Exerpt from the Shelf Life interview:
Q. You're into all things weird, odd, and unusual -- what's the most unusual oddity you've come across in New Mexico?
A: Oooooo.... That's a tough call... Seldom does a day go by that I don't encounter something odd enough to comment on later at the dinner-table. There are enough bizarre sights, eccentric personalities and weird natural formations to make it nearly impossible to choose just one. I'd say the top three in just those particular categories would be Jesus on a Harley for oddest person, Soda Dam for the most bizarre natural wonder and Tatt2 Tammy's Bone Zone and Tiny Town for most eccentric roadside oddity... though I've heard she recently had to dismantle it. Hopefully she'll rebuild elsewhere 'cause that place was a real treat!
Q. There is a wonderfully facetious tone to the vignettes throughout the book, was it a conscious decision to mirror that tongue-in-cheek style of two of your favorite authors -- Thurber and Twain -- or is it a natural part of your own humor?
A: A bit of both I guess. Those authors were so influential and they amuse me so much that I suppose I just naturally fall into a similar style in my own writing. I never tire of reading Thurber's stories about wacky events from his own life, and he makes them so incredibly amusing that I wanted to treat my own adventures in a similar vein. Of course every now and then Mark Twain's acerbic dry wit and sarcasm creeps in too, but I try and keep the tone as light-hearted as much as possible.
Q. The title is hilarious, and certainly encompasses the context of the book. Why did you decide to go with this moniker?
A: That was easy to come up with as it was based on the remarks and reactions of my friends back east when I first informed them I was going to move to New Mexico. Questions like "Did you get your passport yet?", "Will you need a work visa to get a job there?" or "Are you going to have dual citizenship?" made me realize just how much of a 'forgotten' state New Mexico really is. Many thought New Mexico was a way of referring to the more modernized areas or big cities of Mexico. Now I know why the state has to put New Mexico USA on its license plates!
Q. Your 'outsider' perspective on life in New Mexico is incredibly amusing, and what makes the book even more comical is that your point of view is an accurate portrayal (at least from my standpoint). What have you learned from having lived in Albuquerque thus far?
A: Well, first and foremost I've learned that New Mexico is definitely not the barren, treeless desert wasteland that most 'easterners' believe it to be, rather it is the most varied and amazingly scenic state I've ever seen with some of the most breathtaking and haunting landscapes imaginable. I've also learned that while the days of the 'old west' have long passed, the 'wild west' is still very much alive and kicking. Finally I've come to the conclusion that New Mexico is not just another state, it's another state of mind.