An Interview with SUE TINGEY

TingeyS-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Sue Tingey?

Hi Stefan, thank you for inviting me to be interviewed.

Who is Sue Tingey? That is actually rather a deep question and I’m probably the last person you should ask, but I’ll have a go at giving a sensible and possibly truthful reply:

I’m a book and animal lover. Married with no pets at the moment except for some Koi carp. I’m slightly obsessive about things that matter and couldn’t really give a damn about things that don’t (though this has taken years to perfect – I used to be a natural born worrier). I love horror films but only if viewed from behind a cushion or, if no cushion available, from between my fingers. I hate animal films because I spend the whole hour and a half sobbing. I put it down to being traumatised by Disney’s Old Yella when I was a child. As for Marley and Me – don’t even go there.

Your debut novel, Marked, will be published by Jo Fletcher Books. It looks rather fabulous: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Thank you kind sir. Marked is the first book of the Soulseer Chronicles and is about Lucky de Salle, a young woman who, for as long as she can remember, has been able to converse with the dead. Even her best – and only – friend Kayla is a ghost. The book starts when Lucky reluctantly returns to her old school, from which she was expelled fifteen years earlier, to help with a haunting brought about by three boarders playing with a Ouija board. As it happens her instincts are correct: ghosts are the least of her worries – the schoolgirls have called up a daemon and he has a message for Kayla. From this point on Lucky finds that no one she meets is who they say they are and even her best friend has been keeping secrets. Soon she’s caught up in the political intrigues of a world she never knew existed, and her already weird life gets weirder by the moment. Continue reading

The Sixth Gun, Vol.3 – “Bound” & Vol.4 – “A Town Call Penance” (Oni Press)

SixthGun-Vol.3&4

Volume Three. Still awesome.

Writer: Cullen Bunn | Artist: Brian Hurtt (#12-13, 15-17) & Tyler Crook (#14, #23) | Colors: Bill Crabtree

Traveling by secret railroad, Becky and Drake accompany an order of mysterious monks on a quest to bury General Hume’s body on holy ground. But malevolent forces spurred by a sinister necromancer stage a terrifying attack on the train. Drake vanishes without a trace. Alone, Becky continues her journey to a secluded mountain fortress where she discovers how deeply her fate is entwined with that of The Sixth Gun. Meanwhile, Gord revisits a haunted mansion from his past hoping to discover a means to destroy the Six, but the ghosts he stirs have no intention of letting his quest continue.

Vol.3 Collects: The Sixth Gun #12-17
Vol.4 Collects: The Sixth Gun #18-23

Ah, The Sixth Gun. Without a doubt, this is one of my favourite comics series. It blends Wild Western adventure with some supernatural shenanigans. There’s action, humour, spooky stuff, and a plot that will hook you from the very start. I loved both of these books.

In “Bound”, Drake, Becky and the fellas from the Sword of Abraham are taking the Six and the body of the dead evil general, via train… somewhere safer. Naturally, nothing can go smoothly, as a necromancer raises an undead posse to retrieve the guns and the body of Evil General Hume (he’s someone you just have to always include the “Evil” when you mention him…). We’re introduced to Asher Cobb – a big, fuck-off mummy. Sent by the same necromancer to retrieve the evil body, while the surprisingly-spritely undead posse take care of the living. However, Cobb has a history with Drake… We get his story in #14 – a really cool extra.

SixthGun-15-Interior3

The story then moves forward a few days, as Gord heads home to collect the books on the Six from his former owner, who was in league with the Evil General. This was a nice diversion, and added a lot more to the whole spooky-supernatural side of the story. Not that the, you know, mummies, undead and magic guns weren’t already pretty obviously in the Weird Stuff arena…

With Drake missing, Becky is taken to the Sword of Abraham’s keep, and told she can never leave. But, an old friend is at hand to help, and she learns more of the power of the Sixth Gun.

SixthGun-16-Interior6

In “A Town Called Penance”, we re-join Drake after his short-lived disappearance from the train assault. He’s been captured by the Knights of Solomon, who he joined after the war – they are also the enemies of the Sword of Abraham, before attempting (unsuccessfully) to prevent her from going to Drake’s aid. The Knights of Solomon want Drake back working with them. As well as the Six, of course. Becky comes to rescue him, but there’s something not right with the town called Penance…

SixthGun-20-Interior3

As with the previous two books, I zipped through these two books, unable to put them down. The story is gripping, fast-paced, and very well written. And the artwork is great, too – atmospheric, consistent and just all-round excellent. I particularly loved the “silent” chapter – Becky’s near an explosion, and bursts her eardrums. Then she goes on a bit of a rampage through the underground lair of the Knights of Solomon. She’s joined by Drake. They kill a LOT of people…

SixthGun-21-Interior5

There is a really interesting revelation at the end of chapter five in this second book. It bodes very well for the future, so I will definitely be coming back for more of this series. Final chapter of Volume 4 features Kirby Hale, who we first briefly met in Volume 2, when he seduced Becky. We’re caught up on his story, and there’s a really nice parallel between his new trajectory and Drake’s in issue #1. A nice bit of writing, I thought.

Both of these books expand and build on the series superbly. We get more character development and also more world-building. I can’t recommend The Sixth Gun highly enough. Love this series. An absolute must read series for fans of comics, Westerns, and speculative/genre fiction of all stripes. Superb.