Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Interview with John L Sheppard

Tell us a little bit about your book.
Explosive Decompression is mainly a satire on human nature and that strange yearning for a glorified past some have — in this case the British Empire. I took as my guide (in part) Gulliver’s Travels. Most will remember the Lilliputians from that book, but there were other parts of the book... and many warnings in there about the blind pursuit of science, the costs of immortality, the dark side of human nature, and so on.
* Have you published before?
I have written a number of books, most notably Small Town Punk (Ig Publishing, 2007) and After the Jump (Paragraph Line Books, 2015).
* Are you currently working on anything else?
Explosive Decompression is a sequel to After the Jump. I’m working on another sequel to After the Jump right now called Sometimes Fatal Events Have Occurred. Each one of the books will have a different narrator.
* What is your favorite writing snack?
Peanut M&M’s. I drink a lot of coffee while writing.
* What gets you in the mood to write?
I take long, long walks. I’ll walk for two hours, and during those walks my characters will have discussions in my head. Afterward, I can’t wait to get to my keyboard and type those conversations into a text file.
* Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character is Audrey. Dr. Audrey Novak is a survivor. Audrey is partially based on Grace Hopper, the computer scientist and Navy admiral, and Audrey Hepburn, the actress and humanitarian who lived through the occupation of Europe.
Initially, Audrey was the survivor of an alien invasion of the Earth in 2040. A technological innovator, she sent her mind back in time to 1972 (when she was seven years old) to speed up innovation in order to defeat the aliens in the future. What she didn’t count on was the resiliency of her seven-year-old self, who turned her 75-year-old self into a subset of memories.
Imagine what a seven-year-old would do with nearly limitless knowledge like that! That was the first book in the series (After the Jump).
In this one (Explosive Decompression), the Audrey in it is a copy of that mind from when she was 19. She’s been stored on a shelf for over 200 years, and all the innovations she came up with back in the 20th century have been used to create a twisted version of the Victorian-era British Empire that is based in Canada. She awakes and strives to set things right again, and
also to make herself flesh-and-blood. She’s a kind person. She only wants to do right. Her main flaw is that she creates things for fun and doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about the consequences until afterward. Sometimes, there are horrifying consequences.
* Favorite book of all time?
I read Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn once a year. It is once of the greatest books ever written.
* I think breakfast says a lot about a person, what is your perfect breakfast?
When I was in college at the University of Florida, I loved to go to Skeeter’s, a breakfast house in town. Skeeter’s was the home of the Big Biscuit. My ideal breakfast is the Asher Special, hash browns covered in melted cheese and eggs, with one of those massive big biscuits on the side. Oh, man!
* Do you have a favorite period of time that you like to write about or would like to live?
Most of my books are set in the 1980’s or 1990’s. I was young then, so the world seemed more alive to me.
* Please tell us in one sentence why we should read your book!

Explosive Decompression has everything you would want in a book... humor, romance, adventure and a satisfying ending.
Isaac Asimov meets Charles Dickens with a dash of Jonathan Swift… 
In a world that is a science experiment gone horrifyingly wrong, scientist Audrey Novak awakes from a centuries-long sleep to discover that her work has been used to create an appalling world. Aided by commoners, bots, and another refugee from 20th century America, Audrey takes on the power elites on Earth and on the Moon in a novel that is equal parts adventure, science gone haywire, and rollicking humor. ?

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A sampling of acclaim for John L. Sheppard
“Sheppard’s characters pretend not to be funny, to not be emotional, to not need each other, when of course, they are and they do. There’s a clarity to the chaos, the restraint, the vulnerability Sheppard creates, something so human and essential you can’t help but turn the page.”
–Entropy magazine
“…an easy affection for his characters and a sense of natural, unforced humor.”
“…You have a good time seeing someone have a bad time. It’s fun…”
–Padgett Powell
“…raw feeling and taut smart prose.”
–Sam Lipsyte
“The author grips you from the beginning, I couldn’t have put it down if I wanted.”
–Amazon reviewer
John L. Sheppard wrote the novels After the Jump, No Brass, No Ammo and Small Town Punk

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