Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War – On Earth, Carrie Hauser is a hero, but on the far side of the galaxy, she’s just another soldier on the front lines of an interplanetary war against the terrorists in the Black End.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage – Carrie returns to Earth to reclaim her life, but life has moved on without her. Does she have a place with her team, her friends, or her family anymore?

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury – Black Betty is back, and ready to unleash Hell — literally, but can the Hero Squad trust Dr. Enigma to have their backs? Or does she have her own dark agenda?

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences – The Hero Squad learns that hard way that no good deed goes unpunished. Scheduled for early 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: Stepping Up – Collects the first three books in the series (Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, Pasts Imperfect) and features a new foreward by Patrick Hodges and a new introduction by the author.

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to elven books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Weekly Update – February 9, 2021

“Beneath the Mask: A Superhero Romance Anthology” is now available for preorder on Amazon! Grab this new collection of short stories for the Kindle for only 99 cents! Releases next Sunday — Valentine’s Day!

In addition to my story “Like a Knife in the Heart,” you’ll get stories from Trish Heinrich, Jeremy Flagg, Lana Percherczyk, Jaimie Hawke, Christine Ragland, Nancy O’Toole, Karen Diem, Franklin Kendrick, and Angelique Anderson. Stories come in three spice levels: sweet, sexy, and erotic, and there will be something for all tastes (meaning straight and queer content).

We’d love to get this collection off to a strong start right out of the gate, so here’s what you can do to help out and support this group of independent creators:

  • Buy the book, of course. Either preorder it or buy it on release day. Either way, it’ll give it a boost on Amazon’s sales charts and increase its exposure to other readers.
  • Once you’ve read the book, leave a review! Leaving one on Amazon is best, but a Goodreads review would also be helpful.
  • Spread the word to fellow readers who might like this anthology — such as by sharing this post, for example.
  • If you find an author you really like, consider checking out their other books, following their websites, subscribing to their newsletters, and/or following them on social media.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Editing and cover art in progress. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book five: First draft is well underway!

Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology: In final production, scheduled for a February 14 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – February 2, 2021

It’s almost here!
“Beneath the Mask: A Superhero Romance Anthology” is now available for preorder on Amazon! Grab this new collection of short stories for the Kindle for only 99 cents! Releases next Sunday — Valentine’s Day!
In addition to my story “Like a Knife in the Heart,” you’ll get stories from Trish Heinrich, Jeremy Flagg, Lana Percherczyk, Jaimie Hawke, Christine Ragland, Nancy O’Toole, Karen Diem, Franklin Kendrick, and Angelique Anderson. Stories come in three spice levels: sweet, sexy, and erotic, and there will be something for all tastes (meaning straight and queer content).
We’d love to get this collection off to a strong start right out of the gate, so here’s what you can do to help out and support this group of independent creators:
* Buy the book, of course. Either preorder it or buy it on release day. Either way, it’ll give it a boost on Amazon’s sales charts and increase its exposure to other readers.
* Once you’ve read the book, leave a review! Leaving one on Amazon is best, but a Goodreads review would also be helpful.
* Spread the word to fellow readers who might like this anthology — such as by sharing this post, for example.
* If you find an author you really like, consider checking out their other books, following their websites, subscribing to their newsletters, and/or following them on social media.
One another quick note, I finally bit the bullet and did some long-deferred website upgrades, which includes a more user-friendly Buy Now page. Go check it out, and remember, I’m still running my inventory clearance sale! Buy one full-length novel and you’ll get a free copy of Cheap Thrills Digest (while supplies last). Buy two novels and you’ll get a third free!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Editing and cover art in progress. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book five: First draft is well underway!

Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology: In final production, scheduled for a February 14 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 26, 2021

NEW RELEASE ALERT!

“Beneath the Mask: A Superhero Romance Anthology” is now available for preorder on Amazon! Grab this new collection of short stories for the Kindle for only 99 cents! Releases on Sunday, February 14 — Valentine’s Day, appropriately!

In addition to my story “Like a Knife in the Heart,” you’ll get stories from Trish Heinrich, Jeremy Flagg, Lana Percherczyk, Jaimie Hawke, Christine Ragland, Nancy O’Toole, Karen Diem, Franklin Kendrick, and Angelique Anderson. Stories come in three spice levels: sweet, sexy, and erotic, and there will be something for all tastes (meaning straight and queer content).

We’d love to get this collection off to a strong start right out of the gate, so here’s what you can do to help out and support this group of independent creators:

* Buy the book, of course. Either preorder it or buy it on release day. Either way, it’ll give it a boost on Amazon’s sales charts and increase its exposure to other readers.

* Once you’ve read the book, leave a review! Leaving one on Amazon is best, but a Goodreads review would also be helpful.

* Spread the word to fellow readers who might like this anthology — such as by sharing this post, for example.

* If you find an author you really like, consider checking out their other books, following their websites, subscribing to their newsletters, and/or following them on social media.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Editing and cover art in progress. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology: In final production, scheduled for a February 14 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 19, 2021

After a necessary hiatus for the holidays and to recharge my brain, I’m back at it, and work on the sixth Strongarm & Lightfoot book has begun!

I hit the 10,000 word mark over the past week, which I consider a strong start after so many weeks of writing nothing. Taking these breaks, I’ve learned over the years, is necessary, but I hate taking them — especially during the pandemic.

Let me ‘splain.

Due to precautionary lockdowns and restrictions (all of which I support wholeheartedly, by the way), our lives have been disrupted in a big way — which I know is painfully obvious to everyone, but I’ve noticed that it’s hit my creative friends and colleagues especially hard. I know a lot of performers, and being unable to indulge their craft for so long has taken a toll. They’ve fallen into a creative, emotional, and mental stupor that’s deadened their creative spirit.

The problem within this problem, I’m very familiar with. Creative souls need to create, and when they don’t (or can’t) for too long, they can fall into emotional funks — which do nothing to spark creativity, so they continue to not create, which strengthens their depression, which continues to smother their creative energy…it’s an awful cycle to get stuck in, and can be very hard to break.

I experienced this cycle years ago, after an agent rejected what eventually became the first Action Figures novel. My high hopes for a career breakthrough had been thoroughly crushed, which caused me to stop writing for several months — the first such major dry spell I’d ever experienced. I eventually climbed back on my creative horse, but it was an imposing challenge. I’d become too comfortable not writing and had to force myself to get back to work — which did not result in quality material, which threatened to push me right back into my pit of artistic despair.

Obviously, I eventually got my creative life back on an even keel, but ever since, I’ve resisted taking any kind of planned, extended break from writing for fear I’d fall back into those old habits and mindsets. I know on a conscious level that I need to rest my brain every so often (The Oatmeal discussed this in its own inimitably, delightfully crass and goofy way) but subconsciously, I worry I’ll stop writing and never start back up again.

If I might end with some advice for those who might be dealing with this problem right now: stay creative. Force yourself, gently, to get back to doing what you do, in some form, even if that form is imperfect and far from ideal. Rest is good, resting necessary, but indefinite inertia is NOT resting; it’s slowly dying inside.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Editing and cover art in progress. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology: In final production, scheduled for a February 14 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War – On Earth, Carrie Hauser is a hero, but on the far side of the galaxy, she’s just another soldier on the front lines of an interplanetary war against the terrorists in the Black End.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage – Carrie returns to Earth to reclaim her life, but life has moved on without her. Does she have a place with her team, her friends, or her family anymore?

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury – Black Betty is back, and ready to unleash Hell — literally, but can the Hero Squad trust Dr. Enigma to have their backs? Or does she have her own dark agenda?

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences – The Hero Squad learns that hard way that no good deed goes unpunished.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: Stepping Up – Collects the first three books in the series (Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, Pasts Imperfect) and features a new foreward by Patrick Hodges and a new introduction by the author.

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to elven books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Weekly Update – January 12, 2021

Looks like we have an official release date for Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology, and it is, appropriately, Valentine’s Day!

There’s been no word yet on the full lineup of authors and stories, but I’ll throw all that your way as soon as I know, along with a preorder link so you can grab this collection when it drops and maybe help us score a number one position on Amazon’s best-seller list? It’d be a nice way to start off 2021 after what’s been — to put it very mildly — a rocky start.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: The current draft is off to my editor Julie so she can do her thing, and cover art notes have been sent to Tricia so she can do hers. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And I’ll be appearing on the Muppets: Most Wanted! virtual panel on Monday, January 18 at 11:30 AM.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 5, 2021

Welcome back, everyone! Hope you all had a fun but safe New Year’s Eve!

I took the last couple of weeks of 2020 off to rest and recharge my creative batteries a little, and think about the year ahead for me as a writer, and one of my goals is to ease off the throttle a little. I tend to push myself when working on a project and try to cram in as much writing as possible, and this year that led me to burn out a bit.

It also led me to neglect an important part of indie authorship, and that’s the business end of things. While sales this year were up overall, especially on the entire Action Figures series, I really didn’t do as much as I should have to promote my work, so I want to focus more there in 2021.

I’d also like to find time to work on some other ideas I’ve had knocking around in my head, but I’m not going to force that for the sake of my creative health.

And to get that particular ball rolling, let me first remind everyone that my short story Action Figures – An Adventure in Babysitting is part of The Superhero Mega Anthology, a massive collection of superhero short stories and comics now available for free! And each contributor is offering up additional bonuses, perks, and free giveaways, so download it now and check it out.

If that’s not enough, in a few months Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology will be available. That one will feature Like a Knife in the Heart, a new original pulp hero-style short story featuring my new character, the Sapphire Silhouette. Check back for release date announcements there!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Third draft is complete. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And I’ll be appearing on the Muppets: Most Wanted! virtual panel on Monday, January 18 at 11:30 AM.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – December 15, 2020

Folks, this is going to be my last blog post for 2020. I plan to spend the rest of the month relaxing and getting ready to have a quiet holiday with my wife and our fuzzies and not worrying about business stuff. See you in January!

In the meantime, please remember that all through December, audiobook titles produced through ACX purchased through Audible will pay authors and narrators a 5% bonus on their royalties. The first three Strongarm & Lightfoot books and the Well-Behaved Women trilogy are available, so now’s a great time to give them a listen!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Third draft is complete. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished!

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And they’re now getting the panels assigned, so hopefully I’ll have news on that before the end of the year.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War – On Earth, Carrie Hauser is a hero, but on the far side of the galaxy, she’s just another soldier on the front lines of an interplanetary war against the terrorists in the Black End.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage – Carrie returns to Earth to reclaim her life, but life has moved on without her. Does she have a place with her team, her friends, or her family anymore?

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury – Black Betty is back, and ready to unleash Hell — literally, but can the Hero Squad trust Dr. Enigma to have their backs? Or does she have her own dark agenda?

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences – The Hero Squad learns that hard way that no good deed goes unpunished.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: Stepping Up – Collects the first three books in the series (Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, Pasts Imperfect) and features a new foreward by Patrick Hodges and a new introduction by the author.

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to elven books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com