Today I’m going to do something that just might be crazy: I’m going to spotlight superhero novels that aren’t mine.
I’ve grown to like working with other indie authors to cross-promote their books, and I always enjoy hosting blog tour stops or conducting interviews with fellow indie creators, so in principle this is no different, but I admit it’s an unusual decision to give some stage time to books that, in a sense, are in competition with mine.
So why do it? For starters, superhero fiction as a genre needs some attention. Fantasy, horror, sci-fi, they all have very significant presences on Amazon, and you can find websites aplenty dedicated to genre fiction, but there’s not much out there promoting superhero fiction — which, as a genre, is fairly small and for that reason underrepresented.
Also, I’m simply not a competitive person, and I don’t believe that the best way to attract people to my work is to trash other creators and their work. I’ll be honest here, I want people to choose to spend their money with me first. I want the best-reviewed books. I want the top spots on Amazon’s best-seller list for my genre. I want readers to consider my series the best of the bunch. But I’m not going to achieve these goals by pissing all over “the competition”; I’m going to achieve these goals by pushing myself to produce the best stories I can and making damn sure my books are top-quality. As the saying goes, extinguishing another’s candle does not cause mine to burn brighter (or something like that. I’m feeling too lazy to look it up).
So in the interest of camaraderie and community and cooperation, here are some titles that pop up alongside mine on various Amazon lists. I will start with my own work because, hey, I do still have a series of my own to promote (insert smiley-winky emoticon here). Click on the links to jump to that title’s Amazon page, and maybe find something new to read!
Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins by Michael Bailey – Average Amazon rating:4.7 stars
It was the worst summer of Carrie Hauser’s life, and the weirdest: it was the summer her parents announced they were getting divorced, and when a dying alien passed on to her his fantastic superhuman abilities.
All Carrie wants now is to settle into her new home in Kingsport and get her life back to something resembling normal – but that won’t be easy when her secret is discovered by a group of teenage super-hero wannabes, who need her help to discover why experimental military drones have been wreaking havoc in town.
Their search leads the fledgling super-team to Archimedes, an artificial intelligence that will do anything to escape its virtual reality prison and enter the real world.
However, the kids aren’t the only ones with an interest in Archimedes, and the super-teens soon find themselves caught in the middle of a longstanding feud between Concorde, Kingsport’s high-flying hometown hero, and his nemesis, the deadly mercenary Manticore.
Save the day? Sure…as soon as school lets out.
Hope did, but she grew out of it. Which made her superhuman breakthrough in the Ashland Bombing, just before starting her freshman year at the University of Chicago, more than a little ironic. And now she has some decisions to make. Given the code-name “Astra” and invited to join the Sentinels, Chicago’s premier super-team, will she take up the cape and mask and become a career superhero? Or will she get a handle on her new powers (super-strength has some serious drawbacks) and then get on with her life-plan?
In a world where superheroes join unions and have agents, and the strongest and most photogenic ones become literal supercelebrities, the temptation to become a cape is strong. But the price can be high—especially if you’re “outed” and lose the shield of your secret identity. Becoming a sidekick puts the decision off for awhile, but Hope’s life is further complicated when The Teatime Anarchist, the supervillain responsible for the Ashland Bombing, takes an interest in her. Apparently as Astra, Hope is supposed to save the world. Or at least a significant part of it.
You’re probably wondering why we’re trying to be so quiet. Well there’s a reason. A really BIG reason. He’s standing over there–no–to your right–no, THROUGH the fence. Yes, on the other side of the big, nasty looking security fence that is literally shaking because of electric jolts. Yes, him. He’s pretty scary looking, right? He’s got to be six five, and he’s got the face of a serial murderer. It’s all sharp and needing shaved. And that whole skin tight prison body suit thing–it’s really not fashionable at all, I admit. What? Why’s he got a streak of white in his hair? Well, see, that’s why we’re here.
He’s a super villain.
So why is an innocent little freshman like me and her annoying twin brother sneaking peeks at him through a prison fence? Well…
He’s our father. At least, that’s what we think.
Knowledge is power. That would be the motto of Lander University, had it not been snatched up and used to death by others long before the school was founded. For while Lander offers a full range of courses to nearly all students, it also offers a small number of specialty classes to a very select few. Lander is home to the Hero Certification Program, a curriculum designed to develop student with superhuman capabilities, commonly known as Supers, into official Heroes.
Five of this year’s freshmen are extra special. They have a secret aside from their abilities, one that they must guard from even their classmates. Because for every one person in the world with abilities they can control, there are three who lack such skill. These lesser super beings, Powereds as they are called, have always been treated as burdens and second class citizens. Though there has been ample research in the area, no one has ever succeeded in turning a Powered into a regular human, let alone a Super.
That is, until now…
Maci Might’s sixteenth birthday is supposed to be the day she’s awarded Hero status. But thanks to a tiny anger problem and a questionable family tree, King City’s elders think it’s best if she doesn’t join the Hero ranks. Determined to change their minds, Maci will break whatever rule it takes to prove she’s Hero material. As her hair darkens and her anger grows, everyone turns against her except Evan; a childhood friend turned scientist who may be able to unlock the secrets hidden in her DNA.
When a villain attacks King City and her dad is held prisoner, Maci discovers a truth she refuses to believe. She may not be a Hero after all—but this time the Heroes of King City need her more than she needs them. And she won’t let them down.
Powered is the first in a trilogy.
Looking for more superhero fiction? Then check out the Pen and Cape Society website!