Saturday, April 7, 2012

William S.Shepard to Take Part in Friday the 13th Kindle Giveaway

The author pictued on his book cover
William S. Shepard is an award-winning writer who created a new subgenre, the diplomatic mystery. His series is comprised of four novels set in American embassies. Shepherd's novels mirror his own career in the U.S. Foreign Service, when he served in Singapore, Saigon, Budapest, Athens and Bordeaux, in addition to five Washington tours of duty. His books explore the rich, insider background of high stakes diplomacy and government.

Shepard is also wine editor for French Wine Explorers ( as well as the author of Shepard’s Guide to Mastering French Wines.

William. why did you decide to take part in the Friday the 13th free Kindle giveaway?

I have taken part in four Kindle Select free book offerings. In general, I found that the mystery series books had the best response, both immediately and over the medium term. Nonfiction, on the other hand, did not fare as well. . . except my book "Maryland In The Civil War," which was downloaded in huge numbers!

When did you decide to publish independently?

I decided to try the indie publishing route because the mid list publishing prospects were not favorable. Every time a publishing house gives away millions to another politician for memoirs, that means dozens of mid list authors who will not be published. Besides, good results in indie publishing help build a reputation. But all that aside, I enjoy telling stories, and any storyteller wants an audience!

I invented the diplomatic mystery genre because I was a professional diplomat for 25 years. The old advice, write about what you know, still rings true. There are now three Kindle e-books in the series. The latest is "Murder In Dordogne," but many readers might prefer to start with the first in the series, "Vintage Murder," which takes place in Bordeaux. The second novel, "Murder On The Danube," is set in Budapest, against the background of the heroic Hungarian Revolution.

I understand that you're a wine connoisseur.

I have always enjoyed good wines, but when I was fortunate enough to serve as Consul General in Bordeaux, I learned more about them. The result is "Shepard's Guide to Mastering French Wines," which as you point out ranks as a #1 Kindle e-book. I am very pleased by the response, and hope many more readers will share my enthusiasm for these fine wines.

Tell us about your protagonist, Robbie Cutler.

Cutler is a mid level career diplomat. He is logical but not always people smart (like myself a bit?).He is very good at languages, and has fine cultural empathy. He knows what is going on in a foreign environment without needing many explanations. Fortunately, his girl friend Sylvie Marceau (in the first book), fiancee (in the second) and bride (in the third) possesses in abundance the people skills that he lacks.

Robbie Cutler, by the way, is a collection of family names - Robinson was my Dad's first name, and Cutler is the maiden name of my Mother-in-law!

Advice for novice writers?

Set a time for writing each day, and stick to it. First, get to know your main characters very well indeed. As you assemble their character traits, they will surprise you!

Shepard's book, The Southeast Asian Quartet, will be free on Friday the 13th along with my novel, Diary of Murder, and 11 others. You can view the list at:

You can learn more about William Shepard at the following sites:


  1. Welcome to my mountaintop, William. It's great to have you visit here.