Jemison author releases novel based in Chilton CountyBy Emily Etheredge Published 2:47pm Monday, June 3, 2013
Jemison author Mark Lee Sheppard learned to shift his focus from writing 3-minute songs to writing a novel this year with the release of his first book, “Resume of Evil.”
“I produced a record in the early 1980s so I was used to writing songs,” Sheppard said. “It is very different when you try to shift the way you write a 3-minute song to stretching out what you have to say in a novel.”
Sheppard’s “Resume of Evil” is based in Chilton County and Sheppard uses characters, places and actual events in the first part of the novel as he transitions into his fiction work.
The book focuses on Tyler Sinclair, a football player who is injured in his third season at the University of Alabama that extinguishes all hopes of a career in the NFL.
Sinclair seeks the riches that accompanied the life of a professional athlete and turns to the only other lucrative possibility for him, moving narcotics.
Sheppard, a former Chilton County Sheriff’s deputy, said he used an incident that occurred during his involvement in law enforcement to base the scene in the novel surrounding Sinclair.
Without going into specifics, Sheppard said the actual incident happened when he pulled a vehicle over and found a drug runner coming from Birmingham as he was transporting drugs to Selma.
“I found a pretty good bit of drugs in his car,” Sheppard said. “I changed the drugs up from what I found to what I put in the book, but I used that incident to write about part of Sinclair’s experiences in the novel.”
Sheppard said the protagonist in the novel, Shawn Colton, is Sheppard and wanted Colton to tell the story as the “good guy character in the novel.”
In the book, Colton worked for the Creek County Sheriff’s office in the Drug Task Force and later became sheriff of Creek County.
Colton’s connection with Sinclair is based from watching him play football and Colton places a confidential informant inside Sinclair’s organization that almost costs Colton his wife.
As tension mounts, Sinclair unleashes his quest to exact revenge on Colton.
“Resume of Evil” takes readers from Alabama to the jungles of Bogota, South America in an action-packed thriller that Sheppard said is a “page turner.”
“I wrote this book during a time in my life that I had the most pressure on me,” Sheppard said. “The novel took me six months to write and took a lot of concentration but I enjoyed writing it and look forward to hearing more feedback about it from readers.”
Sheppard retired from law enforcement in 2004 and now lives in Jemison where he is working on an upcoming novel he hopes will be longer than the 300-page “Resume of Evil.”
Although Sheppard said writing was a challenge, it opened many doors for him including the ability to meet other writers who have similar interests.
“Writing a novel brought me into a different world of people that I have really enjoyed,” Sheppard said. “Writing a book is a lot easier than what comes after writing because you have to promote the book, schedule book signing and meet people but writing my first novel has helped me with the writing process for my second book.”
“Resume of Evil” is published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises and is available through bookstores nationwide, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.amazon.com or from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore.