Today we are thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Poltergeeks, courtesy of the author Sean Cummings! Keep reading for an interview with Sean and a chance to win the grand prize: a complete set of all of Sean’s work. Be sure to visit the rest of the blog tour stops for more “Get Your Geek On” goodness!
Release: 2 October 2012 (US/Can) and 4 October 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.
In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.
INTERVIEW WITH SEAN CUMMINGS
Sean talks us through his journey to publication, writing the novel and a little bit about his geektastic self . Read on for the interview with the author of Poltergeeks:
You’ve already written a few adult novels. What made you want to try your hand at writing young adult fiction?
I did it for the challenge. I’d never written young adult stuff before and I wanted to see if I could write something entertaining and believable. I’m very fortunate because POLTERGEEKS is the manuscript that found me an agent and got me a book deal with Strange Chemistry Books!
I recently did an interview with Amanda Rutter, editor of Strange Chemistry, who said that your book was the first she signed for the new imprint, which must be very exciting. Can you talk through your journey of getting Poltergeeks published?
Well the first step in the journey was to find an agent. I started querying agents for POLTERGEEKS back in 2009 and I immediately started getting requests for partials or the full manuscript. Eventually, Jenny Savill from Andrew Nurnberg Associates offered to work with me on an exclusive basis (something most author websites frown on) and together with Jenny and her team, I revised POLTERGEEKS for about five months. In August 2010 I received three offers of representation from agents who’d had the manuscript before my exclusive and all three happened in one week! So I considered things and signed with Jenny because her enthusiasm for this book was massive from the get-go. After that I revised some more and she started submitting to publishers at the Bologna Book Fair. After the better part of 2011 passed by, we received an offer from Strange Chemistry Books in January and then I revised some more for my editor Amanda Rutter. And I have to say, Amanda got the book – she saw the humour and the do-or-die high stakes world that Julie has been thrown into.
Your protagonist, Julie, is a 15 year old girl. Was it difficult to write from her point of view? What was the most interesting thing you did to get into Julie’s mindset?
I didn’t find it difficult save for the romance aspect of it – that’s where I deferred to my agent and her assistant Ella Kahn not to mention Amanda who really helped me flush out the mother-daughter issues that I was oblivious to.
Some of the blurbs from the book liken it to Ghostbusters and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and since funny is my favourite type of paranormal I was immediately sold! Where did you draw your inspiration from? Why ghosts and witches?
Julie is more of a sorceress than a witch in the traditional sense. She’s immensely powerful. She’s cocky and utterly fearless in the face of death. Naturally Buffy played a large part in my inspiration for the book, but also Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden was another inspiration. The whole “hero’s journey” thing – I wanted to put Julie onto that journey and I wanted to write something where the romantic elements weren’t complicated. Where Julie’s love interest loves her with every ounce of his being. Where there wasn’t a “choice” to be made between two bad-boy supernaturals that we see so often in urban fantasy these days.
I find it very refreshing to not have a love triangle in paranormal YA these days, so thanks Sean! Can you give us a little teaser by talking us through your favourite scene to write in the book?
I think my favourite scene in the book is the one where Julie dons her Shadowcull’s band and invokes the Volatilis spell which allows her to defy gravity. Below are more than a dozen zombies in a graveyard full of malice – each on bent on tearing her and Marcus apart. As she rises into the air she sees a vision of a persecuted witch – a shadow in time. It fuels a burning anger in Julie’s heart and she overcomes her fear of the entity that is trying to kill her.
Lastly, I see you’re a fellow
kindred spirit comic book fan. Who is your favourite superhero and why?
The Spectre. He’s a dead guy who is immensely powerful. A spirit of retribution. A golden age superhero who is entirely unknown to most people, but one with a colourful history.
About SEAN CUMMINGS:
Find Sean on:
Sean Cummings is a comic book geek, superhero junkie, zombie fan and a total nerd. (He’s also a gold mine of completely useless information about films made prior to 1960. Don’t get him started on “Arsenic and Old Lace” because he won’t shut up about it. ) He’s been writing since 1978 (as a means of liberating his “inner nerd”).
His interests include science fiction, the borg, cats with extra toes, east Indian cuisine and quality sci-fi movies/television. He’s a Barclay’s Premier League fan with a soft spot for Blackburn, Norwich City FC and Tottenham Hotspur. (Though the latter consistently break his heart more often than not.) When he’s not collecting comic books or attending the latest science fiction convention, he can be found in his home office, writing away like a man possessed.
Sean’s published works include Shade Fright (Snowbooks 2010) Funeral Pallor (Snowbooks 2010) and Unseen World (Snowbooks 2011). He is currently working the follow up to his forthcoming debut Young Adult novel POLTERGEEKS.
For your chance to win a COMPLETE SET of all of Sean Cummings’ works (including Shade Fright, Funeral Pallor, Unseen World and of course, Poltergeeks), all you have to do is stop by Sean’s blog and leave him a comment. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!
Thank you again for stopping by, and please let us also know why you can’t wait for Poltergeeks in the comments below!