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A Template for Writing Shepherds

When I first began thinking about writing Shepherds I was aiming at a contest with huge prize that even promised a movie contract.  I thought the book should be written like the old Saturday serial movies.  Each chapter would end with some sort of cliff-hanger.  I knew the main theme would be about the dying oceans, the loss of fish stocks and the senseless killing of dolphins.  All that was good but the idea for factory tuna herded by the genetically altered people called “shepherds” was a bit thin.  I started to think about what happens when free and open areas of territory are suddenly closed off.  Ah, I thought, I’m writing a new version of the classic western novel, range wars between the free range people and the homesteaders.  Only in this setting, the free range “cowboys” were the fishermen who thought they should be able to net fish wherever they wanted.  The factory teams of shepherds and their dolphins were the homesteaders.  Essentially they were closing off sections of the ocean by filling them with factory owned tuna.  Conflict was unavoidable.  Of course, just doing a simple battle for turf (so to speak) wasn’t enough.  I needed something more.  Drug runners filled that void well, and from there the story took off.

Enjoy the action, adventure and suspense in an unusual setting with a romance that rivals that found in the movie The Shape of Water.