Sean Russell
Photo © Don Deese

Sean Russell was born in Toronto Ontario in 1952. At the age of three his family moved to the outskirts of the city ("Farm fields, woods, and orchards then: all suburbs now.") where they lived in a cottage on the beach. Living on the shore of the lake awoke in him a love of the water that is obvious in many of his books.

"It was a working class community," Sean Russell says. "Nothing fancy. Six of us lived in a house of about 1000 sq. ft. In my present home we have a walk-in closet bigger than my childhood bedroom. But the window of that little room looked out over Lake Ontario and that view was more valuable than anything. It opened up great vistas. I imagined you could set sail and arrive at the Caribbean or anywhere, for that matter."

"My mother read to us - a lot - and both my parents were readers so I guess my love of books isn't hard to explain. We only received two television stations and there was no movie theatre nearby, so reading was necessary for entertainment."

Favourite books from his childhood include Tom Sawyer ("I read it so many times I can still remember the first few lines."), Huckleberry Finn, and Captains Courageous. Science Fiction came along a few years later. ("I can still remember the first SF book I read though, I can't tell you the title or the author: a company of astronauts were detailed to bring an asteroid of uranium back into earth's orbit, which they did using atomic bombs for propulsion. It was a great story, and I was hooked."

A more significant discovery was J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings which he first read in high school.

"I can't tell you how many times I've read Lord of the Rings. I used to read it every autumn, but now I only seem to read it once every two or three years. I still think it's never been bettered or even matched in our genre.

"I decided I was going to be a writer at the age of ten but I didn't realize I would be a fantasy writer until many years later. There was something about Tolkien..., I wanted to try to do what he had done; create seamless and detailed secondary worlds and then transport readers there and make them believe. At least that's what I wanted to do when I started. I think my goals have changed somewhat, or become broader."

After university Mr. Russell moved to Vancouver, and two years later to Vancouver Island, where he lives presently with his wife Karen and son Brendan, a two minute walk from the seashore.

Mr. Russell's first fantasy, the Asian influenced The Initiate Brother, was published in 1991, followed by the second book in the series Gatherer of Clouds in 1993. He has published six fantasy novels with the seventh, The One Kingdom, due in February 2000.

Mr. Russell cites history as one of his passions, collects old yachting and sailing books, skis, sails and travels. Past interests include caving, rock climbing, hiking, and racing sailboats.

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