Greetings, fellow heroes (and villains!) How has your week been so far? Great? Great! Joining us today is one of my favorite fellow authors–Liana Brooks. Liana and I are buddies on Twitter, so if you’re on Twitter at all I strongly recommend following her so you can get in on the fun.
Liana has a new book coming out today, and we’re going to help promote it! So keep reading to the end for details on how to get involved, and the chance to get some shiny new books to read! And keep reading anyway, because we’re going to talk about elements of the superhero genre, other superhero authors, and important things to remember when writing about superpowers!
Superhero fiction is a rising star, and it can be hard to find good titles! So to start out with, what other superhero fiction have you read/do you recommend?
SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS by Lexxie Dunne and SUPER ZERO by Rhonda Stapleton are the first two to come to mind. I know there are others, but it kind of depends on how you define a superhero, doesn’t it? Are we talking about masked vigilantes in spandex or anyone with an extrasensory talent? If we’re talking about anyone with talents above and beyond the norm half my bookshelf is filled with superheroes.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What do you like about them?
Terry Pratchett – For making me laugh while teaching me something more about being human.
JRR Tolkien – For making me a reader in the first place.
Anne McCaffery – For introducing the concept of sci-fi romance to me.
That’s the short list. The long list will take a few days and would full a tome or two. There are very few authors who I don’t consider a favorite in one way or another.
You have a new book coming out soon—the first in a new series, in fact. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
It’s not a superhero book! How’s that for different? The main character, Sam, is the antithesis of a superhero. She’s a straight-laced bureau agent who has lived a very privileged, open life. There’s no mystery to her background. She is an ordinary person trying to answer a very complicated question.
In less vague terms THE DAY BEFORE is the search for Jane Doe’s killer, and the fall out of getting answers. Homicide investigations should be clean cut. The killer murdered a victim and the killer gets caught and goes to jail. But sometimes the killer isn’t who the investigator wants it to be. Sometimes the victim isn’t as innocent as they seem. THE DAY BEFORE explores what happens when you ask questions and get an answer you weren’t expecting.
Will be any more Heroes and Villains books in the future?
Unless I die before the next book gets finished, yes, there will be at least three more Heroes and Villains books. I’m working on Maria’s book (the fourth in the series) right now. I have two other books sketched out and I’m hoping to have full outlines for them soon. Because of the fast pace of the Jane Doe series publication the Heroes and Villains will probably continue to come out once a year as they always have.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now/next?
I’m currently bouncing between Book 4 of the Heroes and Villains series, Book 2 of the Jane series (JANE’S SHADOW which release in November of this year), and a couple of pot boilers. I always have a Maybe book simmering at the back of my brain, one that I have a lot of hope for but that I’m not 100% sure will see the light of day.
On Twitter you’ve been chronicling your Alaska adventures, to our great amusement. For the benefit of new readers—what is it like living in Alaska?
What is Alaska like? I think that really depends on where you’re coming from. If you’re a native of northern Colorado Alaska feels very normal except the mountains are on the wrong side. I went to high school in Denver and the mountains were always in the west. It confuses the daylights out of me to have mountains in the east!
It is a beautiful state. I think RAW might be the best term. Humans live in Alaska but we haven’t conquered it. We’re not even the dominant species up here, we’re just scraping by. When you see the moose and the bears you realize how very far down on the food chain we are. Alaska is still wild and dangerous.
Do you feel it gives you deeper insight into the concept of evil lairs located in distant regions such as Antarctica?
If I built an evil lair I would build it on a tropical island. Bases at the poles are too cold and too hard to get to! You can’t spend half your life of villainy traveling coach on a plane. That sort of thing isn’t healthy for super villains.
What kind of advice would you give to those venturing into the superhero genre
Look, the first masked hero was The Scarlet Pimpernel, a masked dandy named for a British flower. He was a romantic hero. He let everyone assume the worst of him so he could do great things. And he was written by a woman.
If you want to write superheroes, start there. Know the roots of the genre. Know why people love the genre. We love seeing people we think are ordinary do extraordinary things. Take that and make it your own. Look around you at your life and imagine what a hero for your world would look like.
What do you think is the most important thing to remember when writing about super powers?
Too much power is a horrible thing.
The first time you write a superhero (or villain) there’s an overwhelming temptation to make them flawless. The problem with flawless heroes is that no one can relate to them and we all kind of hate them eventually.
Worse, a hero with no weakness is no hero at all. They’re boring. If your hero never has a chance to fail they have no room to grow, and you have no plot.
And of course we have to ask–who is your favorite superhero? Favorite supervillain? Why?
Is Deadpool a villain? I like his comics. He’s funny.
Gambit might be my favorite hero. I was a fan of the X-Men cartoons as a kid. Peggy Carter is amazing too. If Agent Carter isn’t renewed I’ll be very upset.
*breaks fourth wall and looks at TV executives making decisions*
Do you hear me? Very. Angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry.
*author hulk smash*
And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Did you have fun? Did you learn something? Are you ready to hit the streets and bring justice to criminals? Good–because we have a job for you.
We are holding two separate giveaways. The first one is easy and straightforward. To enter simply comment below with your answer to this question:
If you could have any superpower what would you choose and why?
One winner will be randomly selected to receive an ecopy of “Even Villains Fall in Love.”
The second one is a little more complicated and a lot more fun. Are you ready to go on a covert mission? It’s called Ask a Super Question, Get a Super Answer.
Think of a superhero related question, and go ask people that question. You can ask it on Facebook, or Twitter, put it up on a bulletin board, or just bug your mom about it. We don’t care. Here are some examples of a super question:
Would you rather be Batman or Superman?
What superhero would you most like to write for?
Which superhero film would you rather direct?
Which superhero universe would you rather be trapped in?
Which country needs more superheroes?
If you were a real life superhero what name would you pick?
Collect the answers. It doesn’t matter if you get just one answer, or a hundred. Email us the question and your favorite answer. (You can have more than one favorite answer, but only if it’s really hard to choose!) This is your giveaway submission. One winner will be randomly selected from the participants. The prize for the Covert Operation portion of the giveaway is an ecopy of The Day Before. Our favorite questions and answers will be posted along with both winners Thursday afternoon. This gives you until Wednesday (tomorrow) night to submit your entry, so get hopping!
Comment below with your favorite superpower and why to enter a drawing for “Even Villains Fall in Love.”
Email us a super question and answer that you fielded to enter a drawing for “The Next Day.”
Got it? Good. Can’t wait to see your entries!
About Liana Brooks
Liana Brooks once read the book GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and noted that both their biographies invited readers to send money (or banana daiquiris). That seems to have worked well for them. Liana prefers strawberry daiquiris (virgin!) and will never say no to large amounts of cash in unmarked bills.
Her books are sweet and humorous with just enough edge to keep you reading past your
Liana was born in San Diego after bouncing around the country she’s settled (temporarily) in the great wilderness of Alaska. She can be found on Twitter (@LianaBrooks), on FaceBook, and on the web at www.lianabrooks.com.
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My superpower of choice (note – my twelve year old daughter always chooses invisibility,no matter how many times I point out the possible flaws in having it, so I’m mindful that whatever I choose, it will come with issues and ethical quandries) is….
…healing. Both physical and emotional.
For fun, my super power would be to fly. 🙂 Not very imaginative, I know, but I love the idea of flying.