BSS #111: John Sheppard


Condition of Mr. Segundo: Avoiding Sheppard tones.

Author: John Sheppard

Subjects Discussed: Responding to Dan Green’s post, on being rejected by publishers and self-publishing, writing without a plot, on doing things twice, the connection between the conscious and subconscious thematics, getting out of the muddy ditch, basing fiction on reality, music and anger, Minor Threat, Pizza Hut, the Reagan era, the “punk” label, imploding labels, abrasive commentary, the circus people of Sarasota, Florida, cartoons vs. writing, the rhythm of Catholic catechisms, writing to a mix tape, orange juice concentrate, sound effects in sentences, and being a comma freak.

Sheppard: I was an illustrator, once upon a time. And I thought of this book — it’s somewhat like making a painting. You start off with the canvas and then you paint on top. And then you paint another layer on top and another layer on top. And eventually at the end, you have a painting. And that’s sort of the way I thought of writing this book. I didn’t write it with a plot in mind. Absolutely no plot in mind. And some people, like a reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times thought it was pointless that I had no plot, that there wasn’t a South Park moment, “I learned something today,” at the end. But I really don’t believe it’s a pointless book. Otherwise I wouldn’t have written it.

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