Sean Patrick Burnside is a freshman novelist working on the 1st of a seven novel cycle of books. Sean Burnside is married and lives in Oklahoma with his lovely wife Jennifer and their three dogs: Boomer, Millie, and Daisy. During the day he works for a technology company doing off-site support. Sean is a storyteller at heart, and has been writing for years, but has never submitted a manuscript for publishing. He feels that writing is a well-spring, a reservoir you can either dam up and ignore (as he did for many years) or recognize and express. This is not something someone just wants to do; sometimes it’s something someone needs to do.
This site was created to share with others the journey that I, the author, am taking. It will include my thoughts on the writing process and on publishing and promotion, but will also serve as a means to share any other thoughts I might have, even ones about the real world, about politics or about my life. I do not plan to restrict what I write to be only about the act of writing. Although, truth be told, the act of writing is tied to so many things I do and see and feel in my life, that maybe all those other possible things might indeed be -at least tangentially- about writing as well. We shall see.
My desire as a writer is to explore the shades of moral experience told in a epic and classical way. I am strongly influenced by Joseph Campbell’s concept of a mythic cycle or hero’s journey, although my personal focus would be the hero’s internal and external descent into darkness. I personally feel that growth and insight are only gained when life it at its darkest, when one is faced with impossible, uncontrollable forces. It is when we find our truest selves, for better or for worse and truly come to define who we are and what our life will mean.
My tales reflect this, with heroes and villains who are complex in nature yet faced with absolutist choices. My goal is to create characters that readers can connect with, can grow to love and to revile. I want their story to reflect some aspect of the reader’s own personal story. None of my characters will be simple, none tied to their own personal fate or role in the tale. One’s choices define one as hero or villain and the same will hold true for the souls that I create in my novels. My hope is that perhaps the reader might see something that gives them a better understanding of themselves and of their own life. Yet, I don’t see myself as a teacher but as a storyteller, sharing tales that we all can believe in.
My current novels will all be based in an alternate reality 19th century, starting in the year 1888. The name of the series will be called the Clockwork Wind Saga. A reality shattering catastrophe that occurred nearly 50 years prior has left the world a much different place. The Empire of Britannia is the foremost world power, although the dark corners of the world are beginning to teem with menace and danger. These books will follow a handful of characters, linked by fate but each leading their own adventure. The plan is to tell a massive 7-9 book story arc with individual books encompassing their own individual story. There is also a plan to create at least a single anthology of short tales from within this alternate world, separate but connected to the larger events occurring in the novels.
I think we live in a cynical, backwards-facing world these days, where science and discovery, where imagination and intelligence are devalued or demonized and I feel steampunk is a cultural backlash against that dark age mentality. Based largely in a world of Victorian social repressiveness, adherents to steampunk see technology as the great revolutionizer, the tool to correct any injustice, to solve any problem. Fanciful or factual, steampunk imagines a world made better by unfettered imagination, by technology. Therefore, I have chosen to make my books within a steampunk world. There’s a romance and adventure to a do-it-yourself world, where technology can be vibrant and living. I’ve always been very influenced by gothic horror and swashbuckling heroism, so this feels like a comfortable fit for me. It’s too bad we don’t live in a world like this. Well, maybe minus the gothic horror…
The Dead Skin Deep series tells the story of an unlikely hero whose previous life has condemned him to a horrifying curse of undeath. Now he must find a way to reconcile his amoral past with his inhuman future and decide once and for all whether he will fully embrace his monstrous new existence or vainly fight to redeem his soul. [CONCEPT]
In a civilization where your fate is decided by the Gods and only in your ancestor’s song can you claim your destiny, a young man, bereft of legacy, who must come to terms with an unforeseen and terrible truth about who he is and what his role in this world truly is. [CONCEPT]