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A Q&A with Sam Shepherd, our debut Author to join Magic Mouse Books...

Sam Shepherd was born in Manchester and upon leaving Grammar School he achieved his boyhood dream of joining the police and he is now retired after 32 years service.

Sam is now a full time Grandad of seven and started writing for them. He has combined his two great loves of the police and dogs into a comical adventure with a moral story at the end.

'Dogchester: The Great Bone Robbery' is a picture book coming Autumn/Winter 2021.

What inspired you to start writing? SS: My grandchildren. I wanted to give them something special as a granddad. My wife Alison also took the ideas on board and gave me the belief that I could write.

How long have you been writing? SS: Twelve months or so, since the beginning of lockdown one.

Who is your favourite author and why? SS: It is an old Author called J J Maric who wrote a series of books about a Detective Superintendent call Gideon. As a young man starting out in the police, I avidly read the whole series or whatever my local library had in stock.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? SS: Truthfully, I hadn't given it much thought until a few months before the first lockdown in 2020 when Dogchester popped into my head and I started writing as lockdown began.

What is the best part of your day? SS: Getting up in the morning and grateful to have another day in this life to then going out early to walk my two best friends a Jack Russell/Welsh Terrier called Walter and my baby, Luna our Great Dane.

Favourite artist and favourite song? SS: I have two favourite songs – 'Unchained Melody' by the Righteous Brothers and 'It Must be Love' by Madness, which is the song that I fell in love to my wife with.

What was your dream job when you were younger? SS: To be a police Officer which I achieved and had 32 years in the police service.

If you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why?

SS: The first one would be Nelson Mandela as I admire his perseverance and his 'long walk to freedom', for the way he transformed South Africa. The second would be someone who I think is one of the greatest Statesperson of the modern era and that would be Margaret Thatcher. Thirdly, would be my favourite actor Sidney Poitier who was the first Afro-American to win an academy award and the blocks he overcame to become the man that he is.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?

SS: The fact that I could do it, given my style is somewhat chaotic and frenetic with me just banging out pages whilst my mind is letting it all out. I then calm down and begin to put things in sort of order.

Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels? SS: I think the first book was definitely the more daunting part. Since, I have found that writing sequels for future publication have sort of flowed in after it.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? SS: Yes, I am on Facebook as Dogchester PD, Instagram as dogchesterpd and Twitter as @DogchesterP.

What famous author do you wish would be your mentor? SS: I think it would be J K Rowling as with the Harry Potter books, she clearly displays an amazing imagination creating colourful characters.

If you could cure a disease, what would it be? SS: My late brother in law was a leading world scientist in Cancer Research and sadly that same disease took his life, so for that reason I would pick cancer to finish what he started.

What are you reading now? SS: "Ask and it is given” by Esther & Jerry Hicks which is all about the Law of Attraction and having a positive mindset - by thinking about and believing you will get the things you want; your sub-conscious enables you to take the actions that will help you to achieve what you really want. It does require work from yourself it isn’t just like three wishes and it comes instantly, because it doesn’t!

Favourite quote (doesn’t matter the source).

SS: When I was a young trainee police officer, I was on night shift in company with a very experienced officer and as we walked past the cemetery, he said to me. “Lad, the only people without problems are all in there, so the more problems you have the more alive and kicking you are." That has inspired me many times throughout my life.

Follow @dogchesterpd to stay up to date with Sam and his series...

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