Various thoughts about travel, writing, and publishing -- plus anything else that is worth a comment by award winning science fiction author Henry Melton
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Comic Book Inspiration
Officially, Pixie Dust has a publication date of April 1, 2010, but my shipment just arrived, Amazon has jumped the gun and has both the trade paperback and Kindle versions available for sale. It's a couple of days early, but I don't mind. Just as soon as I turn on the buy button on my website, I'll start selling autographed versions myself.
Pixie Dust was one of those books that started with a single idea; what's it like to be a comic book superhero? Back in the mid-'80s, I went through a period where I visited the comic book stores regularly. Before too long, I had a collection of about 1200 issues, (calculated as 12 long boxes with about 100 issues in each). My previous collection had gone away to the half-price book places when I was newly married and we were very short on cash. I gave up some great stories back then.
Rather than just write a traditional comic book story, I wanted one with just one departure from real life physics. It was okay to create the new physics to provide the plot, but I didn't want any of those scenes where 'our hero' falls a hundred yards and then gets up and walks away. No fair changing the rules page by page.
I also wanted Jenny, a real 98-pound weakling, to be a comic book fan herself. She's very aware that her predicament, being contaminated by an exotic substance, is right out of the pages of her favorite stories, and is able to compare and contrast what she's going through with the events she's read all her life.
I even structured the book in to twelve 'issues' rather than chapters. If I had a good budget, I would have added some internal artwork, but that wasn't possible. While I didn't want the comic book theme to overwhelm the story, there was lots of opportunity for Jenny to make use of her comic book expertise to help solve her immediate problems.
In all, it was a fun exercise to take a look at the comic book hero from a different angle.
I've also wondered if I should take advantage of my collection to promote the book. Just as an experiment, if you order a copy of Pixie Dust from me, and request it, I'll include a couple of comic books along with it. Sorry, I don't have a good index of what I have, that was lost with my Newton.