Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Interview with George D Shuman Author of Rattleman
I am pleased to Welcome George D Shuman to The Creatively Green Write at Home mom today.
Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.
I was a perfectly awful student through high school and no better in my single semester of college. I worked in the steel mills for a time, but then the industry began to collapse and I packed my car for DC at the age of nineteen. I took odd jobs in construction sites and spent a lot of time reading the piles of old paperback novels that the landlord of an old rooming house kept in the basement along with some mannequins of naked women:-/
Two years later as rookie policeman on the D.C. Force, I made my first attempt at writing. For a decade I could never get past forty pages, but then two years before the optional retirement age of 40 I finally did. That book was RATTLEMAN and even though a major publisher loved it, it was eventually turned down. I had to wait another fifteen years, through hundreds of rejection letters, before my second novel, 18 SECONDS was bought by Simon and Schuster. That novel was nominated for both a Shamus and Best First Novel by the National Thriller Writer’s Association. It has now been translated into 23 languages.
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
(RATTLEMAN …A woman’s head surfaces from a frozen mountain lake, a cyclist goes missing from a national park, a young girl is snatched from the fields where she tends her goats. Bodies are found in West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee… slit open, shorn of their hair, fillings removed from their teeth. The police and FBI are setting up checkpoints and roadblocks throughout the Appalachian’s. But Sheriff Wayne thinks they’re looking in all the wrong places. Sheriff Wayne said it best and he was no stranger to the mountains. “Consider the man that comes down out of the wilderness to kill. Now that would be one dangerous son of bitch.”
Are you a parent ?
I have two grown children, a son Daniel and daughter Melissa.
Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?
No. And now that I’ve said that, I must qualify the answer. It was only after many decades that I reflected on two events from my childhood that certainly inspired my first novel. I swear on all that is Holy that they were never on my mind when writing it years later. But after reading the novel no one could doubt that they must have planted the seed. If anyone is interested, I have described each in the foreword of RATTLEMAN.
So now I say with a degree of caution that NO I don’t consciously ever write about specific events or people and CAN say with unwavering certainty that the joy of the process is in filling a blank page with purely imaginative places and people. I kid you not, they joy is in the imagination!!! The reward is when my readers are heartbroken or concerned for the welfare of my fictitious characters. Or to visit one of my crime scenes (real locations, made up towns and people, like Wildwood New Jersey or Ohio Pyle Pennsylvania—I had a book club that used to do that after discussing my novels. They used to say how it was just like I described. Even though it wasn’t real! And they all had their picture taken together and sent them to me. :-)
Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?
You probably know I was an investigator for twenty years and I’m sure it’s given me a voice I would not otherwise have. But my work is fiction in the purest sense of the word. I conjure up some geographical place and I throw characters into it to see what they do. I have a general idea about my topic and I am a purest in every sense of the word. I study my topics diligently and I require plausibility. 18 SECONDS was about a serial killer who gets out of prison after twenty-five years and takes up where he left off. For LOST GIRLS it was about Human Trafficking. For SECOND SIGHT it was Cold War biological experimentation on humans by budding pharmaceutical giants. Beyond the basic premise however, I have no outline, no old cases I’m thinking of. I just dig into my imagination and places begin to appear and characters develop.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m terribly shy…nearly catatonic in front of people, I like crowds and television cameras as much as Superman liked Kryptonite. One of my favorite annual events used to be joining some ladies at the Country Club near where I lived in Pennsylvania. Arnold Palmer’s Country Club next to Arnie’s local airport too be sureJ But I’m drifting…the ladies had come to learn that two Bloody Mary’s were necessary for me to ease my way into our noon book discussions. In many forums I made my audience rearrange the chairs in a circle so I was one of them. People who’ve met me will tell you that sounds ridiculous, that I can be funny and witty (or so I think anyhow) but I’m telling you different. My comfort zone is in my books.
Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?
There is something that keeps nagging me and that is writing a historical novel/thriller. I’m purely fascinated by the Middle Ages and particularly the Reformation. The Malleus Maleficarum, which means the Witches Hammer and is a 1486 treatise on how to unveil/detect (torture) and punish (kill) Witches, is one of my coffee table books ;-)
Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?
Jeremy Smyles from 18 Seconds! Wow that came easily to me!!! Jeremy is the most unlikely “minor” character and hero in any of my novels. Survivor of a school bus accident in his high school youth, oxygen deprived and brain damaged he now plods through life working for the Sanitation Department, picking up trash with a spear. He is a gentle soul, slow of thought and apparently unaware he used to be a heartthrob quarterback. But Jeremy has his moment in the end…for when the stakes couldn’t be higher something long and buried emerges…
What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
RATTLEMAN is out on Kindle now and should be going to paper in a matter of two or three weeks. A yet untitled Fifth Sherry Moore novel is in the final stages of editing and will also be released in the weeks to come. AND yet a Sixth Sherry Moore novel is well underway and due end of summer.
What book are you reading now?
A History of the Inquisition actually—Yes, I KNOW!!!!!! It’s a little dark to say the least. ;-)
Just re-read Henry VIII by Alison Weir (she writes history like Anne Rule writes true crime!) Before that the bio of Eleanor Roosevelt, and then Tony Dungy and Vince Lombardi—I’ve been going through a lot of non-fiction lately if you haven’t noticed. I did zip through Daniel Silva’s wonderful Gabriel Alon series though and have his latest FALLEN ANGEL on my Kindle.
George D Shuman
From George D. Shuman who served twenty years with the Metropolitan Police Department, Washington DC, and whose international bestseller, '18 Seconds', is currently in production as a major Hollywood motion picture.
Better still, 'Rattleman' is George D. Shuman's most gripping crime thriller yet.
The Rattleman knows every crevice, every creek, every cave, every ravine, every inch of his remote hunting grounds in the Appalachian Mountains.
He is a determined serial killer, always waiting for his next victim to cross his path.
When Park Ranger Jane Cameron literally stumbles across the remains of two of his victims, she discovers that she too has been caught in his trap.
And when the 'Rattleman's prey is at his mercy, she’s dead.
About George D. Shuman
George Shuman is the international bestselling author of the Sherry Moore series about a blind woman who can see 18 seconds from a dead person's life, using her innate ability to track down their killers.
George's first four Sherry Moore books are published by Simon & Schuster. '!8 Seconds' is currently in production for a major Hollywood motion picture.
'Rattleman' is the first of George's books to be published by Taylor Street. It too will be a major Hollywood motion picture.