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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Escaping with Sean Cummings

There's about a jillion reasons why genre fiction is about the only element of the publishing industry making money these days: It's pure escapism from the bad news and gloom we keep hearing about as our economy heads south and people hunker down for a rough ride. (Not that I have anything against literary fiction, it's just not my bag.) With this in mind, I consider myself lucky to contribute to our collective escapism because just like you, the bad news hits close to home.

I've been a fantasy fiction fan since, well, forever, and I blame Stephen King. Yeah, I know he started out as a horror writer, but he's pumped out some epic works that are pure hard ass fantasy - like The Stand, for example. I suspect that it is because I read Firestarter when I was in junior high school nearly thirty years ago, that I decided I wanted to create my own fantastic worlds with colorful characters and bad juju aplenty.

Unseen World is my debut novel and it's urban fantasy with a twist. You won't find vampire killing babes with a penchant for BDSM on my pages, instead, you'll find a forty-something curmudgeon who just so happens to be a superpowered crimefighter. Rather than taking down costumed megalomaniacs, he's gotta go toe to toe with the blackest depths of the netherworld, and geez, who wants that right?

Marshall Conrad, my protagonist, was fun to write about. When Is started Unseen World in 2006, I went into it with the notion of creating a hero who possesses enough in the way of meta-human ability that he could rival anyone from the pages of DC or Marvel comics, but who is useless without a strong supporting cast.

Stella Weinberg is central to the story. She's a sentry witch, tasked with keeping the unseen world, well, unseen! She's Marshall's key to a universe where faeries, ogres and even a trio of gremlins are an everyday fact of life and without Stella, there'd be no story, period.

Ruby Thiessen is a hard drinking senior citizen who carries a hip flask and who can bench press a Ford Tempo. She's from the group that oversees meta-humans, and she's Marshall's sidekick - just don't tell her that or she'll punch your lights out.

Walter is an obese Siamese cat who lives with Marshall. He's got a few secrets of his own that I won't divulge on this blog because when you find out, you're probably gonna shout: COOL! (Walter is an homage to a Siamese cat I had as a boy named Ming. He was my best friend until he died of feline leukemia. I still have a picture of that cat, so you know, I'm sentimental.)

Want to escape from reality for a while? Read Unseen World and I promise you, it's a marked departure from a lot of mainstream urban fantasy. We've got a comic book hero in an epic battle with a demon and all hell is going to break loose on the Summer Solstice if Marshall can't stop him.

Take care and geeks of the world, I salute you. This book is dedicated to all of us who keep watching the skies.


Rita Vetere said...

Hi, Sean,
I enjoyed your blog. Escaping into a good book never goes out of style, in good times or bad. I've just picked up my copy of Unseen World and can't wait to start reading. Congrats on your release!

lastnerve said...

I totally agree with you, I read to escape the real world!