Sean Sweeney’s love of reading began in 1988, when he was handed J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Hobbit, and was given a needed reading boost with John Grisham novels and the Star Wars Expanded Universe in the 1990s. His passion for writing began in 1993, as a sophomore in high school, when he began writing sports for his local newspaper. Born and raised in North Central Massachusetts in 1977, Sweeney has written for several newspapers and radio stations. Since then, Sean has written fifteen novels along with a handful of novellas and short stories.
When he is not writing, he enjoys playing golf, reading, watching movies, enjoying the Boston Red Sox, New England Revolution, Arsenal F.C., and the Gold Coast F.C.
Sean lives in Bolton, Massachusetts with his girlfriend, Jennifer, and their three horses–J.R., Alex, and Cheesi–as well as their four cats, Ziggy Puff, Diva, Squeaky and Spooky.
3 Questions With Sean
KindleObsessed: So, Sean…baseball nemesis and author extraordinaire. How about we start with a personal question (because lets face it…that’s what everyone really likes anyways.) Have you seen The Hobbit yet?
Sean: I did. My girlfriend, her siblings and I went to see it on Boxing Day (Dec. 26).
KindleObsessed: What did you think? Seeing as how this particular Tolken gem is THE book that launched your love of reading way back in 1988 I’m quite certain you have some strong feelings on the topic. Let’s hear them.
Sean: I thought it was a well-told story/movie. I think there are some strong emotions against what Peter Jackson has done with the first third of the book, mainly by adding elements that he and the writing staff had to dig deep into the appendices in order to “extend” the flick. I don’t truly understand these complaints; this is simply one artist’s interpretation of the novel and Professor Tolkien’s work. You or me or someone else may have a different interpretation; it doesn’t mean that the interpretation is correct or incorrect. The part about the pale orc had me a little stumped, so I did a little research on him in one of my Tolkien Companions… yep, he was in there, so I don’t think his inclusion was wrong, neither do I think the White Council’s presence in the movie was a drawback. I thought the movie ended a little too suddenly, but the way Jackson stopped it with the long shot looking out toward The Lonely Mountain fits in with the continuity for Fellowship and Two Towers (Frodo and Sam looking out over the Emyn Muil toward Mordor is a long shot; the camera panning through Ithilien and over the Ephel Duath to the Plains of Gorgoroth/Mount Doom/Barad-dur is the same type of shot). I thought the Great Goblin was a little overdone, but we have to keep things in the right perspective: Tolkien wrote The Hobbit for his young at the time son. It’s supposed to be relatively childish and overdone. And one can see that it falls into Jackson’s interpretation. The whole opening was perfect, right down to Gandalf’s inflections and writing the G cleft on the big green door. Can’t wait for the second installment and Beorn.
KindleObsessed: Ok, enough stalling. My real question (not that I don’t adore little dudes with awesome beards) Why Boston? (insert gagging noise) You KNOW (being a sports writer and all) that my beloved Yanks are much better. Right!?
Sean: *Sighs* Being born in Massachusetts kind of precluded me from liking any other team. I totally don’t understand anyone who could be born in Massachusetts before 1996 and root for any other team; my theory on that is that they hated that the Sox stunk and wanted to make themselves feel better by rooting for someone else. Truthfully, I think that’s kind of a sucky way to live, giving your self-confidence a boost through your sports teams, but hey… down 3-0, win eight straight. Only team in baseball history to do that.
KindleObsessed: I kid, I kid. (kinda)Tell me, I’ve read several of your books, and I have to admit…they are amazingly varied (zombies, drama, mystery, high fantasy) are you just struggling with a bout of writers ADD or do you just enjoy leaping into several different pools?
Sean: LOL, I love that, writer’s ADD. No, I follow the muse. If she wants me to write horror, I’ll write horror. The muse started me out wanting to be a fantasy author. I did that. She wanted me to write sports fiction. I did that. She wanted me to write a sci-fi novel, I did that. I wrote thrillers at her behest, and I’m glad she behested in such a way. Romance (which you reviewed) was more of me telling her that I wanted to write that story, because I felt it was a story that needed telling. The story I’m writing now is a little of the same “I need to tell this story” sort of thing.
KindleObsessed: And last but certainly not least…tell everyone a little about your lastest Jaclyn Johnson release “Federal Agent.” (for the record…the “lastest” was a typo that Sean decided to call me out on. Enjoy.)
Sean: Lastest? Great word, lastest. I’m going to put that in a book and see just how many people bitch and moan at me. Lastest. Well, my lastest JJ novel is, as you’ve so eloquently mentioned, Federal Agent. In this one, Jaclyn’s headed to Atlanta as some serious shit is hitting the fan: a convicted killer that just happens to be a part of the KKK has escaped from prison and he’s on the run. Now, some people may not think that is a reason to send in a federal agent, but if you read Double Agent, the third book, you’ll know there’s a hint in there: the final presidential debate is taking place, and Alex Dupuis wants to make sure that security is top notch and that nothing happens to the president or challenger Dick Bennett. There’s the usual stuff that Jaclyn deals with, but it all comes to a head during the debate, and some things that you may not have even realized takes place in the hours after.
And I’m going to start writing the fifth JJ novel in the spring. 🙂
Check out Federal Agent On Amazon!
Federal Agent by Sean Sweeney
A failed execution in Atlanta has CIA director Alex Dupuis concerned. And with President Eric Forrister and Republican challenger Dick Bennett headed there for the final debate of the election cycle, she has every reason to be: she doesn’t want the escaped prisoner, a man with ties to the Ku Klux Klan, to disturb it.
She sends Jaclyn Johnson into action after three weeks’ convalescence with her orders: protect both the president and his former White House Chief of Staff so that harm doesn’t befall them.
But what Jaclyn doesn’t realize is that the candidates may not be the ones under fire after all and that the deranged Klansman has someone else in mind—someone who isn’t what he seems on the outside.
FEDERAL AGENT is the fourth novel in the AGENT thriller series, preceded by MODEL AGENT, ROGUE AGENT, and DOUBLE AGENT.
Spies not really your thing? Check out this Expert of one of Sean’s other books!
Gasping for breath, the runaway orc crashed through the unmoving fog that hung motionlessly between the two high walls of sharp, jagged gray rock that made up the northern and southern boundaries of the Moorlands. The peaceful existence the fog had acquired abruptly ended, the orc’s body swirling the heavy mists about. With heavy, wheezing breaths, it clunked across the dew-stained ground, its chain mail shaking as it lumbered around at a hearty gait. It looked over its shoulder, as if trying to find the person chasing it.
The orc was deluding itself; it couldn’t even see its own hand through the heavy fog, let alone its pursuer’s body.
It continued though, hoping it drew nowhere near one of the Moorlands’ dreaded, fetid swamps; on second thought, dying in the muck was much better than dying on a sword. Its crime — murdering a farmer and his eldest son as part of a raiding party — was worth the sword, but if the orc had its way, it would rather choose the time and place of its own execution.
Traversing such a land was perilous, as the Moorlands were exactly as its name described it to be: a long moor with rolling hills, large crags in its gut, and murky swamps with ghastly creatures ready to destroy an unwitting soul. But this orc, desperate for its life, had entered this land, hoping to end its life on its own terms instead of it ending by the will of the trio that chased it here.
The Moorlands were far in the east, west of the village of Coy and northwest of the halfling land of Deerkin. The valley was part of the mountain range that kept the halflings to the east, far from the wars of men and dwarves. This valley, full of magic it seemed, was veiled under a heavy fog that never dissipated save on the paths leading to the outlying portions of the hills. It was a gray constant that light could not penetrate.
And having no light could be harmful for those who chose to walk, however needlessly, into the net of the Moorlands.
The orc was the last of its cohorts that remained alive; the others had died as the pursuit continued. The crime had occurred nearly three circuits of the sun and the moon ago, and the orc thought that by now, the three hunters would give up the chase and return with the heads of its fellows to the attacked homestead.
It then heard a voice off in the distance; it perked its ears to hear the sound.
“Falcon, I heard a jingling of mail straight ahead!” It was the voice of a dratted woman, and it preceded the sound of a sword snapping from its scabbard. The orc snarled and cursed its protection; surely the incessant rattling of the metal rings it wore carried throughout the vale. It turned once again and hurried as quickly as it could, its breathing labored by its racing heart
Even with its greatest speed, there was no way the orc could escape. The three hunters, relentless as they were, would be upon it quickly, a sword for its gut. How they had tracked it so far for so long left the orc perplexed.
It would never know how the trio stalked the orc over many miles, through valley, fen and wood. The orc would not be able to fathom the mystery of its pursuers, of the speed the three used in tracking their quarry. There was little rest to have and little sustenance to take, and somehow the three caught up with it nearing the fourth day.
Attempting to use all of the cunning it possessed, the orc made a mad dash away from the trio, holding onto the rings of mail to keep the sounds as quiet as it could. It continued to breathe heavily, its heart trying to beat out of the beast’s chest.
“Got to keep moving,” it said repeatedly in the orcan tongue, knowing that if it stopped its feet for a split second, there was little chance of survival. The hunters would find it and kill it within a blink of an eye.
Then the orc began to feel the pain again. Its sides were near bursting, its lungs burning and gasping for air, its legs screaming in agony. This near-four day jaunt through the countryside and escape from death had the creature near death, as, like its pursuers, had little time for rest or nourishment. This burly southern orc feared not the sun or the moon, and travelling under their bright lights was not a concern.
Its only concern was to keep the hunters off its back.
It looked over its shoulder again and again heard the voices of the hunters calling out to each other. The orc stopped to register the sounds. The orc found it odd that the hunters openly spoke to each other, and in such loud voices. Their voices echoed through the vale, and the orc could have sworn that if the mountains were closer, the sounds would bounce off their jagged sides and head the other way.
A strange way to hunt, the orc mused. Hunters talking aloud in the open, not concealing their whereabouts. Stupid humans will never learn to outwit the orc.
It finally moved on, but stopping for that brief moment was perilous. Stopping for that split second caused its muscles to seize up.
The orc dropped to the ground and began to crawl. Not caring for the sounds the mail made, the orc desperately clawed at the turf until it came to a small ridge. Looking down, the orc saw that it was just a short drop, all of an axe-length. It eased itself over the ridge and managed to do so silently. It took a deep breath and assessed the situation.
The orc knew it couldn’t move from this spot, not that moving was in its best interests right now. It was tired and had no more energy left, not to mention the fact it had practically ran six times a day’s run as it escaped the raided homestead. Its breath was still ragged and raspy, and its legs were solid glue. In short, the orc was stuck where it was.
It heard the voices getting closer, but the orc was not worried. In fact, the orc was betting it would survive. The fog was just as heavy here as it was throughout this vale, and it knew that with its ebony skin tone and the practical invisibility of the air around it, finding the orc would be a tough task for anyone, a wizard included. The orc stifled a chuckle, for it didn’t want to give the hunters a clue to its whereabouts.
The time seemed to stand still for the ghastly creature. The Moorlands stopped time; one merely existed while there. And with such treacherous places located inside the valley, death could come upon someone within the blink of an eye.
It then took a chance. Struggling to hoist itself up to its knees, the orc peeked over the top of the ridge, its high, hairless forehead sticking out a good five inches above. All it saw was heavy fog, unswirling, motionless. Not even with its enhanced eyesight could the orc’s vision penetrate the clouds. There was nothing to see.
The orc blew out a heavy breath, rattling its teeth.
Then the strangest sounds came to him. The sound of footsteps crunching upon the ground near him were as audible as a yell, even though it seemed to the orc’s ears that the sounds came from about twenty axe-lengths away. The sounds came closer as the orc widened its eyes in an attempt to see what — or who — approached its hiding spot.
If it were the hunters coming, the orc thought, these were new tactics to its memory. Hunters never announced themselves for fear of losing their quarry, for fear of causing the hunted to run.
But the hunters knew exactly what the orc knew — the orc wasn’t going anywhere. Someone would die in this accursed valley.
What did it hurt to announce their presence? Nothing, the orc thought. It readied its sword.
Seconds later, the orc saw flames igniting and licking the length of a sword through the fog. The orc took a sharp intake of breath at the sight and nearly forgot to draw the sword from its scabbard. I fumbled with the sword, the sounds reverberating loudly throughout the foggy clearing.
The sounds caused the man holding the flaming sword to quicken his pace, and soon the fog was set behind him as he crashed through the clouds. Tall and handsome he would be had he not the look of pure fury etched on his face, the human stalked in on the orc, his eyes looking at it through the bottom lip of his eyelids. Killing the beast was the only thing on his mind, and the orc knew it.
The orc backed away as the human strode toward it, the human holding the sword down by his knee. The beast then stumbled as its legs wouldn’t react to the orders its brain gave it, which clearly set off a warning.
I’m in trouble, the orc thought.
The beast fell onto its posterior, arms outstretched in an attempt to soften the blow on its rump. His left arm hit awkwardly, the resulting snap near the elbow the latest of the orc’s troubles. The orc howled in pain before it tried to get to its feet.
By the time the orc got up, the human was already standing at the top of the ridge. He looked down at the orc with a seething hatred reserved only for its race, his lip curling on the left side of his mouth. If he could have spit upon the orc, he would do so just to watch the orc’s reaction.
The arm hanging uselessly at its side, the orc finally yanked its sword out and barked at the human in the gutteral orcan tongue. Not waiting for help to arrive, the human leapt from the ridgeline, his sword low. The orc swung the blade one handed, aiming for the human’s left knee. The hunter swiped his flaming sword over and parried it in midair, coming to rest on the balls of his feet before he unleashed a barrage of strokes upon the helpless orc.
Two crosses of the human’s sword had the orc in trouble, as the second one knocked the beast out of position as the human danced to the right. With a grin the human slashed low and cut a long gash into the orc’s quadriceps before winding up and leveling an uppercut from the left that cut through the orc’s left arm just above the elbow, sending the severed arm and splinters of bone flying away. The resulting eardrum-busting shriek and howl made the human grin wider.
The human did not relent for a second as he spun and slashed again, this time rendering the orc’s right quadriceps useless before spinning once again. He brought his left foot up and around and dropping the orc with a solid blow to the back of the head, the target area where the skull meets the back of the neck. The orc fell to the ground like a wet sack, its sword flying and becoming lodged into the ridge.
The hunter kicked at the orc, landing a pair of shod blows to its ribcage. The wind left the orc, and it struggled to move onto its back where it could face death with its eyes toward its orcan gods.
With the human standing on the orc’s left side, it looked up into the human’s eyes and saw no signs of forgiveness in the fiery orbs, but it wasn’t as if it expected any. The orc recalled the anti-human propaganda its chieftains spewed constantly, and knew this human would be just like the rest of the bloody light-skinned creatures that dominated Obloeron. The orc snarled once in the human’s direction, not bothering to make a reach for his calf muscles, before the human raised his flaming blade and brought it crashing down across its throat, forever silencing the beast