Just 2 days away from the official launch of my first novel! I’m excited and apprehensive, but that’s to be expected. I’ve spent the better part of this year writing, researching, reaching out to people, scheduling promos, all for this moment.
In this post I wanted to share some info on what my book is, how it came about, and why I’ve written it.
Q: What is this novel about?
A: Here’s the 10 second pitch.
When his pregnant wife is kidnapped by the sadistic supervillain the Viper, reporter Derek willows turns to the Dead Man, his city’s vigilante superhero for help. But when the hero is incapacitated, Derek has to become the Dead Man to save the ones he loves and protect his city from a sinister plot.
oversimplified version. But that’s the basic plot.
Q: How did you come up with the idea?
A: I’ve always had a love for an underdog story. I also LOVE science fiction, especially futuristic and post-apocalyptic settings, and I love superhero themes. My favorite superhero has no powers…because I love underdogs.
One day I was thinking of how cool it would be if a true underdog, a person without powers or exceptional skills, had to take over as a superhero for a day, or for life. How would that be possible? And how would that dynamic play out?
Long story-short, I came up with the idea of a reporter, who had gotten in too deep with criminal elements, having to become his city’s superhero after the current superhero was incapacitated. Throw in some interesting technology, high-stakes, a possible love triangle, and an interesting villain, and you have the Dead Man chronicles, more or less.
Q: Why write THIS story first?
A: I have quite a a few ideas that I feel would make good stories. Some of which have been floating around my brain for years. As I stated in my last blog There is no Perfect |There is Only Finished, I feel like it’s way past time that I get them out to the world.
I wanted to start with a story that I liked, but was not SUPER attached to. I have a couple of ideas that are my “Babies“. Stories that I feel have to be told just right and have to reach a large audience. This story isn’t one of those. It’s fun, I love it, I AM attached to it, but it’s the right level of attachment to be able to write it and let it go.
Right now I’m an amateur. Not necessarily an amateur writer, but an amateur self-publisher. I don’t have a large following, I don’t have a lot of technical/marketing know-how in the world of self publishing. I wanted to choose a story that wouldn’t be stifled by me needing it to be super successful. Also something that could be written fairly quickly, with a complex, yet not overly convoluted story line and premise. A fun story that I could grow my craft of storytelling with.
I wrote outlines for about 5 of my ideas and The Dead Man Chronicles met all of the right criteria to be #1 to be written.
Q: Why write this story at all?
A: Firstly because I love the genre. Secondly because I needed to write it. Thirdly because it’s a story I’d like to read. Lastly because the main character looks like me.
The last part is really important to me for several reasons. This is where it gets deep.
Growing up, I LOVED batman. Loved Cyclops from the X-Men. Loved Spiderman.
None of these characters look like me.
And as trivial as it may seem, that has a small psychological effect (I will write more on this at a later date).
Actually in the world of sci-fi as a whole (and it is improving) there are not a lot of primary characters that look like me. (Shout out to Captain Benjamin Sisko and T.J. from power rangers TURBO oh yeah and Worf, even though I hope to god Worf and I don’t “look” alike).
If you haven’t figured it out I’m talking about my skin color. I think it’s important for people of all colors and creeds to have dynamic fictional characters that represent them somehow, even if it’s just the shade of their skin.
Derek Willows may not be the upstanding role-model you would want all of your children to look up to. But he represents a diversity that is life. In terms of his character and his skin tone, and I think that’s something worth promoting.
Q: How long did it take you to write?
A: Two months. Technically.
In January I outlined the idea. I wrote at it in earnest from Feb 1st and was done with draft 1 in mid-march. Then I made another pass, working out some character and story issues until it was..not perfect, but finished. I was done with the second draft in mid-April.
After that I was reaching out to artists for concept art, cover art etc. I was contacting proofreaders and editors. And then I had to teach myself about paperback formatting, kindle formatting, marketing self-published works etc. etc. I then went over beta-reader and editor notes for the final draft.
So the journey as a whole has taken up to this point this year.
CONFESSION: I actually wrote 2 chapters of this same novel late last year. I hated it. So I put it on the shelf. When I decided to tackle it again I deleted everything and started at square 1.
Q: Who is this book for?
A: Everyone! Of course everyone says that about their work.
However, if you enjoy a bit of sci-fi, an underdog story, action with a bit of drama and romance, you specifically may find it a good read.
Hopefully everyone that picks it up finds it entertaining and fun.
I tried to write flawed, somewhat complicated characters, in a near-futuristic world that feels real, is action-packed, and fun.
I would love for you to check it out when it’s available, write an amazon review, and do it all over again when book 2 comes out, hopefully by year’s end.
Thanks so much for reading. Great things are on the horizon for you. Take care.
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Also published on Medium.