Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Dark and Dirty Heroes of UF - an 'almost' guest post by author Emmett Spain

Harry Dresden by The Gryph
(Found here)

I had a guest post offered to me by urban fantasy writer Emmett Spain, author of Old Haunts! (cheers all round and excited hoots). Inspired by a #UFchat topic on Alpha males and dubious heroes of Urban Fantasy, we agreed on a topic - The Dark and Dirty Heroes of UF - (doesn't that sound just awesome?!), Emmett wrote at blinding speed and it was ready to post about 3 weeks ago, then ...
- kaput! -
The online access at #UFchat headquarters went down and stayed down. (gasps and sounds of bodies hitting floor in dead faint)

But look at me - I survived, here to tell the tale and all that (a weak little "yay!" from the back row)
I missed my opportunity to post the guest awesomeness by about 10 minutes. Literally.

I was doing the intro for my guest's excellent musings when - ta-da! - I saw an announcement about the post on Twitter by @oldhauntsauthor (Mr. Spain's Twitter moniker) and a note in my overflowing and sagging inbox (you didn't know they could do that, did you? It's a sad, sad sight) sending sympathies for the computer gremlin guano (chorus of "Eew!!"s) and that he would post it on his site in the meantime.

Literally. 10 minutes from posting. - le sigh -

So now that the post on Dark Heroes of UF has red-carpeted on its home turf at A London City Blog I will, instead, tell you a little of the awesome that is Emmet, give you a teaser of the Dark and Dirty post (now titled The Lure of the Anti-Hero), send you over to his blog to read the rest. Perhaps we'll be lucky enough to catch Emmett (or some other unsuspecting guest! Mwahahaha.. cough..cough gurgle) next time around.

(Gets net ready - or should that be Net?)

Ladies and Gentlemen:
Today I have the privilege of presenting urban fantasy author
Emmett Spain!
(wild cheering and neighing from the audience- yes, neighing)
who has graciously agreed to write a guest post for Inklings!

Emmett is the author of "Old Haunts: A London City Novel", a fellow Australian, a self-confessed writing junkie and a fellow Jim Butcher & Joss Whedon admirer. When someone mentions a love of action more than once in a sitting you can be certain their novel will be packing some too and Emmett's definitely does.

Here's the official blurb for his book (take note: lots of five star reviews for this one!):
Old Haunts: A London City Novel
Jack Worthington's life sucks. An old lady haunts him, his cash well is dry, and he's on the edge of losing all hope. So naturally, when he tries to do something good, fate rewards him by putting a bounty out on his life.

Knowing that his days--or hours--are numbered, he races to forestall his inevitable death sentence, but in his travels unwittingly stumbles upon a potential catastrophe in the making. Awesome.

Now he has to figure out why the ghosts of London City are sowing fear and paranoia into the minds of police and ordinary citizens, and what it all has to do with the anniversary of the infamous citywide riots that occurred one year ago to the day.

His search eventually leads him to a haven for the city's underworld denizens, where he must face a vampire with whom he shares a terrible link to the past, all while trying to stay alive just long enough to avert the apocalypse.

Some days saving the world kinda sucks.
But wait - before you rush out and get his book, first read his thoughts on the dark heroes of UF and why the word 'anti-hero' is usually a better fit when it comes to urban fantasy guys (and girls) who, despite having jobs and agendas such as assassins among other things, get our sympathy, (see the book -and tag line - below for example). Why? It may have something to do with these guys, and girls, getting lumped with saving the world. A lot.

Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep
Cover illustration by Tony Mauro
The Lure of the Anti-Hero by Emmett Spain (an excerpt)

Since I was a kid I’ve grown up on Superman. The Man of Steel. The Big Blue Boy Scout. The quintessential hero archetype. He does the right thing, he never lies, and he always comes through in the end. When people hear the word hero—we’re talking purely in terms of fiction here—this is the archetype that tends to spring to mind. Stalwart. True. Built of strong moral fibre. But could you imagine a hero of this nature popping up in an Urban Fantasy story?

I have a hard time trying to picture it. I admit, there are some characters in UF stories who fit the archetype from time to time—Michael Carpenter from the Dresden Files is the first that springs to my mind for his unshakable faith and unquestionable morality—but let me ask you… how many of these sorts of heroes tend to be the protagonists in UF stories? The answer is pretty much none. What we get more frequently are anti-hero protagonists—one of the most popular archetypes in the urban fantasy genre...

Continued at A London City Blog! Read the whole of Emmett's excellent and thought provoking post HERE.
Want to read more? There's another (nicely complimentary) guest post at Brian Rathbone's website where Emmett discusses the sorta-opposite-but-really-just-more-evil-twin end of the spectrum in "What Makes A Compelling Villain?"

And don't forget to check out the rest of his blog (great mining for UF enthusiasts and writers!) as well as his book "Old Haunts: A London City Novel".

You can also find out more of Emmett's secret thoughts HERE in an exclusive interview with (wiggles eyebrows conspiratorially) You may discover some veeeerry interesting things about our guest there..!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Man, I hate when technology strikes us down and reminds us who REALLY has the power (i.e., not us), but great intro to the almost-post. I'm heading off to read what sounds like a great topic!