Friday, August 23, 2019
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Monday, August 12, 2019
Former Herald-Mail editor crafts a mystery
Author Scott Shields
A West Virginia author and former Herald-Mail journalist has published his first novel, a fiction mystery involving two newspaper reporters and a decades-old secret they uncover by accident.
"Time Capsule" revolves around a cryptic clue unearthed by accident 62 years before its time. Along the way, Scott Shields shares events and introduces characters drawn from his years working for newspapers in Grafton, Parkersburg and Morgantown, W.Va., and Hagerstown.
“None of the characters is real, of course, but many of the events in the book were inspired by things that happened and actual people I worked with over my years as a reporter, sports writer and editor,” Shields said. “These friends and co-workers helped me craft a narrative that, while fiction, bears a ring of authenticity and truth.”
Shields is a graduate of Fairmont (W.Va.) State University where he studied English and journalism. He worked as a sports writer and city editor for The Morning Herald from 1982-1985.
Name: Marshall Scott Shields
City in which you reside: Fairmont, WV
Day job: Retired. Former journalist, public relations manager and freelance communications consultant.
Book title: Time Capsule: A Covington Mystery
Genre: Fiction / mystery
Synopsis: A newspaper reporter planting a tree in his yard digs up a time capsule buried years ago by young children. Opening the box reveals a clue to a 38-year-old cold case murder that he and his wife, also a reporter, pursue to an unexpected conclusion.
Publisher: High Peaks Publishing through Kindle Direct
Price: $12.95 paperback, $8.99 eBook
Facebook: Books by M. Scott Shields
This is your first novel; what inspired you to take on writing a mystery? I got the idea after planting a tree at a new house my wife and I bought in Hagerstown. The idea just came to me one day. I wondered what would happen if someone was digging in his yard and found something he didn’t expect. I had been a writer for many years, so I challenged myself to prove it by writing a book based on this idea. I developed the basic outline from Point A to Point B, then worked in details and subplots through several drafts I wrote over a period of years.
How difficult was it to invent all the twists and tangles requisite in a mystery? The main thread actually came to me fairly quickly. Having been a reporter, I wrote about things I knew, inspired by actual events which I turned into a fictional narrative. Plus, I have an active imagination so I was able to make up the other parts of the story as I went along. The most difficult part was making sure the timeline made sense chronologically, and that things I created out of my imagination could actually happen the way I said they did.
“Time Capsule” is the first offering in a planned series; when can we expect the next installment? I can’t say for sure. I have written three more books, including two more Covington mysteries, but Time Capsule has only been out for a month or so. I hope it catches on so I can publish another novel in the next few months.
Where can readers purchase your book? It’s available in paperback and eBook from Amazon.com. Signed copies are available if someone sends their name and mailing address to ShieldsBooks2018@gmail.com.
Sunday, August 11, 2019
As promised, I'll be making donations to Pet Helpers and the Marion County Humane Society from the proceeds of yesterday's book sales. I may even add a few bucks. Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of Time Capsule. And please tell your friends.