GOING BEHIND THE VEIL WITH SEAN ELLIS
BEHIND THE VEIL by Joshua Pantalleresco
Sean admits, “When I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark as a kid, I fell in love with adventure stories, and I really became fascinated with the pre-World War II time period. It was a turning point for the way we saw the world in terms of exploration and technology. The world of the 1930’s was still pretty big and there were a lot of unexplored places. If you wanted to find a lost city or something like that, you couldn’t just jump on Google Earth and do satellite reconnaissance and then fly directly there in a helicopter.
I had the idea to launch a series where several authors would be working simultaneously to produce titles for a single series—much like Charles Ardai did with the Gabriel Hunt series a few years later—and so I enlisted some friends to help me draw up the characters and brainstorm some plots. My original dream didn’t quite happen as planned, but the process got the ball rolling creatively.
The concept that came out of that mix was a passing of the torch story loosely based on Doc Savage. The pitch went something like this: An evil force is rising and the world needs its greatest hero…but he’s been missing for years. A young journalist tracks down the hero’s associates in an effort to find the missing hero, battling the villains every step of the way, and eventually becomes the world’s new champion.
The desire to be an adventurer and a writer perhaps is the biggest connection between Ellis and Dalton.
“One of my favorite tropes has always been the writer as protagonist. I like the idea of the writer trying to imitate his literary creations, probably because my childhood dream was to be a writer/adventure hero.
In the story, Dodge is a sportswriter for a New York newspaper, who get tapped to ghostwrite stories about a war hero named Captain Falcon, as told by one of Falcon’s purported associates, “Hurricane” Hurley. Dodge thinks that stories are fiction, or at the very least exaggerated from a factual account, so he writes them that way, and they become a runaway success. The idea of becoming an adventurer is that last thing on Dodge’s mind…at least until the bad guys show up, demanding to square off with Captain Falcon.
While Sean didn’t divulge any details of his own adventures, his experiences definitely help color his action scenes.
“There are some scenes in the first Dodge Dalton novel where Dodge is underwater and trying to get back to the surface; when I write that, I try to tap in on my own memories of making some deep free dives and thinking: ‘Why is it taking so long to get to the surface? I really need to breathe…starting to panic a little.’ I like to get a little of that adrenaline rush onto the page. You don’t really get that from watching a movie, where the hero–Bond or Indy–can calmly react to whatever life-threatening situation comes along.”
Both books are available on amazon.com.