Thursday 13 December 2018

Character Spotlight: Shawn Russell from Tattoos by Stacy Overby

Today I have another treat for you with a close-up look at a character from the new science fiction release Tattoos by Stacy Overby. Enjoy.

Who is Shawn Russell?

(from the space opera Tattoos by Stacy Overby)

What can I tell you about Shawn?
The first thing you ought to know about him is that he is my resident smartass. Shawn Russell has got a sarcastic streak several light years wide and isn’t afraid to use it. It’s almost as if he has no clue how to take life seriously, which is somewhat true. See, Shawn was born to upper-middle class parents who expected him to go to Sharien University on Delarin II, a prestigious school known for educating students into United Earth Government diplomats. While they didn’t have unlimited funds, Shawn had a comfortable enough life to not want for much. He was also smart enough to get into Sharien University, if he would have applied himself.

In the end, though, the life of a diplomat just didn’t appeal to Shawn. Not knowing what else to do, he learned to fly a variety of atmospheric and interstellar ships. It turned out he had a real talent as a pilot. The United Earth Government being what it is, caught wind of his piloting skills and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse—the chance to fly the best ships out there to points across all UEG space, all living expenses paid, and a pretty good paycheck. Seeing as Shawn gets rather impulsive, he signed up without asking too many questions.

Things went along fine with this routine until he got tangled up with one particular co-pilot. She was the kind of woman who turned heads wherever she went and knew it. Of course, she turned Shawn’s head. It didn’t take long for Shawn to learn it was a relationship that was never going to amount to anything. One thing led to another and Shawn found himself in a nasty situation. His commanding officers in the UEG military offered him a choice—join Black Ops or face a court martial and all that would bring.

Shawn chose to join Black Ops. He saw it as a way of keeping himself out of trouble and didn’t want to risk incarceration or, possibly, execution. The UEG military didn’t play games when they court martialed people. Though it was never his aspiration, Shawn learned to love many facets of Black Ops life—most of all his training in explosives. Many of the skills he needed as a pilot—math, science, quick decisions, calm under pressure—also lent themselves well to handling explosives. Of course, there were the explosions as well. Shawn loves to watch things blow up. In fact, he tends to get a bit over-zealous with his explosives.

Underneath the bluster, impulsiveness, and brashness Shawn lets the world see is a man who is looking for something, what he does not know. He felt like an outsider when he flew for the military, most of the time he was in school, and even in his own family. He knows he wants a place to fit in as who he is, rather than who others want him to be. Black Ops filled a little of this for him, but it still isn’t quite the right fit.

Shawn has let Eli in close enough to see there’s more than the recklessness he holds out to the world. The two of them hit it off when Eli ran Shawn through his weapons training in Black Ops. Shawn had been among the first students Eli had after being promoted to a training officer. Their camaraderie has led to one of the most effective pairs of Black Ops specialists the branch has seen in a long time. This is both a good and a bad thing. Good because when Shawn and Eli head out on a mission together, there’s not much that will stop them from getting it done. Bad because there’s not much that can stop the two of them when they have a goal in mind, and Shawn loves knowing this fact makes much of Black Ops and UEG military command squirm.

I don’t want to give too much more away about Shawn. He’s got a big secondary role to play in Tattoos. Better yet, he’ll also be getting his own book in the future. So, go get Tattoos and let me know what you think of Shawn!

Tattoos by Stacy Overby

One hushed cry in the middle of the night, and Eli Thorson's life unravels. A highly trained Black Ops specialist, he is used to danger, but Eli's path forces him to confront the illusions he’s been taught his whole life -- ones that make him question all the good he thought he was doing.

Unable to work for a command that defiles the oaths he swore, he works to untangle the web of lies and deceit he finds woven throughout his worlds. The tattooed marks of his profession run more than skin deep. As a Specialist it is his duty to protect the people, the laws, and all the United Earth Government stands for, even if it means taking down the entire Black Ops division to do it.

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