Fast Five With Jack Wallen

Hey, everyone! Today I’m kicking off a series of quickie interviews with my fellow Indie Superhero StoryBundle authors, and leading the series is Jack Wallen, who has proven a bit of a dynamo when it comes to promoting the bundle, so it feels appropriate that he’s starting things off.

Shero Cover1) It’s high-concept pitch time. In 20 words or fewer, what is your book about?

A transgender superhero protects the very citizens that mock him against evil most vile.

2) Why did you decide to tackle a superhero story as a prose novel rather than as a traditional comic book/graphic novel?

Due to the nature of Shero, it would be incredibly easy to turn a transgender superhero into something other than what was intended. By using the written word, Shero becomes the product of the reader’s minds and not the result of an artists rendering of what a transgender superhero would be.

3) One of the notable earmarks of our current Indie Superhero StoryBundle is that “indie” part. Are you an independent author by choice? And what are the big pros and cons of life as an indie author?

I am indie by choice. I decided to go that route for one simple reason– control. Too often publishers want more control over elements they may not fully understand. I know the endgame of every series I write and with that knowledge comes a responsibility to each story that a publisher may not get.

Also, too many publishers are still stuck in the old, stale mold of what “genre” should be. Without being able to navigate the grand rapids of writer-dom as an indie author, the likes of Shero might never have happened… simply because publishers wouldn’t know what to do with it. Thinking outside the norm is not one of their strengths.

4) Superheroes are well-established archetypes, and their stories have their own sensibilities and internal logic. How did you play with or subvert the tropes of superhero fiction in your story?

Two things: First and foremost this was made incredibly easy by nature of Shero. Because he is transgender he is a good guy that isn’t always seen as such, simply because he fights super villains in a little black dress.

Second, the nature of the narrator in the series evolved into something very special. The narrator is as much a part of the series as Shero. The narrator also breaks a lot of rules – one rule in particular is that he breaks the “fourth wall” and comments not only on the action in the book, but on the reader as well. I have a LOT of fun with that.

Author Jack Wallen.
Author Jack Wallen.

5) Beginnings, middles, and ends. What is your favorite/the easiest part of a story to write and which is the hardest/least favorite?

Everything about Shero is a joy to write. In fact, I write a new Shero book every time I think I’m starting to take myself too seriously. I laugh so much as I write it, so the process is incredibly easy.

If I had to name a challenge it would be the never-ending struggle to not go “too far” with the humor and the cheestastic nature of nearly every situation in the series.

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