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Born in October 1974, Bernard Schaffer was the son of a Horsham Township Police Officer and a hairdresser who worked at the Village Mall. His mother would take him to work and he would spend the days at the mall's movie theater, which re-showed popular movies at a discount. By his own account, he saw Star Wars in the theater more than twenty times as a child.
By age 9, he expressed interest in the performing arts, and embarked on an acting career. He appeared in multiple national commercials, a skit on Saturday Night Live called "The Fruiting" with the late Phil Hartman, performances at the Walnut Street Theater, and a television series on Nickelodeon called "Don't Just Sit There."
Splitting his time between New York City and Horsham Township began to take a toll. By the age of fourteen, Schaffer stopped acting and went home. As many child actors do, he had difficulty readjusting to normal life. After spending so many years away from the routine life of school and normal childhood activities, it was impossible to catch up.
According to Schaffer, he "barely graduated high school." College, at that point, was not an option, and he embarked on a series of low-level jobs that included cleaning carpets, pumping gas at a gas station, a meatpacking plant, and working as an assistant for a salesman at Montgomery Newspapers. It was during this time that Schaffer began writing for publication.
He often credits his mother with developing his love of reading, and that she used to take him to used book stores all over the Philadelphia area. In multiple interviews, Schaffer has stated the first thing he ever wrote was "West Side Story 2: The Revenge of Tony" at the age of six. He wrote it, he recalls, because he didn't like the way the first one ended.
Schaffer's earlier work would appear in small press publications, amounting to nothing more than a few brief articles and stories. One day, while working at the gas station, he saw two police officers handle an intoxicated male. Admiring the way the officers conducted themselves, he decided to embark on a career in law enforcement.
After graduating the Montgomery County Police Academy, Schaffer was hired by the Jenkintown Borough Police Department as a part-time officer making $10 an hour, with no benefits, and no union protection. The part-time officers were used to fill in the schedule, and according to Schaffer, he worked anywhere between forty and sixty-five hours a week. To supplement his income, he also worked an overnight plain clothes security detail in North Philadelphia, located at Broad and Hunting Park. During an incident there, he was sliced open by a box cutter on his left arm and received multiple stitches.
In 2000, Schaffer was hired by the Warrington Township Police Department. In 2005, he was assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division.
During the course of his police career, Schaffer has established himself as a narcotics expert, a child forensic interviewer, and received multiple decorations for various criminal investigations.
In 2011, he published his first book, a short-story collection called WOMEN AND OTHER MONSTERS. Inspired by the ability to publish his own work on digital platforms, multiple books followed, including WHITECHAPEL: THE FINAL STAND OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, SUPERBIA, GUNS OF SENECA 6, and more.
His non-fiction work, a law enforcement philosophy book titled WAY OF THE WARRIOR is now taught in multiple police academies, Field Training Programs, and universities across the United States.
In 2013, Schaffer collaborated with famed indie author J.A. Konrath, combining the Jack Daniels series and characters from Superbia. Konrath was impressed enough by Schaffer's work to recommend him to Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, who immediately signed him as a client.
By 2016, Schaffer felt that he'd gone as far as he could as an independent author. He wanted to write something for a larger audience and attempt to publish a mainstream novel with a traditional publisher. In his own words, the time had come to "Level up." THE THIEF OF ALL LIGHT was purchased by Kensington Publishing, the sixth largest publishing house in the world, as part of a two-book deal. His work, for the first time ever, will appear in hardback, audio, prestige paperback, and digital platforms, all around the world, everywhere books are sold.
Today, Schaffer is the father of two children, still working as a police detective, and still writing.
Visit him @BernardSchaffer or www.bernardschaffer.com.