Friday, August 30, 2013

Student Bodies Blog Tour: Interview and Giveaway

Friday, August 30, 2013

Today, we have a special interview with Sean Cummings , the author of the Poltergeek( review here) and Student Bodies(review here) which I totally adore. Also at the end of this interview there's a huge blog-wide giveaway that you should totally enter. Anyway, without further ado, I would like to welcome on our blog, Mr. Sean Cummings! *cue applause*

Q. Can you tell us a little trivia about yourself?

I'm 45, I live in Saskatoon Canada which is sort of in the upper middle of North America. It gets insanely cold here during the winter and I'm a weather grumbler who hates the cold. I write weird stuff that is generally funny, dark, a bit twisted and where things end up bad for everyone involved.

Q. Describe Student Bodies in 5 words.

Dark. Bleak. Frightening. Vivid. Thrilling.

Q. Julie is a really powerful Shadowcull with awesome spells. How did you came up with the names of the spells in this book like Carrion Phage, Hexus, Ostraca Obscondus and Incendia?

Believe it or not, is a great resource because I can plug a word in that comes to mind and it generates a multitude of synonyms. A lot of Julie's stuff is latin-based. I've used English-Latin word engines online to help and other times I just make the word up because it sounds cool when I say it out loud.

Q. Julie is so realistic I can picture her with flesh and blood. Is Julie based on someone you know or is she entirely a figment of your imagination?

Not anyone I know, but she represents an amalgam of characteristics that I wish I saw more of in young adult fantasy with a female protagonist. She;s the anti-Bella - yes I know Bella doesn't get any special powers until she consummates her relationship with Edward, but she's not, in my view, a sympathetic protagonist that you want to stand up and cheer for, Julie is strong, gutsy, sticks out her chin, she kicks ass, she doesn't suffer fools, she doesn't turn herself into a basket case, she's loyal and utterly fearless. These are qualities I really wanted for her when I set out writing POLTERGEEKS and that I've carried into STUDENT BODIES.

Q. Marcus is the most adorable geek I've ever read. Do you have any similarities with him? If yes, what are they?

Yes and no. I think all boys in high school secretly pine away for a girl they love with all their heart and who are firmly in the "friend zone". That's where I started Marcus's journey - he was the "just a friend" guy who overcame his fear of rejection and threw it out to the universe to declare that he thought Julie was beautiful. For a teenage boy, that's a massively personal and gutsy move because while nobody likes to be rejected, it hurts way more when you're an awkward teen who doesn't yet have the life skills to build up the confidence required to be that intimate with one's feelings.

Q. In Poltergeek and especially here in Student Bodies, I can see a lot of bullying happening, not only to Marcus but also to other characters. What is your take on that subject?

My take on this subject is Marcus's monologue about it in STUDENT BODIES. Bullying has always been there but as my sister who is a high school principal puts it, unlike when we went to school back in the 80's, today's bullied teen doesn't get a break from it. They can't unplug from the bullying because it follows them via social networking sites like Facebook, etc. Short of taking away a teens smart phone and banning the Internet from one's home, teens of today are exposed to it all the time. And what's troubling for me as a parent and also as a writer is the fact that once its out on the Internet ... its there forever. One can conceivably see a bullied teen of today googling their name in forty year's time and seeing the living cyber record of their torments all those decades ago. I don't think our culture knows how to deal with this new frontier of bullying because the speed of technological change is utterly mind-bending. It's bleak ... bullying makes me feel very bleak and helpless inside because I honestly don't know what our culture can do to protect those kids.

Q. What is your favorite scene in Student Bodies?

George Standingready. A dirty cop. A word of power. And showing said cop what happens when you play with fire.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book? The easiest?

The hardest part was trying to get the impact of bullying written in a way that sounded genuine - that's why I let Marcus speak for me on the subject. The easiest part was the scene where the Blessed Maven shows the reader that she's just about the most powerful witch anyone has ever seen in their lives.

Q. Aside from witches, what other supernatural being fascinates you and why?

Ghosts fascinate me - I saw one in the UK last fall during my promotional visit for POLTERGEEKS. The thought of a hereafter. That great unanswered question that each of us will one day answer in our own way.

Q. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Get the romance right. That's hard for me because I really suck at writing it.

Q. What has been the best compliment?

The best compliments are the ones where the reader says that my characters sound like real teenagers. That's important for a middle aged dude because every day that passes by I am further away from the young person I once was and I want so much to hang onto that guy a little bit longer - 15 year old Sean was a fun, hopeful, full of life person. I miss him a lot.

Q. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I do get the occasional email that bolsters my reasons for wanting to continue on my journey as a professional writer. I'll get an email from a young lady in Romania in broken English and she'll tell me how much she loved Julie and identified with her. That's kind of life-affirming.

Q. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Hi gang! What's up? I hope you get blown out of your boots by STUDENT BODIES and there's more dark and terrible stuff that will hopefully be coming your way very very soon!

About the Author
Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Sean Cummings is a fantasy author with a penchant for writing quirky, humorous and dark novels featuring characters that are larger than life. His debut was the gritty urban fantasy SHADE FRIGHT published in 2010. He followed up later in the year with the sequel FUNERAL PALLOR. His urban fantasy/superhero thriller UNSEEN WORLD was published in 2011.

2012 saw the publication of Sean’s first urban fantasy for young adults. POLTERGEEKS is a rollicking story about teen witch Julie Richards, her dorky boyfriend and race against time to save her mother’s life. The first sequel, STUDENT BODIES is due for publication in September 2013.

Sean Cummings lives in Saskatoon Canada.


CANADA/US Prize Pack:
1 Signed Copy of STUDENT BODIES
1 Signed Copy of POLTERGEEKS
1 Signed Copy of FUNERAL PALLOR
1 Signed Copy of SHADE FRIGHT
1 Amazon Kindle

UK Prize Pack
1 Signed Copy of STUDENT BODIES
1 Signed Copy of POLTERGEEKS
1 Signed Copy of FUNERAL PALLOR
1 Signed Copy of SHADE FRIGHT
1 Amazon Kindle

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