Born on July 13, 1971 in Jacksonville, Florida, Sean Espenship (born “Sean Bullard”) as a child dreamed of being a professional football player. Realizing he lacked the overall physical skills for a pro career, he changed course and majored in accounting at the University of South Florida, this followed by law school. During law school, Espenship obtained his Certified Public Accounting license.
After graduating from Nova in 1997, he worked 70-80 hours a week in a mid-sized Miami Beach accounting firm. After several years there, he relocated to his hometown of Jacksonville Beach to work at a small boutique law firm, specializing in tax and estate planning. Always desiring the thrill of the courtroom, jury trials, and an opportunity to focus on criminal defense, he landed a position with the Public Defenders’ Office. He quickly rose through the ranks during his five years with the PD’s office, trying serious felonies and homicides, and was eventually promoted to Director of Major Crimes.
While working at the Jacksonville Public Defenders’ Office, Espenship penned Casino’s Gamble before going into the office in the morning and while on the city bus to and from downtown, as well as cramming during lunch and courtroom recesses in order to work on his hobby -- writing his first novel. It was during a visit to Jacksonville over a holiday break from law school that spawned the idea: Espenship learned a childhood friend had committed suicide, evidently unable to bear the pain of losing his mother in an ill-fated car accident. In fact, it was only a few years earlier this same friend had buried his teenaged brother, who at last had succumbed to the fatal Batten disease he had battled throughout his young, short life.
Tragedy struck yet again when Espenship’s best-friend and business partner died in a tragic diving accident -- a young widow and nine-month old twins were left fatherless. Espenship’s sorrows mushroomed for these lost friends and their families; the pain never receded, never diminished. Instead it magnified Espenship’s own losses, triggering a reflection inward on things he had suppressed for years, and which had to be examined considering his own precarious mental state at the time.
As primarily a therapeutic exercise, Espenship woke every morning at 4 a.m. (mainly because of insomnia and nightmares) to get several hours of writing in before taking the bus to work. He spent four years on Casino’s Gamble, the autobiographical novel that shares the namesake of his childhood friend. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually picked up by High Pitched Hum Publishing, who gave it a modest 2,000 copy printing and published it in 2010.
That might have put an end to Espenship’s hobby. However, having survived the murky abyss of his mind shortly after his partner’s death, he began a second novel, due out in 2012, along with a short story collection available Winter of 2011 for electronic download. Presently, and unwilling to turn his hobby into a full-time career after the success of his debut novel, Espenship enjoys his day job as a Public Defender, representing the indigent, and trying “the” major headline grabbing cases -- such having become too intoxicating to give up.
Espenship lives with his wife Jennifer and their three daughters: Elana, Oliva, and Nia. They spend most of their time on the beach and outdoors with close friends and family. When not working or writing, Espenship devotes nearly all his free time to Jennifer and entertaining his three girls, playing a very active role in their lives.