Charles Peterson Sheppard, author of The Specialist: The Costa Rica Job (who also happens to be one cool cat) stopped by to chat with us today.
Mr. Peterson, a Southern California implant, shares his work, interests, and what's next for him.
"Some People Pray, Some People Promise, Some People Talk, Some People Do." C. P. Sheppard.
Well, thank you for inviting me for this interview. It's a pleasure to be here and a great opportunity to engage in a conversation and reach out to readers everywhere. What did you want to ask me about, Mike?
Can you share anything about yourself we can't learn from your bio?
Hmm, let's see...No chess set has ever existed that I would not buy, given proper circumstance and enough money. No toy soldier has ever sat safely in my presence; I collect them passionately as well (particularly metal, Gothic knights). I like 1970's Rock, 1990's Hip Hop, drink a quart of orange juice a day, am totally addicted to coffee and chocolate, and love my three dogs.
Did you always plan to be a writer?
No not at all. I knew at an early age that I had a certain proficiency in writing, and I believe it stemmed from my love of reading. I benefited from being raised in a reading family, which lent itself to a natural proficiency in writing. I use the word proficiency, because for my entire adult life writing has been more a function of scholarship or job expectations than pleasure. I am not, at my core, a writer. Rather, I think I am an analytic thinker, an observer, and a life-long reader who has been well-trained as a writer. Writing is not my joy, people are my joy; I love 'all things people' and that is what I have always been about. I like meeting and knowing and interacting with the world of people, yet I feel I am also adept at the art of writing, by chance and circumstance, if that makes sense.
Please tell us a bit about The Specialist: The Costa Rica Job.
Sure, I would be glad to. First, the novel itself started out as an episodic adventure story, which I later expanded into a novel. The story itself deals with a retired CIA operative who works as a hard-fisted problem solver for troubled clients wealthy enough to hire him. In this novel, The Specialist goes to Costa Rica to rescue a kidnapped banker, only to find himself caught up in a web of danger and deceit far greater than he bargained for. The tale's main focus centers upon action-oriented adventure and lots of brawling. The plot is linear, direct, an easy read, and I think the strength of the narrative rests upon the action sequences. It really is a fun, short little read, perfect for an airplane flight or a day at the beach!
Yes, I would be happy to discuss the whole branding concept! I wrote the novel to help my brother with his acting career. He appeared on the reality game show Survivor and called himself The Specialist. He never managed to win the game, but he did make a splash and excited many viewers. My goal was to write a heroic story which he could parlay into a television show or perhaps a movie. To be frank, the branding concept involved pushing the imaginary character and my brother, taking both as far as possible into the public eye in the hopes that someone in the television or movie industry might bite, and make a marketable product. Ultimately, my brother wants to become an executive producer in Hollywood, and this book, its main character (and other books and characters) comprise the main thrust of his efforts.
What inspired you to write this story?
My inspirations were my father's military service (a U.S. Marine), my two brothers' military service (U.S. Army), my mother (a Registered Nurse) and my beloved sister (also a Registered Nurse). Although I never really knew my father as a young adult, I include him because he always seemed very charming buy tough, like the main character. My military brothers were obvious influences, and the main character's compassion are extensions of my mother and sister. Another big inspiration was the chance to write a cool story that would elevate my brother in his ambitions. I am not a huge 'fame and fortune' fan, but the prospect intrigued me enough to move forward and write the book!
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am pushing a lot of other authors on Twitter, strengthening my social media presence and networking with people online. I like doing that; interacting and promoting and communicating with my fellow authors and creators in the Twitterverse. In the meantime, I am pushing an illustrated version of The Specialist and simultaneously writing a new novel called Flint of Dreams, which is a coming of age, paranormal thriller. Some sample chapters of Flint of Dreams are posted on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/120181186-flint-of-dreams-chaps-1-4
Do you have a favorite author?
Mike Reynolds! Seriously, I think my favorite author of all time would have to be Ernest Hemingway. To me, Hemingway did with less what other greats have done with more, and still wrote brilliant, moving masterpieces. That is what I try to do as an author... I am a less is more type of writer, like Hemingway.
What is it about Hemingway's writing that speaks to you?
The conservation of space and the careful word choice, the rhythm, the sound of words and the sounds of groups of words. There are some writers (and humbly, I include myself in this lot) who read well silently and who read well aloud. That is what speaks to me in a great writer: does it sound good in my head and good to my ear? That is a craft which I feel Hemingway mastered. Also, Hemingway concerned himself with the inner human condition and outside human observation at the same time. That speaks to me.
Where can we buy your book?
Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Specialist-Costa-Rica-Job-Illustrated/dp/1457538679/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442313037&sr=1-6&keywords=charles+peterson+sheppard
How can readers connect with you?
Twitter: CPSWorks14560 (The numbers are my hometown zip code)
Thanks again for sharing with us today. I can't wait to see what's next!