Well, I’ve been doing this blog now for well over a year. I’ve introduced you all to some fantastic authors during that time, I think. But authors never stand still. They’re always moving. Always writing. Always producing more great books to dive into and lose yourself among the rich tapestry of their pages. So because of that, I think it’s always a great thing to go back and revisit some of the authors I’ve talked about in the past…just so you guys can know what’s new with them. In my last post (sorry it’s been two weeks since my last post…Internet problems and work can put such a dent in my social networking!), I had author Sean Ellis share some of his upcoming projects with you. This week, I wanted to reacquaint you with the very prolific and multi-talented Sean Sweeney! Well, you guys actually may remember him by his former pen name…John Fitch V. By either name, Sean/John has some really cool books I know you’ll want to check out. So that being said, I asked him to write you guys a quick note to let you know what’s been happening in his crazy, twisted writer’s world.
Since Kent last had me here nearly 13 months ago, my writing life has been one wild ride.
I had one huge month – July – that saw my baseball time travel novel TURNING BACK THE CLOCK hit the Amazon Movers & Shakers list for a day. Not bad for a tall, skinny kid from The Patch, if I do say so myself. Sales of my John Fitch V novels stayed on the brisk side, save September and November. Still other than July, I hadn’t broken 100 sales per month. I didn’t know what to do as the calendar turned from 2010 to 2011. I released a couple of short stories in October, but those sold a handful of copies. I even released a thriller novella, THE MASTERMIND, for free for a few months, just to stir the pot a bit.
Three days into the new year, I did something I didn’t want to do. I lowered the digital price of A GALAXY AT WAR from $2.99 to 99 cents.
That one move helped get my year off to a great start following a sad end to 2010 (my grandfather, who I had helped take care of last year, passed away on Dec. 17). I had to do it in order to breathe life into that particular title. Looking back, it was the right move to make. Then, in February, I released a book that has accomplished everything I wanted to do with my first six novels. Of course, having my real name on the book cover instead of the pseudonym really helped.
Enter MODEL AGENT.
This is perhaps my best work to date. MODEL AGENT takes place in Boston and is a thriller that many readers have not been able to put down: One reader, after finishing it, could not drink bottled water or Gatorade for a few days. Seriously. I had made her paranoid.
A funny thing happened on the way to publishing, though. MODEL AGENT was the second AGENT novel I wrote. I never intended for Jaclyn Johnson, the series protagonist, to make her way into the consciousness of hundreds of Kindle and Nook readers this early. No, I intended for her to stay hidden, not to appear until I thought she was ready. I originally intended for Jaclyn to debut in ROGUE AGENT, a book that, ironically, I’m set to release within the next 48-96 hours, if everything goes the way I hope it does. In the middle of August, I contemplated my next full-length book, something I would write during the 2010 edition of NaNoWriMo. Except this time, I wouldn’t stop a shade over 50,000 words. I wanted something a little deeper in scope, and I wanted to open Jaclyn’s adventures in a city I love.
Of course, sometimes stories don’t evolve properly right from the beginning. At first, Jaclyn wasn’t even in the first set of notes that I sketched out (I just pulled them out to check). I also came up with an anti-terrorist group that I called R.O.C.K.E.T. – Ruthless Organization of Crooks and Killers Eliminating Terrorism. I thought it was a gas, but it didn’t fly and I left it out. It may, however, find its way into another story in the future. However, I modified a few things and included Jaclyn in the story – Jaclyn was originally intended to be an antagonist for a while, too – and made the originally intended protagonist a secondary character. Funny the way things turn out.
I had a vision in my head when I awake from a deep slumber that night – damn you, muse – of a gun battle in a Boston office building. I immediately thought of 111 Huntington Avenue, a rather new building on the same street as the Prudential Center (it overlooks Fenway Park). As I thought about it some more, I put Jaclyn in areas that I knew, and I even traveled into Boston a couple of days later in order to do on-the-spot research – I had read that Michael Connolly had done this in Los Angeles; I figured that if it was something Connolly does, I should do it, too. I also went down to Worcester, Mass. for a few minutes of research at Union Station, as there were scenes there that I needed. That’s one thing the readers have loved about MA: the detail. I love detail, and readers have said they walk along with Jaclyn while she goes about her duties. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Kent for helping me out when it came to the postmortem scene. Yeah, there’s never a cop around when you need one, but there’s always a freaking M.E.
Quick aside: ROGUE AGENT is set in London, England, around the 2012 Summer Olympics. I didn’t fly to the Old Country to do research. As far as you know. I just finished the rough draft of the third AGENT novel this week, tentatively titled DOUBLE AGENT and is set in Las Vegas. I hope to start writing that in a few weeks after the high school baseball season ends, and I hope to release it early next year. And as it happens, I haven’t even started writing the actual manuscript to DA, and I’m already thinking about the FOURTH AGENT novel. One thing at a time, Sean…
After releasing MODEL AGENT, I released two more books – three total – in the span of six weeks, including the first prequel novel in my Obloeron fantasy series (I went back in time, taking the George Lucas route), before I released ROYAL SWITCH, the indirect follow-up to TURNING BACK THE CLOCK. The release of THE RISE OF THE DARK FALCON has been huge in helping not only my sales numbers, but also has revived interest in the original trilogy, the first three books I ever wrote. I hope to release the second prequel novel THE SHADOW LOOMS around Christmastime, depending on the schedule of my cover artist. Which I should check on, now that I think about it.
Oh, and how can I forget this? A week before my birthday (May 3, and if you didn’t get me anything, well shame on you), I signed a contract with Bucks County Publishing for my YA zombie novel ZOMBIE SHOWDOWN, which is set in Tombstone. It looks like that’s coming out in about 2-3 months from now, so I’m very excited about this. I also have a few – read: a half dozen – projects in my mind that I’d like to write over the course of the next year or so. If you’re worried that I’ll run out of material, don’t worry. I won’t be running out of ideas any time soon.
All in all, it’s been a great year. If you’ve bought one of my books, thank you. If you’ve told someone about them, thank you again. If you haven’t, are you waiting for an engraved invitation?
Consider this your invite. Thanks for reading!
Check out Sean’s website at johnfitchv.com
, and you can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Sean! And we wish you the very best of luck in your writing pursuits!
Just as a side note everyone, I have to tell you…Sean is probably one of the hardest working authors I know.
He is constantly writing. Constantly marketing. Constantly improving his craft! I know a lot of writers out there, but I don’t think I know anyone more determined than Sean. I think his hard work should be rewarded, don’t you?
…So if you’d like to check out Sean’s books, here are a few links (the one’s posted here are for the Amazon Kindle, but they are also available for the Nook, as well as various other ebook formats (through Smashwords).