Uncaged Welcomes Terry Shepherd
Welcome to Uncaged! Your recent release, Chasing the Captain is the second book in The Jessica Ramirez Thrillers series. Can you tell readers more about the book and the series?
Jess is based on a real-life Latina cop who had to navigate some significant challenges as a trailblazing female and minority in what was then a male domain. I was drawn to the series as an opportunity to showcase a diverse cast of heroes to inspire readers who lived similar lives to want to grow up to be like them.
Chasing Vega introduces the core characters, Jess, Alexandra Clark and the ensemble of fascinating personalities that surround them. The response to Jessica’s pursuit of a serial killer with dark intentions encouraged me to pursue a trilogy. Chasing the Captain is the story of Jess’ pursuit of “the one that got away.” Readers told me after Captain that they wanted to see more of Jess working in her hometown, so the third book in the series, Chasing Karma takes place primarily in the fictional town of Paloma, Illinois.
What is the most difficult scene for you to write? What is the easiest?
I’m constantly gut checking myself when I write female characters. It’s very important to me to make them believable and authentic. Thankfully, almost all my support team are women, and they make sure I get it right.
Dialogue seems to be the easiest for me to write. I love being in the cast’s heads. They always take me to interesting places and sometimes the scene, and the plot go in directions I didn’t expect.
Read the rest of the interview in the magazine linked below
Terry Shepherd wrote his first short story at age eleven and was first published as a non-fiction author in 2008. He created Detective Jessica Ramirez in 2019, publishing his thriller “Chasing Vega” in 2020. The book earned 5-Star ratings on Amazon and is also available in audio book and Spanish language editions. The second installment in the trilogy, “Chasing The Captain” was released this fall When his grandchildren asked to star in their own stories, he created the “Waterford Detective” stories for his grandson and published the popular “Juliette and the Mystery Bug” series, co-authored with his wife, Colleen, when his granddaughter wondered how kids could protect themselves during a pandemic. His forthcoming books include “Students In Time,”(September, 2021) a time travel adventure that parallels the 4th grade public school history curriculum.
Terry is also a prolific book narrator and audio-artist, voicing 7 novels, along with dozens of commercials and promotional trailers. He hosts the popular Authors on the Air podcast, was a moderator and panelist at Bouchercon 2020 and is co-chair of the Sisters In Crime – Capitol Crimes Chapter’s 2021 Anthology project. He was an early social media adopter, authoring “Social Media and Your Personal Brand” in 2012.
He has written over 400 motivational essays since 2004, the best of which were aggregated into three popular self-help books.
Terry and Colleen live on the ocean in Jacksonville, Florida and are co-founders of “Down Syndrome Nation” a web resource for friends and families of persons with Down syndrome. Terry is a graduate of Michigan State University, has studied at both Harvard and Oxford and toured South America as a rock drummer in the summer of 1972.
Enjoy an excerpt from Chasing the Captain
In Jessica Ramirez’s second outing, she’s once again a fish out of water, chasing the bad guy who got away. When forced to witness a questionable execution, Jess follows a tiny thread across the Atlantic, linking up with DI Liyanna Evans, a cop with London’s Metropolitan Police. The two quickly discover that their antagonist’s reach is both worldwide and deadly.
Another delectable tale that blends technothriller with suspense and police procedural adventure, Chasing the Captain picks up where Chasing Vega left off, giving Jess the chance to find the answers she seeks, even if it endangers her life and career in the process.
“Damn, that hurt,” Jess muttered to herself. “Remind me never to fire an RSH-12 revolver with one hand ever again.”
And what was wrong with her? Jumping onto a moving helicopter at the edge of a damn skyscraper? Jess’s mind was in full fear-of-heights terror. Dropping 557 feet with a rappelling rope felt like an elementary school playground compared to this insanity.
But the man who ordered her father’s murder and the man who contributed to Vincent Culpado’s death were inside that cabin.
Jess intended to make them pay.
Her shooting hand was still numb but managed to slide the cannon back into her pants. She intertwined her arms and legs around the skid, holding on for dear life.
It occurred to Jess at this moment that putting a bullet into the engine of the only thing keeping her from falling to her death might not have been the wisest move. She didn’t like the sounds of shattering metal and the black smoke that vomited out of the back of the enclosure.
And what if the bad guys knew she was right below them? Jess was a sitting duck.
One poor decision after another, Jess. When you make it personal, you make mistakes.
As the terror swirled around Jess’s insides, the outside world snapped into focus and she beheld the sight below.
London at night was a picture postcard on its worst days. A carpet of stars painted a ceiling above the city lights. The full moon cast the dark concrete silhouettes below into stark relief. It was breathtaking. Whatever building Jess had been in was perched on the edge of the Thames. She didn’t know enough of the city yet to pick out landmarks, except one.
The London Eye was dead ahead.
“Don’t call it a ‘Ferris wheel,’” Lee had warned her. “You’ll make the locals think you’re a tourist for sure.”
The gargantuan trademark stopped taking passengers at 9pm. LED lighting covered its spokes in blinking dot matrix, painting pixilated scenes throughout the night that resolve into pictures at a distance.
Jess could see a colorful depiction of the Union Jack as the aircraft approached it.
Read the rest of the excerpt in the issue below