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Advice from IR Approved Author Jeff Shaw: “Never give up. That goes for both writing your story and learning the craft.”

Who I Am: The Man Behind The Badge received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Jeff Shaw.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Who I Am: The Man Behind The Badge; April 2020

What’s the book’s first line?

“Most people have never seen a dead person, other than a loved one at a funeral home.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

I’ve learned that most people really don’t understand what a police officer does every day and how it affects them personally. I want to show those people the true horrors, the brutal things one man can do to another, and how it feels to bring those memories home at night. There is a price men and women pay enforcing the law.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

My father wrote a seventeen-page memoir of his life as a child before his death. After reading it, I wanted to leave something similar for my children. I wanted them to know who their father was. The book morphed over time into what it is today.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Law enforcement today has become a lightning rod of controversy. They have gone from heroes to villains depending on one’s personal viewpoints. I want to give everyone the opportunity to see what it’s like on the other side of the badge, the human aspect of enforcing the law. It’s not perfect because we are all human.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Assuming I am the main character, I would like to see Chris Evans play my part. Not for his looks but for the personality he brings to the screen as Captain America, never wanting to play the part of a hero but of a man trying to do the right thing against all odds.

When did you first decide to become an author?

One night at work, I was assigned the unpleasant task of writing a water restriction violation report. Some poor man watered his lawn on the wrong day and it was my job to write it up. I decided that night I would make it a short story and days later, the Miami Herald published it. I was in hot water at work but I knew then I enjoyed writing.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

No, my first attempt was science fiction and I learned a lot about how not to write a book. I learned a lot from working with editors and the manuscript still sits in my computer, waiting to be rewritten. I also have a crime thriller on my editor’s desk awaiting her magic touch.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’m fully retired now.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I spend about six hours every morning working on either one of my novels, promoting Who I Am: The Man Behind The Badge, or writing flash fiction for Twitter.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part is not worrying about someone else wanting to change my story and knowing that every idea is mine, although I work with an editor who often helps me smooth out a rough paragraph or scene.

The worst part of being an indie is knowing that success or failure is all in my hands. If the book fails, either it sucks or my ability to sell it did.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Never give up. That goes for both writing your story and learning the craft. Listen and learn from those offering advice. Attend every book launch, every writers group and seminar you can find, and soak up every pearl they offer.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?

Yes, I would, but with my eyes wide open. Professional editing and marketing can be expensive and recouping that expense can be a challenge. I would love to know I had a publisher willing to invest in me and in my work.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

With Who I Am: The Man Behind The Badge, my only motivation was to get the book in print for my family and coworkers to see and understand why I may seem distant or antisocial at times. I often mentioned that if I could get one person, some stranger, to buy my book and like it, those years of writing and rewriting would have been worth it.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

There are so many, but I chose Robert Heinlein. The very first book I bought and read cover to cover was one of his. His work turned me into a reader, and eventually a writer.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Stephen King’s Dark Tower.