David Sheppard is a literary theorist, researcher and experimentalist exploring natural and psychic phenomena as it relates to storytelling and sleep. He holds a BS from Arizona State University and an MS from Stanford University and studied creative writing and American literature at the University of Colorado. He has written eleven books, both fiction and nonfiction. His poetry has appeared in The Paris Review and in England (The 1987 Arvon International Poetry Competition Anthology judged by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney). While living in Colorado he was a member of the Rocky Mountain Writers Guild for seven years, participated in its Live Poets Society and Advanced Novel Workshop, and chaired its Literary Society. He founded a novel critique group that lasted ten years. He has attended the Aspen Writers Conference in Colorado and the Sierra Writing Camp in California. He has taught Novel Writing and Greek Mythology at New Mexico State University at Carlsbad in the Continuing Education Department. He has traveled throughout Western Europe and is an amateur photographer and astronomer.
He worked for several aerospace companies and on many NASA and US Air Force projects during his 30 year career in aerospace. Although he worked in management during the last years of his career, he still considered his primary field of expertise to be flight mechanics. After being honorably discharged from the US Air Force, where he had specialized in aircraft performance, and stability and control, and calculated airborne rocket trajectories, he worked on the Viking missions to Mars, both on atmospheric entry and in-flight and on-orbit staging, which resulted in the safe landing of two spacecraft on Mars. He also worked on ICBM ascent trajectories for orbital insertion of US Air Force satellites. Toward the end of his career, he worked as a contract engineer on geosynchronous satellites in support of orbital station-keeping and stability and control.
His eleven books have absolutely nothing to do with engineering. Although he has been writing for 45 years, Robot Dawn is his first science fiction novel. He is drawing heavily on his years in aerospace. He served his country for almost eight years in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era. His highest grade was Captain (O3).
If you are interested in his methods of plotting and world building, checkout two of his non-fiction books on the author’s craft: Novelsmithing and Story Alchemy.
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