Today we are back once more with Mr Glenn Shepard, author. He is now on tour with the newest book in his Dr. Scott James series that includes The Missile Game, the Zombie Game, and now, the latest, The Ebola Game. You may have already read our review of The Zombie Game.
We were very pleased when Mr Shepard agreed to an interview with us for his virtual book tour.
It is remarkable that in the midst of your medical career you began writing too. How does one with a life-consuming career already come to write a novel?
I started writing when I was in college and then kept on while I was a surgeon in the army. It was always a source of stress relief. I continued writing while in private practice, and I accumulated a lot of work, but I never took any of it through the publishing process. But it was always my main source of enjoyment and stress relief. My mind would just naturally work out the stories. About five years ago I created the character of Dr. Scott James, and I knew that this time I wanted to publish.
Are you still actively practicing medicine since coming out of retirement to help in Haiti?
Yes, I still do cosmetic procedures.
How alike are you and Dr. Scott James?
In some ways we’re very alike. He’s a craniofacial surgeon, like me. He’s a regular guy, with a house and kids. On the other hand, we’re vastly different purely because the trauma and adventure this guy has had to live through over the course of three books is starting to catch up with him. With each book he gets a little wilder, a little more desperate.
From other interviews I’ve read, it sounds like your novels are character driven. Do you outline too, or simply have a basic idea—the problem Dr. James with face—and start writing?
Yes, I’ve talked a little about this in other forums: I’ve tried a variety of methods of outlining, but in the end I never use them. After the story starts, it takes it’s own course and I just try to hold on.
Do you usually have the conclusion in mind before you start?
Yes and no. There’s the way you think it’s going to end and the way it actually ends. The Ebola Game, for example, ended in a way I never could have suspected.
When writing, do you set a daily/weekly goal, such as hours or number of words a day?
I don’t set any number goals, no. I usually start slow, in terms of word count, mainly because I spend so much time doing research for each book. But near the end, I might write five-to-six pages a day.
Do your characters often switch direction and take you somewhere totally unexpected?
So far they’ve stayed pretty true to character, except in this last book, when one particular guy ends up in a scandal that surprised even me.
What has been the most difficult research you have done for a book?
The research that I’m doing right now for The Encryption Game, which will be out this summer, has been a long slog.
What do you like least about writing? Best?
The least is probably the amount of research I have to do for each book. The best is definitely that last few weeks when I’m writing as fast as I can and it’s all coming together.
Will Scott James be staying close to Haiti or do you have plans for him to find mysteries around the world?
I don’t want to give out any spoilers, so I’ll just say that he is definitely headed to different places, the edge of Space, for one.
What one message would you like your readers to absorb from Dr. James?
He’s a great guy and a good doctor who cares about the well being of his patients. He’s also mixed up in a life-and-death game that he’ll do anything to get out of.
Does the character create new ideas for future books while you are writing?
A lot of the new ideas for the series come from real events. Scott James lives, you could say. He’s involved in the big events that you see played out in the news. So it’s the real, day-to-day dramas that play out all around us that are the source of ideas for the books.
What is next for Dr. James?
Again, I’m scared of giving away any spoilers! Let’s just say that he will be indeed going to the edge of Space, the Vatican, and to trial …
Did you plan for Scott James to be a series before you started?
Some. I knew I had a series-worthy character in Scott James, but the books took me on a journey that would’ve been impossible to imagine.
Is there a particular writer who inspired you to write?
Not really. Writing was just always there for me.
Who are your favorite authors to read?
I like Patterson, of course, as well as Palmer. I have enjoyed Peter Clement quite a bit.
Do you have something more you would like to share with our readers?
I hope you’ll have a good time with Dr. Scott James.
The Ebola Game
by Glenn Shepard
on Tour April 2016
ISIS terrorists are trying to start an Ebola epidemic in America.
Only Scott James is immune.
“The Ebola Game just keeps coming at you and at you. Incredible.” -John Haslett
A bomb explodes at a local hospital.
Dr. Scott James must race through twists and turns to find a cure for a deadly biological weapon.
A quarantined group of people await Dr. James’ help.
SANFIA, VODOUN BOKOR
Sanfia is the most powerful Vodoun priestess in Haiti. She may have the cure.
ELIZABETH, THE WILDCARD
Beautiful Elizabeth is one of the most notorious freelance operatives in the world. Scott James will need her unique genius to stop the epidemic.
“Scott, a biological weapon just exploded on your doorstep. We don’t know what we’re dealing with here.”
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Medical Fiction, Action & Adventure
Published by: Mystery House
Publication Date: Jan 2016
Number of Pages: 205
ISBN: 0997134917 (ISBN-13: 978-0997134919)
Series: The Dr. Scott James Thriller Series, 3rd (Each is a Stand Alone Novel)
Read an excerpt:
Glenn Shepard’s first novel, Surge, was written while he was still a surgical resident at Vanderbilt. In the following years he wrote The Hart Virus, a one-thousand-page epic about the AIDS crisis, as well as three other novels. In 2012, he created “Dr. Scott James,” his Fugitive-like action-hero, and began publishing a series.
The first volume of the Dr. Scott James series was The Missile Game, followed shortly afterward by The Zombie Game. The third of the series, The Ebola Game, is due out in December, 2015. Though the books contain many of the same characters, they don’t have to be read in order. Each can be read as a stand-alone.