Welcome to the Christian Creative Nexus, Larry. Can you begin the interview by telling us a little about yourself?
I was raised in southwest Missouri where, and shortly after receiving my college degree, I began working in a maximum-security federal prison. After two years, I continued my law enforcement career as a criminal investigator, residing and working in eight states and two foreign countries. I retired from law enforcement after twenty-five years of service, but I have continued a second career in healthcare (Corporate Compliance). I currently have seven fiction books published in the crime, romance, action adventure, and the science fiction genre. Both of my children are grown, and I have one granddaughter. I am divorced, love to play tennis and mountain bike, and I live in Salt Lake City, UT.
How did you get into writing? Why are you drawn to it?
I knew I always wanted to write fiction books since I was in college. Specifically, I remembered one day I accompanied several of my college friends, and we visited an old, abandoned military facility that was located mainly underground. When I first viewed the old, dark green office desks, and file cabinets, along with the spooky hallways, I knew I would write a fiction book about this place. Many years later, Quincunx I was published, and my inspiration was from the scary experience.
Why did you choose your genre(s)?
Many of my fiction books contain a criminal element, mainly because I wanted to write about fictitious crime stories due to my background in law enforcement. I confess that I am a romantic at heart, and thoroughly enjoy writing romance stories. Regardless of the genre, I will always believe the lonely girl should end up with the socially incompetent boy in the end…but not until they reconcile many impossible obstacles and endure a lot of controversy!
Do you think God has a purpose for your work, and if so, what?
I am grateful that God has blessed me to publish fiction books, and two of my books are Christian. I have a good friend that is not a Christian, but he ended up reading one of my Christian books. He told me how much he enjoyed the story, and especially the unique characters in the book. He also complimented me by saying, “You have an interesting way of teaching Christianity without the reader even knowing it. Regardless, your book gave me a lot to think about.”
How did you learn/perfect your craft?
Without question, years of writing criminal case reports prepared me for writing fiction. There is an interesting parallel between articulating factual criminal cases, and between writing fiction stories. The only major difference is that when working an investigation, it is difficult to predict how a case would end, but with fiction writing, you already have the story in your head before you start writing it. And of course, it is a lot more fun having control over the fictional characters you are writing about.
Something interesting about yourself and unrelated to writing?
I was fortunate to be raised in a Christian, Southern Baptist home, and after I started my professional career, I began worshipping in the Lutheran tradition. For many years, I studied to become a pastor, but unfortunately it did not work out. But, I learned quickly that there are many ways to serve other than being a pastor. I taught High School Sunday school for many years, and I would not trade that experience for anything.
How can readers contact you?
Twitter – @larrydshack
Thanks so much for sharing about your writing journey, Larry. Readers, please check out Larry’s books and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. I’m sure Larry would enjoy hearing from you.
About Larry Shackelford
Larry was raised in southwest Missouri where he received his college degree, but he received his education after he graduated and began working in a maximum-security federal prison. After spending two years behind bars, he continued his law enforcement career as a criminal investigator, residing and working in eight states and two foreign countries. Larry retired from law enforcement after twenty-five years of service and resides in Salt Lake City.