Gregory Shepherd
Gregory Shepherd

An ex-sniper is hired to find a CIA agent who defected to North Korea with nuclear weapons secrets. It’s the plot of a novel by Greg Shepherd, a Kauaʻi Community College music and drama professor.

His book Sea of Fire, soon to be published by Poplar Press, a subsidiary of Simon and Schuster, is about an ex-sniper named Patrick Featherstone, who is also on another secret mission to rescue the love of his life from a North Korean political prison.

“I’ve long been interested in North Korea, having lived in Japan for five years and being close geographically to the Korean peninsula. Secretive societies are fascinating simply because they’re very difficult to penetrate on any level,” Shepherd said. “I was very fortunate to get a two-book deal, and the sequel, titled Rings of Fire features the same cast of heroes and some of the same villains. It is set at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and will come out next year in time for the Games.”

book cover
The cover of Gregory Shepherd’s novel, Sea of Fire.

Shepherd said he spent his years in Japan on a graduate music fellowship at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. While there, he studied Zen Buddhism and made several trips to South Korea into which he smuggled democracy papers to Catholic priests and nuns in Seoul who were actively seeking free and open elections. His first book, A Straight Road With 99 Curves, is about his personal journey in the practice of Zen Buddhism.

David Hagberg, bestselling author of the popular Kirk McGarvey series, said, “Gregory Shepherd’s Sea of Fire, a super-charged thriller about big trouble in North Korea that could result in a nuclear war, hits the bullseye on multiple levels. The writing is swift and sometimes even brutal. The situation is right out of a New York Times headline. His deep knowledge of the Korean language, customs and politics is authentic, and the believable characters he builds brick-by-brick pull you by the collar into their troubled world. His is a new, important and entertaining voice on the thriller scene. Hat’s off for a fine read!”