SINKING DOWN BLOG TOUR WITH ERIC GARRISON!

EricGarrisonTourBadge_225X150Today I have the pleasure of Spotlighting in my blog, “Sinking Down” the latest novel from my friend and writing peer Eric Garrison!
Eric is also an author at Seventh Star Press, publisher of my debut novel last summer and various short stories, so if you are a fan of speculative fiction within the urban fantasy realm, then this novel is bound to be a real treat! Not only am I a friend of the author, but I’m a fan of the series. Eric Garrison is a rising star in the speculative fiction world and a fresh voice for the genre.
I’m proud to know him and call him my friend, but even more than that, I’m inspired by his creativity and skill as a writer. As a relatively new writer for Seventh Star Press, I’m honored to be in the company of such a fine writer and person.
Do yourself a favor and check out the work of Eric Garrison, you’ll be glad that you did!

EricGarrison_authorpicEric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape. His stories vary from science fiction to supernatural fantasies and dark fairy tales

 

 

 

 

 

SinkingDownCover_1200X800Poor Little Ghoul
Paranormal investigators Brett and Liz find themselves
back in over their heads when a forest hunt for a road kill-eating creature offers up a little surprise. Back home with their ghoulish house guest, it
becomes clear there’s more to this investigation than either of them thought. Worse than that, Brett’s own fate is linked to the little ghoul’s.
So it’s back out on the road, with plenty of time for pit stops with a greedy ex, a convention of ghost hunters, partying with fake vampires, and even drinking and
fighting alongside good ole Uncle Gonzo. But as the investigation goes deeper, and unseen connections come to light, Brett finds there’s much more at stake
than getting through a rough patch with Liz.
A rescue mission. A race for a cure. New friends and old adversaries. Unbreakable bonds and supernatural danger. It’s going to be a wild ride. Can the friends save the nearly undead tween? Can she and Brett stop themselves from …Sinking Down?

 

Sinking Down is the 2nd Book in the Road Ghosts Trilogy!

SinkingDown_FinalInterior 1  SinkingDown_FinalInterior 2Here’s a sneak peek at some of the AMAZING interior artwork!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, be sure to check out Book 1 in the Road Ghosts Trilogy, Four ‘Til Late!

FourTilLate_CoverIn Four ‘Til Late, amateur ghost hunter Brett and his friends Gonzo, Jimbo, and Liz are on a road trip with dangerous detours, dreadful dreams and dire warnings. But that won’t keep them from reaching their goal: New Orleans. Along the way they discover that some spirits leave you with more than a hangover and regrets. Can they get there in one piece, or will they be stopped and rest in peace? The bags are packed, the engine’s running. Turn up the radio and get moving because the road ghosts are waiting, and it’s Four ‘Til Late.
Four ‘Til Late is the first book of the Road Ghosts Trilogy.

 

 

 

 

 

Sinkng Down ad2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SSP BANNERSeventh Star Press Links

Website: http://www.seventhstarpress.com
Blog: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/7thstarpress
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/seventhstarpress

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #3

TODAY’S SPOTLIGHTED AUTHOR IS SERESSIA GLASS!

SERESSIA GLASSSeressia Glass is an award-winning author of more than twenty contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories. Her current series (Shadowchasers, Sons of Anubis)  (see below) are steeped in Egyptian mythology. She lives north of Atlanta with her guitar-wielding husband and two attack poodles. When not writing, she spends her free time people-watching, belly dancing, and watching anime.

Seressia has always been a voracious reader and turned to writing at an early age, using her fantastical tales for extra credit in school. Her proudest writing moment remains winning the first Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday “Living the Dream” essay contest as a high school senior and getting to meet Coretta Scott King and read her essay to the King family. Since then, she’s gone on to write a motley crew of characters and creatures including werewolves, djinn, demons, Egyptian deities and jackal shapeshifters with a few humans thrown into the mix. No matter who or what she’s writing about, Seressia weaves in the universal themes of acceptance and being comfortable in one’s own skin.  Her stories have won numerous awards including an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Emma Awards, and finalists in a variety of contests.

When not working on her next story, Seressia is an instructional designer for an international home improvement company, writing and developing training materials.

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See the synopsis for SHADOW BLADE, BOOK ONE in the SHADOWCHASER SERIES!

Shadow_blade1

For Kira Solomon, normal was never an option.

Kira’s day job as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of the most lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission dispatching the Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she’s got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside-down in search of a four-millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira’s hands.

Then there’s Khefar, the dagger’s true owner-a near-immortal 4000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit. looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow force, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does, the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever. . . .

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See the synopsis for SEDUCING THE JACKAL, BOOK ONE in the SONS OF ANUBIS SERIES.

Seducing_the_JackalThe Sons of Anubis are jackal shapeshifters—they have a human form and a jackal form. Millennia ago, the god Anubis called jackals from the grasslands beyond the Great Western Desert and imbued them with his power, giving them the ability to assume human form and charging them to aid him in his duties as lord of the underworld.

Helping them do this were the Daughters of Isis. For thousands of years they worked together, lived together. Some even loved together. Then the witches betrayed the jackals, and an unending war thus began.

 

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Awards and Accolades

  • 2006 Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner, Through the Fire
  • 2006 Emma Award for Best Anthology Winner, Vegas Bites
  • 2006 Romance in Color Reviewers’ Choice Awards nominee, Genesis Press Book of the Year, Through the Fire
  • 2006 Romance in Color Reviewers’ Choice Awards nominee, Anthology of the Year, Vegas Bites
  • 2006 Romance in Color Reviewers’ Choice Awards nominee, Novella of the Year, Double Down from Vegas Bites
  • 2006 Romance in Color Reviewers’ Choice Awards nominee, Author of the Year
  • 2001 Emma Awards nominee, Best New Author
  • 2000 Romance in Color Reviewers’ Choice Awards winner, New Author of the Year
  • 2000 Romance in Color Reviewers’ Choice Awards winner, Genesis Book of the Year, No Commitment Required
  • 1986 Winner, “Living the Dream” essay contest, inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday celebration

4+ Rating “This could be the start of a very promising career.” –Wayne Jordan, Romance in Color

“A wonderful read when you want a romance with more feeling than sexual posturing.” –The Midwest Book Review

4 1/2 Stars! Top Pick! “A pleasure that’s sure to ease and tantalize from beginning to end.” –Romantic Times Magazine

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Seressia Glass has been a personal writing inspiration to me and one of my sheroes.

Check out her website @: http://seressia.com/

BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL WRITER & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

PICK UP THE GOD KILLERS TODAY – NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE & NOOK!

EXTRA, EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

My debut Urban Fantasy novel, The God Killers is now available for purchase on the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook!

Click the icons below to purchase your copy TODAY!!!

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AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIC GARRISON!

Four Til Late

Four Til Late

I want to extend a hearty congratulations to my very good friend and fellow Seventh Star Press author, Eric Garrison on his latest novel, FOUR TIL LATE. Eric, as I write this, you’ve gotten your first shipment of print copies of FOUR ‘TIL LATE your novel. I know what a thrill it is to see ideas take solid form, but tell my readers, how do YOU REALLY feel?

Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, John!

It’s been a long road for this book. It was the one that started it all, my first novel, and yet now it’s my latest novel. It was a project done out of love and honor, as I wrote it the month after my writer uncle Chuck died in 2007. I didn’t know then that I’d be a published author a little over 5 years later, but opening that box to see the shiny trade paperbacks with gorgeous professional artwork, I felt a thrill of excitement and a burning rush of pride.

It”s been a long time coming, but this labor of love has been refined and updated and improved with editing and the experience of four other books written since then under my belt. I am PSYCHED.

I know a little about FOUR TIL LATE, but please let my readers know (in your words) what the novel is all about. I got a Supernatural meets Scooby Gang vibe. Would you agree with that assessment, or is there another more succinct description? What inspires your writing?

I think “Scooby-Doo meets Supernatural” isn’t too far off. I loved Scooby-Doo as a kid, and I am a huge fan of the Supernatural TV show today. FOUR ‘TIL LATE is a haunted road trip, as much a buddy story as it is a thriller. It stars an amateur ghost hunter named Brett who sets out on a fun trip to New Orleans with a couple of buddies, and along the way, he reignites a romance with his ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to leave his hobby behind, as supernatural warnings turn into much more dangerous encounters with the paranormal world.

When it comes to ghost stories and the supernatural in general, are you more of an adherent to classic spins or do you prefer the more modern takes? Which authors inspire you, particularly with this work?

You know, I wasn’t even intending to write a ghost story to start with. FOUR ‘TIL LATE is meant to be an urban / supernatural fantasy, and I had hoped to follow in the footsteps of Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher, who are my favorite authors in that genre. I think I ended up at least somewhere between the subtler magical realism of de Lint and the high-powered urban fantasy of the Dresden tales. But as the story unfolded, it DID become a ghost story, and I was shocked when another writer friend called it horror later. I didn’t set out to write a horror story, but I’ll admit, it’s got horror elements. So yeah, there’s more of a modern influence on my writing, but if you’ve ever read any of Fritz Leiber’s darker stories, you may see a strong influence for the supernatural forces in my books. He’s just got a sort of slow, steady, driving rhythm to his storytelling that I love, and I try to emulate that when I’m building tension or unfolding the stranger parts of the story for the reader.

Is it true you’re an actual ghost hunter? Please briefly tell us one of your favorite exploits and how this undertaking effects/enhances your writing?

It’s true! My wife and I joined the Indiana Ghost Trackers in 2003. I went expecting a bunch of attention-seeking lunatics, but instead found a group of intelligent, curious, friendly people who had a sense of adventure. We both got very interested in ghost hunting and the paranormal in general and became officers in the club. Being one of the biggest skeptics in the group, I asked a lot of questions and did a lot of experimenting with equipment and analyzed evidence more closely than a lot of folks, and ended up as Trainer for both the Indy and Lafayette chapters. We left the group on 2010, but are still friends with the organization’s president and the folks we knew in our time there.

Exploits… Well, nothing specific comes up in FOUR ‘TIL LATE, but I can tell you I have some fairly accurate retellings of some ghost hunts in the third ROAD GHOSTS book, ME AND THE DEVIL, which will be coming out through Seventh Star Press later this year or early next year. Let’s see, one time, we investigated Hannah House, a notoriously haunted mansion on Indy’s South Side (where you and I will be appearing as part of the Paranormal Meet & Greet on August 10th!). We were in the basement, voice recorders running, being given a tour among dusty, 150 year old jars of canned fruit and other bric a brac. One of our guides said “Isn’t this where you got that ‘find me’?” And when qurstioned, they said they’d been there before with recorders and had gotten an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) that said, “find me”, when they played it back. So when Amy and I got home, we played back OUR recording, and something freaky happened. About 10 seconds *before* our guide mentioned what the voice had said before, a voice played on our recording, also whispering, “find me!”

What do you hope readers take away from FOUR TIL LATE? What did you take away from it as an author?

FOUR ‘TIL LATE isn’t just a ghost story, it’s also about friendship and love overcoming demons of the past that come back to haunt you. I hope readers come away feeling like they’ve just had an adventure with a bunch of great friends, and that the characters are people they’d like to spend time with again and again.

I wrote two more books after writing this one, SINKING DOWN and ME AND THE DEVIL. I guess it shows how much I wanted to spend more time with these people that I kept coming back to them.

You’ve completed five novels and and this is your first publication with Seventh Star Press. Please tell us what the experience has been like for you? Share some details of your writer’s journey.

It was FOUR ‘TIL LATE that kicked everything off, so it’s both my first and also my latest novel in a way. I’ve come full circle, having written 3 other urban fantasy novels and a science fiction novel. I started out by self-publishing my work, then I fell in with a critique group that helped open my eyes to the craft of writing, to things I didn’t see in my own writing that I learned to improve on. I was invited to join the Indiana Horror Writers, and that’s helped me see the publishing world beyond writing. My fifth novel, Reality Check, was written with the goal of publication in mind, and was the first to go through beta readers and rewriting and polishing. Hydra Publications took a chance on me and that book went through another couple of rounds with a professional editor. It was then that Seventh Star Press said yes to my pitch to have the ROAD GHOSTS novels revamped and done up properly to get it in front of a wider audience.

I think it’d be best to describe my career growth as an author described as incremental. Ever since I started, it was always about going a few steps more outside my comfort zone, to do something new and bigger, to stretch my boundaries.

This is going to be a crazy busy summer for us, appearing all around. What event do you look forward to the most?

You know, I had to be talked into Fandom Fest, but the more I hear about it and the closer it gets, the more excited I get about it. Rumor has it that the Seventh Star Press booth is going to be next door to a VERY major personality that has all of us excited. I’m looking forward to the fantastic writing track that’s being run by our own Stephen Zimmer. I’ll be seeing a big bunch of authors I normally only talk to online. It’s going to be big, really big, and I just asked for Monday off as well since I can feel in my gut that I’m going to need a day to recuperate.

Eric Garrison

Eric Garrison

What is the background of the series? What other novels are planned for this series and when can we expect them out?

ROAD GHOSTS started as a single book. But the summer after I wrote it, I had a dream about a little ghoul being found by Brett and Liz, and I woke up laughing at the image of the couple taking the ghoul to a McDonald’s dumpster to feed. I tried to write a short story about that, but it demanded to be more, and that became the first chapter in SINKING DOWN, the sequel. That book is in editing right now, and I hope to have it out this fall. Since I had two books, and since I had some loose ends, I decided to make it a trilogy and wrote ME AND THE DEVIL, which I hope to have out this winter. One of the characters in SINKING DOWN was too funny not to write more about, so I wrote a spinoff called BLUE SPIRIT, which is the story of Skye MacLeod, who sees fairies when she’s had a couple of drinks. Dark, Grimm-style fairies, not Tinkerbell. So, she spends most of that book tipsy, trying to save her vampire-gaming friends from very real danger. That’s going to be a second trilogy, probably called TIPSY FAIRY TALES, and those will be released next year sometime (I still have two to write).

I appreciate this opportunity to speak with you on your latest novel, Eric. I wish you long lasting and continued success in your writing career. REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

Thanks, John, I wish you the best too, and can’t wait to start reading my copy of THE GOD KILLERS!

To my readers, go pick up your copy of Four Til Late at the following link!

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Til-Late-Eric-Garrison/dp/1937929221/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374520017&sr=1-2&keywords=Four+Til+Late

InConJunction 2013

MY VERY FIRST EXPERIENCES AS AN AUTHOR AT A CON!

Today’s blog post is a recount and sharing of my experiences as an author attending InConJunction 2013!

Eric Garrisson, RJ Sullivan and me!I had the opportunity to share a dealers table with my fellow IHW members and Seventh Star Press authors RJ Sullivan and Eric Garrison, two friends whom I greatly respect and admire! (picture provided by Banana Girl) I also got the opportunity to get acquainted with our vendor neighbor, fellow author Bryan O’Neill, who is a very nice guy and terrific talent!

July 2013  Book I InConJunction was my first convention of the summer and the first time I’ve ever been on the other side of the table, either on the dealer’s floor or in a panel. I won’t lie and say that I was slightly intimidated by this AWESOME opportunity!

I wasn’t really sure how well I would be received considering I am a first time author and my book isn’t due to officially drop until July 20th.The feeling of sitting before people and speaking doesn’t make me nervous normally; I’m told I’m a natural born speaker.

But this weekend was different.

Me and Cherie Priest!

Me and Cherie Priest!

I was sharing the table with writers like Cherie Priest, James O. Barnes of Loconeal Publishing, Nicole Cushing, Eric Garrison and my mentor RJ Sullivan (to name a few), addressing writing topics face to face with nearly a dozen people at a time, fielding questions and speaking as an expert on writing. Me? I couldn’t believe it! I had to pinch myself because it was only a year ago that I was in the opposite seating arrangement, dreaming of the chance to host a panel.As surreal as being a panelist was, in and of itself, and sharing the table with such other more seasoned and exceptionally talented writers, nothing could compare to the feeling I got when I hosted a panel on Urban Fantasy solo!

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d witnessed panels with obnoxious audience members who seemed ready to pounce on the author at a moment’s notice. Being a first time author without an actual book released, I just knew someone was going to question my credibility, I just knew it!

Me and James O. Barnes!

Me and James O. Barnes!

…but they didn’t.

In fact, the audience embraced what I said, asked very good questions and seemed to actually listen to what I had to say. I was pleasantly shocked and privately overjoyed! I have to say that my experiences as a panelist at InConJunction 2013 were VERY positive!

Me and Stuart Sayger!

Me and Stuart Sayger!

I saw old friends like renown artist Stuart Sayger and met a lot of people who were very interested in reading and learning more about my novel and complimented my promo material (I had beautifully made trading cards to hand out to InConJunction 2013 patrons).

I made plenty of connections with fellow authors, publishers and potential fans alike. I enjoyed myself and look forward to see what next year brings!!!

© 2013 John F. Allen

Author John F. Allen will attend InConJunction 2013, July 5 – 7!

InConJunction banner

This Friday, July 5th is the start of InConJunction, one of Indianapolis’ longest-running genre cons.

It will be held at:

Indianapolis Marriott East

7202 East 21st Street · Indianapolis, Indiana 46219 USA

This weekend will mark my first appearance at InConJunction as a fan and as an author. I’ll be sharing a table with local authors Eric Garrison and RJ Sullivan Myself and the other aforementioned authors are published through Seventh Star Press and will be sharing some panels. Unfortunately, as it stand I WILL NOT have The God Killers at this time, but I will be handing out FREE Collectable Trading Cards at the SSP Table! GET YOURS WHILE THEY LAST!

Please come check me out as I speak on various panels.

John F. Allen Author of The God Killers

John F. Allen
Author of The God Killers

My panels are as follows:

Friday, July 5

5 PM, Indianapolis Ballroom C

“Mentorship in Writing” (1 hour) with James O. Barnes, Addie King, Eric Garrison, and RJ Sullivan.

Saturday, July 6

10 AM, Veterans Hall 1

“Writers Roundtable: Urban Fantasy” (1 hour) myself

11 AM, Indianapolis Ballroom C

“On the Write Track: So You Want to Be a Writer” (1 hour) with James O. Barnes , Nicole Cushing , Lou Harry , Eric Garrison , Mark Wandrey

2 PM, Indianapolis Ballroom C

“On the Write Track: Mistakes Beginning Writers Make” (1 hour) with Matthew Barron , Nicole Cushing , Ms. Frida Westford , Mark Wandrey

6PM, Indianapolis Ballroom C

“Worldbuilding: Characters” (1 hour) with Nicole Cushing , James S. Dorr , Sara Miller , Mark Wandrey

7PM, Indianapolis Ballroom C

“Worldbuilding: The Basics” (1 hour) with Cherie Priest , Mark Wandrey

Sunday, July 7

11AM, Indianapolis Ballroom C

“Blogging Today” (1 hour) with James O. Barnes

Here’s the InConJunction home page for a complete listing of the weekend fun!

Hope to see you there!!

URBAN FANTASY AND PARANORMAL ROMANCE

What’s the difference?

If I were asked—as I often am—to name a genre which my forthcoming novel The God Killers fits in, it would be urban Fantasy. I suppose this is mainly because the city in which the protagonist currently resides and the one of her birth, play an integral part in the story and because the protagonist’s ultimate goal isn’t a romantic relationship. However, when it comes to the genres of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, I’ve given some thought as to what the main differences are. As I write, I also read, therefore I’ve read plenty of urban fantasy novels as well as paranormal romance.When I think of the differences between them, I first come to their one and only concrete commonality, PARANORMAL ENTITIES.

Every urban fantasy or paranormal romance I’ve ever read had some form of paranormal creature/being as main characters and/or supporting characters. Whether it is vampires, werewolves, zombies, wizards, angels, demons, mythological deities, etc… something of the sort was present. How they differ is a gray area to be sure, but I’ve thought about it for some time and I’ve come to certain conclusions.

PARANORMAL ROMANCE

PARANORMAL ROMANCE

PARANORMAL ROMANCE

By definition, a paranormal romance focuses on romance and includes paranormal elements. Usually—like in a contemporary romance—the story starts out with the eventual lovers meeting, acknowledging a powerful mutual attraction, yet something stands in their way.Whatever the reason their lives are complicated, midway through the story things change in some way or they decide to live dangerously. Eventually, our intrepid couple determines that they’re hopelessly in love.

Paranormal romances can contain action and also have some graphic scenes of horror, but at its core it is a romance. While many novels in this genre have plenty of action, horror, and suspense these things are not as of great importance as the love story.

Recently, Paranormal Romance has become one of the largest selling subgenres of science fiction and fantasy.

Also, unlike urban fantasies, a paranormal romance isn’t necessarily tied to a large, modern day city. (see below)

URBAN FANTASY

URBAN FANTASY

URBAN FANTASY

In my opinion, urban fantasy must contain something other than the love interest as the protagonist’s main goal. This subgenre is considered steroid addled cousin of paranormal romance. As I mentioned before, paranormal romance is fundamentally a romance, while urban fantasies are fundamentally fantasies.

A large portion of the tale must take place in a city. The urban fantasies I’ve read almost always take place in a large, modern day city where paranormal creatures exist.

That said, there’s no law that says it has to be a modern city, and the timeframe could be one from the past, the future, or possibly on another planet altogether.

Similar to the paranormal romance, urban fantasies must contain one or more characters that have abilities and/or origins far beyond those of mortal men. Vampires, witches, werewolves, oh my!

Unlike a paranormal romance, the urban fantasy can contain elements of romance, but romance is NOT the main focus and/or goal of the protagonist.

In conclusion, while I admit to enjoying both subgenres, there is a difference between them. Something to think about when writing a paranormal novel or choosing one to read!

© 2013 John F. Allen

URBAN FANTASY HAS ROOTS

THE GOD KILLERS FACEBOOK COVER ARTWhile I’m not a big fan of romance novels, I don’t mind them nearly as much when the characters are gritty and preternatural creatures are involved, downplaying the sappiness associated with most novels where the word romance is used. Paranormal romance novels are the next big thing and filling the bookstore shelves in record numbers. Spurred on further by young adult novels such as Twilight, this newly developed niche genre has been spreading like wildfire.

When I first heard the term urban fantasy used to describe a sub-genre of fantasy, I wasn’t exactly sure what the term meant. Most times the word urban brings to mind things associated with black people. I know that the word actually means, ‘relating to or belonging to a city’ however, urban radio, urban news, urban plight, the urban center are merely PC ways of referring to things associated with blacks.

The first novel I read—remotely fitting into this genre—was Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton, featuring vampire hunter Anita Blake. The novel was originally billed as a horror/mystery novel, which is as accurate of a description as any. The novel contained all of the elements of a mystery and read like a Robert B. Parker mystery novel which is a BIG compliment coming from me. However, the paranormal elements were present as well. Vampires, werewolves and zombies, oh my!

Another urban fantasy author named Jim Butcher popped up with a novel titled Storm Front, which introduced us to Chicago wizard Harry Dresden. The most common links between Hamilton and Butcher’s novels was:

a) both were set in major US cities, and

b) they both featured paranormal creatures.

I would also like to bring to light another commonality of the two novels—which is true about most novels in the genre,—in that the main characters were white. I have no problem with either author having predominately white characters because the authors are white and you often write what you know. However, shortly after I discovered these authors, I was introduced to another author named L.A. Banks. I was pleasantly surprised that a black author was writing in this genre and the novel featured a black main character. I found other black authors in the genre, yet those I did find such as Seressia Glass and Maurice Broaddus—were far and few between.

Another problem for blacks writing in this genre is the whitewashing of their book covers. Far too often you see books with black protagonists who aren’t featured on the book covers. Why is this? It’s almost like in the sixties when blacks weren’t allowed to be on the covers of their albums because the white mainstream wouldn’t buy them. I’m happy to say that Banks, Broaddus and Glass feature their black characters prominently on the covers of their books, which is as it should be.

The sad truth is there just aren’t that many black authors writing in this genre. As a writer whose work fits within the urban fantasy genre, I intend to add my voice to the fold with my debut urban fantasy novel, The God Killers due out this summer and published by Seventh Star Press. Over the years, I’ve spoken to countless people who are hankering for more works from black authors. Which lead me to believe that we should be working towards bringing black urban fantasy writers to the forefront of people’s minds and the bookstore shelves. I know there’s a market for black urban fantasy novels and that urban fantasy has small black roots which we must nourish and help to grow.

© 2012 John F. Allen