




  1. I enjoyed the interview and the excerpt I'm looking forward to reading the new book.


  2. I have enjoyed Hat Trick 1&2 and eager for the Hat Trick 3. Thanks for the excerpt.

  3. Good luck, Shirley Ann & Denise. So awesome to see you at each stop! Thanks for your support.

  4. I'm secretly hoping that CODENAME: WINGER involves a hockey-playing spy. It could happen, right?

    Trix, vitajex(at)AolD(ot)com

  5. Trix, if I told you'd have to be eliminated ;)

  6. Love following this tour! Great interviews and excerpt.


  7. I already love Dylan. :D


  8. a lot of commenters :) very cool! One more day to chime in for a chance to win!

  9. Wade just told me she rolled her magic dice and Julie came up the winner! Congrats!!!!! I'm dropping you an email now...