Blog Tour: Interview w/ Teymour Shahabi


Reads & Reels is happy to welcome Teymour Shahabi, author of The Secret Billionaire.

I’m so happy to host this award-winning novel today. It sounds amazing–Original, thrilling and a whole lot of fun! I also got a chance to ask the author a few questions.

The Secret Billionaire (Release Date: September 26, 2016)

March 24. Billionaire Lyndon Surway takes off in his private plane and never returns.

His will leaves the entirety of his wealth—one of the largest fortunes in history—to his “dear friend Lucian Baker.” Only there is no trace of anyone by that name. And the fortune itself is nowhere to be found.

Andrew Day knows nothing of wealth and privilege, but he won a scholarship to study at the most exclusive school in the country, in the town where the mystery, decades later, remains unsolved. There he discovers friendship and danger with the aristocratic Cameron and the beautiful Olivia. But watchful eyes follow him everywhere… Until, one night, he comes across a secret that will change his life. As he begins to unravel what really happened to the Surway fortune, the question remains: who is Lucian Baker?

Winner: Northern California Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016

Winner: Great Midwest Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016 

Winner: Florida Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016

Add to Goodreads/ Available on Amazon

Q & A with Teymour Shahabi


1. Your resume is very impressive. You’ve studied both Comparative Literature and Mathematics. Opposite ends of the spectrum really. What made you decide to try your hand at writing?

Actually, my experience with writing might be both longer and less impressive than you may think: “The SecretBillionaire” is my fifth book… following four manuscripts that disappeared under piles of rejection letters from agents.  The majority of my life — literally — has been spent trying, and failing, to be a writer.  I have my own stupid inability to understand rejection to thank for this novel.  As for Comparative Literature and Mathematics, I don’t think they’re as different as they seem.  Unlike most academic subjects, neither of them involves accumulating facts.  They’re both dedicated to the pursuit of logic and beauty.

2. I love the premise of The Secret Billionaire, very original. Any of it based on real life experience?

Unfortunately not 🙂  Perhaps my escapist fantasies are to blame, but the book is entirely fictional.  It is heavily inspired by some of my favorite childhood stories, from fairy tales to comic books.  The one part that is grounded in the real world — or some kid’s mythologized vision of it — is the setting: the town of Spring Forge celebrates the many wonderful small towns that make up so much of America, including one in the Hudson Valley that is my secret official location…

3. You live in New York now, but you were born in Paris. Both amazing, cultural and cosmopolitan cities. Do you miss Paris? Or do you prefer “The Big Apple”?

I love Paris, and it will always be my home town.  It is perfect.  New York is much messier and more uneven, but somewhere in that messiness and chaos, there’s a sense of infinite possibility that I’ve never found anywhere else.  So I love Paris as a parent and I love New York… as a lover?!

4. What’s next for you? Can we expect a new book or series?

The sequel is on its way, and I can’t wait to share it!  I was just working on it this afternoon, and I’m tremendously excited about it.  I planned out much of the series in advance, so there may be secret clues in the first book…  You can sign up for news of the sequel’s release at (and get a behind-the-scenes secret while you wait).  As you know, writing isn’t always fun, and it’s almost always lonely: nothing thrills and energizes me more than readers asking for a sequel.  Every request I see in an Amazon review immediately gives me the strength and courage to push through at least one more chapter.  Here’s to making it all the way to the end!


About the Author


Teymour Shahabi was born in Paris of Persian parents in 1985. He moved to the United States to study Comparative Literature and Mathematics at Harvard University. He lives in New York City where he’s spent the last few years among serious professionals, many of whom probably prefer to read nonfiction. The Secret Billionaire is his first published book.

You can watch him try to figure out writing and life on Facebook at


Instagram: @teymour.shahabi

Twitter: @teymourshahabi

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