Today’s A to Z author is Aussie Sean McMullen.
I’ll be honest: I know this author personally and have known him since before he sold his first story, as he lives in Melbourne. We met at a science fiction convention, where he was organising a writers’ group to meet monthly.
It has been fascinating to watch him shoot up from wails of “I nearly sold that story!” and “They wouldn’t buy it unless I rewrote it to set it in America!” to a bestselling author with his work translated into a number of languages.
Poor Sean. It took him years, while his daughter, Catherine, made her first sale, to British SF magazine Interzone, at the age of ten!
Most of his career he has been working a full time day job, in science, but writing prolifically. For many years he was a member of the SCA(Society for Creative Anachronism), which involves pretending to be in the Middle Ages and learning about things mediaeval, including dance, clothing, heraldry and foods. He was a fighter, wearing armour and fighting at SCA tournaments, so he has a good understanding of those things, but he writes much more science fiction than fantasy, these days mostly short fiction.
His early work, the Greatwinter series, was set in the distant future in which Australia’s technology has gone way down and - librarians rule! (I believe when the Greatwinter series hit the U.S it became a huge success in American libraries.) Computers are human-powered and wind power is the big technology.
There have also been fantasy novels, including Voyage Of The Shadowmoon, and time travel- Centurion’s Empire.
In recent years, he has been writing for children and teens via Ford Street Publishing, short fiction in the anthologies Trust Me! and Trust Me Too!, but also the fantasy Warlock’s Child series with Paul Collins and two time travel novels Before The Storm and Changing Yesterday. Those two especially are a hoot. In Before The Storm a brother and sister living in Melbourne in 1901 meet two teens from the distant future who have come back to stop their own time from happening, whatever it costs them. It’s a nasty, dystopian world of war and it happened because some terrorists from the future blew up the first meeting of the Australian Parliament...
For readers outside Australia, we had something called Federation in 1900. Before that, what are now the state’s of Australia were doing things their own way. There was no Federal government. Before Canberra became our capital, Parliament was meeting at the Exhibition Building in Melbourne. So that is where the action happens in this novel. The sequel, Changing Yesterday, takes place on a ship going to Europe.
Personally I like his books for younger readers more than the ones for adults, but I would say that, wouldn’t I, teacher librarian that I am!
Sean is selling well to science fiction magazines and there are several collections of his short work, including a recent one.
His books are easily available in ebook, Amazon, Book Depository, Booktopia and Ford Street Publishing.