November 11, 2018
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Kieran Shea Publishes “Koko Uncaged”

Elizabeth Spearman
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June 8, 2018

Described as a cyberpunk satire, “Koko Uncaged,” the third installment in a series by Severna Park author Kieran Shea, is set for release on June 5.

The series, “Koko,” takes place 500 years in the future and follows ex-corporate mercenary Koko Martstellar, who is trying to rebuild her life. She is retired, and while running her own island, she is threatened by her old boss.

She lost all of her money, her lover died and she is just trying to get back on her feet, according to Shea.

“It is about how [Koko] cannot deny her true nature,” Shea said. “She is a fun, crazy character and filled with many adventures.”

Shea started writing the series on sort of a dare. “I was at a party with my wife, and for some reason, she told people that I was writing a book when I wasn’t,” he said. “Then I thought, ‘Well, I guess I am writing a book now.’ I wanted to write something that I would read.”

It took Shea a year to write the first book in the “Koko” series and he sent it off, getting rejected twice. “I am glad I found someone that believes in my work,” he said. “Both my agent and publisher [Titan Books] are great.”

Shea started writing 10 years ago with a focus on short stories. He sold his business, went to a writing conference and decided to try science fiction.

“Science fiction gives a lot of wiggle room and flexibility,” Shea said.

Before “Koko,” Shea got his start with “Off Rock,” a standalone, futuristic crime novel. Some of the best advice he received upon becoming an author came from his writer friend Duane Swierczynski.

“He told me to write 1,000 words a day, which is roughly three pages,” Shea said. “They may not all be good, but in a few weeks’ time, you have yourself a short story and something to work with.”

He gets his ideas from current events and anything that gets him angry, like social injustice. Reading text from all over the world also helps.

“I read books that are from Italy, Japan and other countries,” he said. “They have books that the U.S. doesn’t have and it just helps me to expand my knowledge on books.”

Some of his favorite writers are Jim Harrison and Ron Currie Jr., because “they just know how to tell a good story.”

His advice for future writers is to network and contact other writers. “Just read and write a lot as well and don’t be afraid to get rejected,” he suggested. “Find your voice and write what you want to write. Don’t just write fantasy because it’s the ‘in’ thing. Just be you.”

“Koko Uncaged” is available anywhere books are sold and is out on June 5.

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