By Maxime Devillaz
Sean Brogan, who graduated from LIU Post with a B.F.A. in Film in 2011, has become a novelist. Brogan launched and self-published his first book on August 12, and is already hard at work on a sequel.
Brogan’s first book, ”The Shadow’s Relic,” a 400-page adventurous saga set in the late 1700s, was inspired by fantasy genres like the Harry Potter and Star Wars series, written with a cinematic imaginary for details. ”The Shadow’s Relic” is the first of a four to five book series, with number two—The Mechanic of Death—expected to be launched for the second half of 2015.
In the first novel, a killer who distrusts the idea of the recently united thirteen colonies uses his telekinetic abilities to steal a powerful weapon from the American government and build an army of dead. Kaie Ellinger, an assassin with origins unknown, and Curtis Reynolds, a former prisoner with superpowers, work together to protect the colonies from the awakened deadly creatures. But will they catch The Dark Warrior before he launches his final plot: to cull only the strong and worthy from his wake of death and destruction?
“I always loved film and still do, but I have such an active imagination that writing lets me go the places I can’t go in film right now,” Brogan said. “But I think studying film challenged me to think visually.” Brogan hopes to build an audience strong enough for the series to later become one for the movie theaters. ”While writing ”The Shadow’s Relic,” I was able to imagine it very colorfully in my head, and I could play the chapters in my mind like scenes in a movie,” he added.
The idea of storytelling came about during a screenwriting class with Professor Michael Atkinson in the Film Department at LIU Post. Brogan described being stacked with eight-page assignments every week as tough, but valuable, in his creative writing. ”It’s really nice to experience that freedom in taking a story wherever you want to go,” he said.
But Brogan’s first book did not start off in much of a red carpet setting. ”I worked full time at a Chipotle during the course of the book,” Brogan said. ”In order to stay on track, I’d have to clock out after every shift, take my computer into this back room we had, and just keep myself awake long enough to write a chapter—or even a paragraph.”
The writing process took him around nine months. But once he found the rhythm—and chapter one was over with—it remained pretty painless, according to Brogan. Editing was more challenging to get through, as he spent a year to review every little detail together with a hired freelance editor.
The decision of self-publishing ”The Shadow’s Relic” gave Brogan total freedom to attribute creativity in his writing. He uses a handful of characters. While they are all overshadowed with some sort of mystery or superpower, he reveals the source of actual people to be the most fundamental in his writing—including himself. ”I think you need to put a little of yourself into your characters,” Brogan said, revealing that he wrote Sean Brogan, the series’ main hero,“a bit” after himself.
Self-publishing comes with more responsibility to control everything around the actual release. The traditional publishing market these days is competitive if one does not already have an audience, according to Brogan. He therefore relies on his website and social media accounts to grow support.
A free excerpt from the book, background information of the main characters, and contact information to the author can be found at www.shadowrelic.weebly.com. The book can be purchased in both hardcover as well as paperback version on www.lulu.com.