Interview with Jack Shaw

What's the story behind your latest book?
The essence of the idea came from a short story I wrote was called, The Black Box. It is a story told from the box itself. Humans are experimenting with this advanced machine without realizing it has become an artificial intelligence and has feelings. The Harry character was based on a short story I wrote when I was fresh out of high school called Matchmaker, which was about computer dating in a time when all your companions and acquaintances have to be vetted before you have contact with them. The penalty for unmatched contact: death--much as it is In Makr's Shadow. Makr's roots are from the original Matchmaker computer. As technological advances came about the technology in the book had to change as well. The Harry Reality Series will focus the world after we nearly destroyed this one and put an evolving artificial intelligence in charge.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
In Makr's Shadow (Harry's Reality) takes place in the near future. Technology is changing so fast, I wanted the book out to be read with some of the new technology.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords made me focus on format at first along with consistency. Smashwords was one of the first platforms I was aware of at the time, and I liked the idea my novel would be converted to so many electronic formats. Distribution is about as good as it gets.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creation. Building real character lives, believable worlds and writing in between the lines: taking an idea and presenting in a unexpected form to express and discuss this idea almost without the reader knowing it.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean the most. In some ways, they know about me than anyone else. Some of what I write is based on truth or the way some situation may turned out had a character acted in a certain way. I am happy when I hear from someone who tells me they enjoyed my books. It encourages me. I realize I must have something to say to someone. Of course, the books are not autobiographical, but I keep my characters real by writing about people I know or have met.
What are you working on next?
A novel outside the genre of science fiction. It's more of an adventure thriller set in Central and South America. Its working title is Jaguar Heat. My protagonist thinks the world about himself and all he wants to do is have fun on his trust fund. One clause, he has to work to receive it. He ends up in the wrong place, wrong time and happens to look like someone else. Their names are similar--so similar in fact he is kidnapped. He is tortured and left in the jungle to die slowly. Obviously he survives. At first he is bent on revenge and destroying those who kidnapped him. A pet jaguar left for dead as was the protagonist becomes his ally and helps him wreak havoc, striking fear making them think he is man who becomes jaguar: a were-jaguar. The were-jaguar, like the werewolf, is legend here.
Who are your favorite authors?
My tastes have changed over the years. As a teen, I read everything, especially science fiction. Today, I read Daniel Silva, Lee Child, Steve Berry, Dan Brown, James Rollins -- all great thriller genre writers. Every fourth book or so I read is still science fiction. At the university, I read the classics--the right authors who wrote literature - with an emphasis in literary and performance criticism, so the books I read today are mostly thrillers. Spy novels are my favorites because they seem to delve more into character. I review theatre and that gives me enough analyzing to do. I read for fun, but I do like novels in exotic backgrounds and well-developed characters.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The idea that I may have tremendous inspiration and creativity that day. And the practical, i.e., House duties. Kids off to school, etc.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I act, direct and review plays. I spent a lot time in both the U. S. Marines, the Air Force and then worked for the Federal government. I started acting professionally in theatre, commercials and film while I was still in the Marines as an enlisted non-commissioned officer. During that time I didn't do a lot of pleasure reading. I'm making it up now.

When I was in the Marines, the attitude of people toward servicemen was pretty negative. It was the tail-end of the Vietnam War and mother's kept their daughters away from the "baby-killers." Theatre served as a creative release but it was also something to do with my evenings. Ironically, it also became a creative part-time job with pay. I will continue being involved with the creative arts as long as I can; I hope I can translate this passion to writing exciting and thought-provoking fiction.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Since I wrote an e-novel, I thought it was only fair that I read e-novels as well. I tend to search usual e-book websites, including Smashwords. I've also found good e-books through BookBub and Good Reads.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sort of. I was ten and enamored with the pirate world. So, it was a story about a kid growing up around pirates.
Published 2014-11-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Caveman Guide To Training and Development, II
Series: The Caveman Guide To Training and Development. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 23,030. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Training
The Caveman Guide to Training and Development is written from several perspectives--as an employee, an employer, a trainer (both inside the company, government, and outside), a communicator, performance critic, and filled with relevant experiences from all walks of life.
ActingSmarts Reviews Local and Regional Theatre
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 23,130. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2012. Categories: Essay » Sociology, Nonfiction » Entertainment » History & Criticism
Why should we review local and regional professional theatres at all? After all it's just an opinion. But it should be an educated one, and this book shows by example reviewing at its constructive best. What makes a good critic or reviewer? Aren't they the same thing? Check it out here for yourself.
ActingSmarts on Local and Regional Theatres
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 17,070. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Entertainment industry, Essay » Literature
If you ever find yourself in an audition situation where a monologue is called for and you show up without one, don’t despair. While obviously it is better to be prepared–you could have just learned of the audition, offer to read a monologue or piece from the play itself. If you are a good cold-reader this can be acceptable to some directors, but understand the risk of not coming prepared.
In Makr's Shadow - Book One: Symbiosis
Price: Free! Words: 134,800. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Like Isaac Asimov and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. combined. Thought-provoking. Exciting. Sentient cyberts co-exist with Bios. Ninety percent of the Bios live in a fantasy world Inside, ten percent live in the dark reality Outside. One percent of the ten percent are fighting a losing war with the artificial intelligent menace running the planet. Is this the end of the world or the beginning of a new one?
The Caveman Guide To Training and Development
Series: The Caveman Guide To Training and Development. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 25,160. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Management and human resources
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Learning and experimenting were simple in the beginning. “I learned that if I sharpened my spear and kept it sharpened I was more likely to kill the first time I threw it and struck my prey.” Sharpen your quest for a perfect training solution! Whether a novice or experienced trainer, or a manager, you will find insights that will change the way you look at training and development forever!