The Evolution of a Novel

Hero StatusHero Status sprang from my mind, fully formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus.

Lol, no. It was actually a painfully long first draft, followed by countless rewrites, beta feedback, and even more rewrites. Scenes were added, the structure tweaked, and the writing ironed out before it became the version you now read. But that’s pretty standard for most novels.

I’d almost forgotten about the bonkers early version I abandoned before going back and restarting the whole thing from scratch years later.

Way back in 2008, I started writing my first piece of superhero fiction for National Novel Writing Month in November. This was the precursor to Hero Status, though it’s pretty much unrecognizable. It starred not Dave but Elisa–or at least the character who would eventually become Elisa. She had a different name in this and a different origin, being an experiment of Dr. Sweet’s whom Dave rescued and adopted. The book was about her going off to college and dealing with Dr. Sweet’s attempts to recapture and brainwash her.

Looking back at the file, I made it about 24,000 words in before giving up. I moved on to other books, but something about the concept and characters of that old untitled novel kept calling to me. I began outlining a new version, changing Elisa’s character to being Dave and Val’s biological child and having her torn between her parents’ heroic and villainous legacies.

But I didn’t like that either.

Eventually it dawned on me: the daughter character wasn’t what made this idea interesting. It was her parents, the retired superhero and former supervillain, and the question of how two people with such conflicting morals and personalities could have such a stable, happy relationship.

Once I focused on Dave and Val, the idea for the plot followed, and Hero Status was born. But I still find that old version morbidly fascinating and thought you might, too. So here, in its unedited and awful glory, is the first chapter of the story that sparked The White Knight and Black Valentine Series: Continue reading The Evolution of a Novel

New Superhero Fiction Releases (January 2018)

It’s a new year, so time for new superhero books. We’ve got a lot of sequels this month, some some brand new series, and no shortage of nice-looking covers. As always, I haven’t read all these books personally, so make sure to view the samples and reviews before purchasing. And if you’ve read any of them, share your thoughts in the comments!

DUO – The One and Only

by Michael Pauly

Duo Cover

1981

The Cold War. A world on the brink of annihilation.

The CIA and KGB fight a global shadow-war to claim every child who manifests a superpower in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. The supernatural stockpile more important than nuclear weapons.

Alex Dwyer sits in a high-school cafeteria talking with a pretty girl. Hits the lunch-table with an involuntary twitch of embarrassment.

Explodes the table into a million pieces.

Alex Dwyer brings the world one step closer to armageddon…

Amazon

Wayward: A Cadence Phoenix Novel

by Skye Knizley

Wayward Cover

Cadence Phoenix. A girl with a rose tattoo, a body full of scars and an old guitar she plays like an angel. Two years ago she woke up in the trunk of a car with no memory, no clothes and no identification. She’s on the run, but she doesn’t know why. All she knows is everyone she gets close to, everyone that tries to help her, ends up dead. Someone doesn’t want her to remember and will kill to keep their secret.
But who is it, and why? CJ doesn’t know. But she’s going to find out.

Wayward: A Hero Will Rise

Amazon

Villains Don’t Save Heroes!

by Mia Archer

Villains Dont' Save Heroes Cover

Sequel to Villains Don’t Date Heroes!

Night Terror, the greatest villain Starlight City has ever known, finally had it all. A beautiful girl she couldn’t get enough of. The city finally sort of liked her after she saved it from a giant robot attack. Now it was time to live happily ever after, right?

Yeah, right.

It turns out saving the city and getting the girl was only the beginning of more trouble. She wanted to be Starlight City’s villainous overlord, not the city’s heroic savior. The girl she can’t get enough of is also the world’s greatest hero, which made for a relationship that takes “it’s complicated” to a whole new level.

Oh, and there’s a new villain in town looking to take a shot at the queen. Night Terror’s old nemesis Dr. Lana makes a hell of a villainous debut using tech she stole from Night Terror to rob Fialux of her powers! Now Night Terror has to deal with a new challenger and a hero who’s still trying to save the world despite her dangerous lack of the flight, strength, and invulnerability that used to keep her in one piece.

Villains aren’t supposed to save heroes, but that’s just what she’ll have to do if she’s going to get the girl, save the day, and defeat her new archnemesis.

It’s all in a day’s work for the world’s greatest villain!

Amazon

Tag Team (The Supervillain’s Kids Book 2)

by Lucas Flint

Tag Team Cover

After defeating their supervillain father, Bait and Switch are now seen as heroes rather than potential supervillains. Their classmates finally accept them and even most of their teachers have gotten over their distrust of the two. Life seems to be getting better and better.

But things take a turn for the worse when a superhuman terrorist organization targets the Academy. Their target: A mysterious new student whose power they want to use to throw the superhero community into utter chaos.

Now Bait and Switch must defend this student from the terrorists, but that’s easier said than done, because the leader of the terrorists has infiltrated the Academy with the intent to destroy it–and Bait and Switch–from within.

Amazon

Continue reading New Superhero Fiction Releases (January 2018)

Last Week in Superhero Fiction (1/18/18)

Superhero Fiction News Graphic

Trish Heinrich has posted the first video in a series of “Monday Moments.” This week, she talks about the release date of the next book in The Vigilantes series and mentions an upcoming and very exciting superhero fiction boxed set that you all may be interested in.

Today is the cover reveal of Day, the second novel in Jessica Florence’s Hero Society superhero romance series. You can get a peek at the very cool cover here.

This was a over a week ago, but Tor.com posted a review of The Private Life of Jane Maxwell by Jenn Gott, describing it as “odd but satisfying,” which sounds like a recommendation to me.

Author Darius Brasher is setting up a Patreon page to offer readers free early copies of his books and other cool rewards like having characters named after them and the rights to name his unborn children. I’m pretty sure he’s kidding about that last one. Probably.

If you’ve been debating whether to buy Supervillain High by Gerhard Gehrke, you can now get chapters 1 through 4 for free on Instafreebie and try it before purchasing.

Any news I missed? What superhero fiction are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

New Superhero Fiction Releases for December

Happy Holidays! If you got an Amazon gift card this Christmas, then get ready to punch in that code and start buying. Superhero fiction authors did not take a vacation during the holidays, and we’ve got everything from new novellas to series box sets. As always, I haven’t read all of these books personally, so please take a look at the reviews and samples before purchasing. Now, feast your eyes on the awesome new books below.

Girl Reporter

by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Girl Reporter Cover

From the award-winning author of Cookie Cutter Superhero and Kid Dark Against the Machine comes a brand new novella about girl reporters, superheroes, and interdimensional travel

In a world of superheroes, supervillains, and a machine that can create them all, millennial vlogger and girl reporter Friday Valentina has no shortage of material to cover. Every lottery cycle, a new superhero is created and quite literally steps into the shoes of the hero before them–displacing the previous hero. While Fry may not be super-powered herself, she understands the power of legacy: her mother is none other than the infamous reporter Tina Valentina, renowned worldwide for her legendary interviews with the True Blue Aussie Beaut Superheroes and her tendency to go to extraordinary lengths to get her story.

This time, Tina Valentina may have ventured too far.

Alongside Australia’s greatest superheroes–including the powerful Astra, dazzling Solar, and The Dark in his full brooding glory–Friday will go to another dimension in the hopes of finding her mother, saving the day, maybe even getting the story of a lifetime out of the adventure. (And possibly a new girlfriend, too.)

Amazon

Super Sales on Super Heroes: Book 2

by William D. Arand

Super Sales on Super Heroes Cover

In a world full of super powers, Felix had a pretty crappy one.

After learning to harness his ability to modify any item he owns, he now runs a corporation that is rapidly expanding.

Legion.

After tangling with the local Heroes guild they’ve finally settled into a semblance of stability. Sounds great on paper. Run your company, make money, be your own boss, settle down.

Except that with running a business, comes an inordinate amount of responsibilities. Like making sure everything keeps running and your people are paid. Worrying about the longevity of his company, Felix begins to expand into other cities. So they’ve packed up the car, put in all the requisite forms, gotten the approvals, and set out to start Legion up in a new city.

The problem though is the local government had no idea who they were selling permits to. Approving forms for.

To Felix and Legion.

And now they’re about to find out.

Amazon

An Extraordinary Few (The Extraordinary Series Book 1)

by Pam Eaton

An Extraordinary Few Cover

To be extraordinary is rare, but to be unique is downright dangerous.

Rebecca Hunter thought senior year would be all about hockey games, parties, dances, and college applications. When Becca’s absentee mom dies, things take a drastic turn. She just inherited a super power, but has no idea what it is. And now instead of worrying about homework, she’s got a secret group from the FBI at her door looking to recruit her.

Her days of being an ordinary seventeen year old are over, because she’s one of a hundred people left in the world with super powers. This covert group, Project Lightning, offers to train her, but soon they discover she doesn’t just have her mom’s power, she has more. And that’s never been seen before.

As they try to help her manipulate this new power, agents from Project Lightning go missing, and a few turn up dead. They’re being hunted. And when two men almost kidnap her, she realizes she’s being hunted too. What was supposed to be an amazing senior year has turned into brutal training to find the lost, protect those she loves, and harnessing this new power.

Amazon

Gravitas: A Supervillain Story

by Ben Mason

Gravitas Cover

The world’s greatest villain has unretired for one last mission. Saving the world.

After a serious injury, Christoph “Gravitas” Holtz has retired from supervillainy. Heading into his silver years all he wants is to reminisce, garden, and teach his next-door neighbor’s daughter the finer points of proper villainy.

But when a classless young supervillain threatens Holtz and those he cares about, he turns to an old ally for help with one final mission.

When the mission goes wrong, Christoph will have to struggle against a dangerous enemy he helped unleash, his feelings for his superhero ex, and his own sense of what it means to be a hero or villain.

Amazon

Continue reading New Superhero Fiction Releases for December

Last Week in Superhero Fiction (12/14/17)

Superhero Fiction News Graphic

Author Mackenzi Lee is writing an official YA novel starring everyone’s favorite Marvel villain, Loki. Honestly, I’m surprised Marvel didn’t start putting out books about him years ago. Talk about leaving money on the table.

Smart Bitches Trashy Books gave Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee a “B” in this insightful review.

R.J. Ross is getting into the holiday spirit with the Cape High Advent Calendar 2017, a web serial set in her Cape High universe that’s updating everyday in December on her blog.

Rec-It Rachel has a good list of recommended superhero novels as part of her holiday book-gifting guide.

Any news I missed? What superhero fiction are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

New Superhero Fiction Releases for November

Now that we’re all in Christmas shopping mode, don’t forget to pick up some brand new superhero novels–either for a friend or for your own bookshelf. (You deserve to treat yourself.) Here are some cool-sounding titles I came across while going through the Amazon jungle. As always, I haven’t personally read every book on this list, so make sure you read the reviews and samples before buying.

Renegades

by Marissa Meyer

Renegades cover

From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to the villains who have the power to end them both.

Amazon

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault: A Novel

by James Alan Gardner

Explosions cover

Monsters are real.
But so are heroes.

Sparks are champions of weird science. Boasting capes and costumes and amazing super-powers that only make sense if you don’t think about them too hard, they fight an eternal battle for truth and justice . . . mostly.

Darklings are creatures of myth and magic: ghosts, vampires, were-beasts, and the like. Their very presence warps reality. Doors creak at their approach. Cobwebs gather where they linger.

Kim Lam is an ordinary college student until a freak scientific accident (what else?) transforms Kim and three housemates into Sparks—and drafts them into the never-ending war between the Light and Dark. They struggle to master their new abilities—and (of course) to design cool costumes and come up with great hero-names.

Turns out that “accident” was just the first salvo in a Mad Genius’s latest diabolical scheme. Now it’s up to four newbie heroes to save the day, before they even have a chance to figure out what their team’s name should be!

Amazon

Collateral Damage: A Superhero Anthology (Superheroes and Vile Villains Book 3)

Collateral Damage Cover

Have we ever needed caped crusaders more than today?

Thirteen wildly talented authors join forces to bring you never-before published tales of Superheroes doing what they do—saving the world.

Live vicariously through the Supers of today in the all original series Superheroes and Vile Villains.

Defy the Guild with the lovable, but arrogant Baron Steel, discover what it would be like if a super-powered man played baseball in Will Swardstrom’s Pastime, experience a man out of time, in both senses of the word in Chris Kallias’ Out of Time, and so much more.

More stories than you could shake a radioactive cat at for less than the price of one!

Amazon

Serpent’s Rise (The Vigilantes Book 2)

by Trish Heinrich

Serpent's Rise Cover

She’s the hero the world needs, and she’s training for the rematch of her life…

Alice is out for revenge. After narrowly escaping death at the hands of her nemesis, she spends her days living undercover as a crippled heiress. By night, she plans for the moment she can finally take down the Phantasm…

When superpowered children are stolen from their homes, Alice immediately suspects her greatest enemy. As she follows the clues, two men from her past return, clouding her mind and tugging at her heart. With time running out and potential enemies at every turn, Alice must make a choice: continue to hide for a chance at revenge or save the children and announce to the world that the Serpent has returned…

Serpent’s Rise is the action-packed second book in a fast-paced superhero urban fantasy series. If you like three-dimensional characters, authentic 1960s settings, and high-stakes suspense, then you’ll love Trish Heinrich’s electrifying tale.

Buy Serpent’s Rise today to suit up for the adventure that fights back!

Amazon

Continue reading New Superhero Fiction Releases for November

Last Week in Superhero Fiction (10/26/17)

Superhero Fiction News Graphic

Instafreebie has a huge giveaway of superhero fiction going on right now. Take your pick from a wide assortment of prequels, novellas, previews, and full novels, and claim your copy before the giveaway ends on October 31st.

If you like listening to podcasts, episode 26 of Warp Drives has an interview with Mike Stop Continues, author of the superhero/urban fantasy series King Cage.

Sean Stansell, author of Dad in a Cape, posted a list of The Top 5 Superhero Books of All Time. Hero Status made the list, so you know he has good taste. 😉

Wit & Travesty has an in-depth review of Serpent’s Sacrifice by Trish Heinrich, saying “If you like The Incredibles, Batman, Black Widow, or feminism, you’ll love this novel cocktail version.” I like all of those things and am definitely enjoying the book so far.

Any news I missed? What superhero fiction are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!