Wearing the Cape

Who wants to be a superhero?

Hope did, but she grew out of it. Which made her 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. 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 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.

Wearing the Cape is a story about what it means to be a superhero. Copies are available on Amazon.com, in electronic format, for $4.99, and in large paperback format at Createspace.com for slightly more. So far WtC has garnered many good Amazon reviews (4.5-star average), and has achieved Bestseller status on YouWriteOn.com. Strangely enough, it’s currently ranked the #1 superhero novel on Amazon.co.uk.

88 Responses to Wearing the Cape

  1. Jessie says:

    Hey just picked up wearing the cape and villans inc. Loving them. I was just wondering if you could list all the types and a general description of their powers. Thank you.

    • George says:

      I’m surprised nobody has asked before this, and I intend to include a couple of appendixes at the end of Villains Inc in December–one of which will be a discussion of the type/class system along with a list of all the different types I have shown thus far. I’m getting so many different types now, I need to do this for myself anyway!

  2. Dave Patton says:

    Hey. Read the first book a little while back and thought it was awesome. Posted here and on Amazon. Glad the second book is coming and I will buy it, but will wait for the finished product. I can’t deal with the delay in the story resulting from the episodic format. The Game of Thrones series has driven me crazy on that. But I do have a question. What happens if you are writing episode 4 and realize that it would have been great to change something earlier in the book to make the story work? That will no longer be possible, right? I know the episodic format has advantages but am curious about your thoughts on the tradeoff. Or do I just have a naive view of the way the writing process works?

  3. Mark says:

    Just picked up Episode 2 of Villains Inc, looking forward to reading it today :)

  4. Adam D. says:

    I just bought myself a kindle a little more than a month ago. I still don’t know why I did it, I never have been big into reading books(many a teachers can verify this). Now with that said, I finished reading Ex-Heros by Peter Clines and Amazon suggested Wearing The Cape. I loved the read so much that I have had others get hooked on it now and we are just waiting to see what happens. Loving it so much that I obviously found this site, Also kinda cool because I also live in Las Vegas. I Hope you continue to write stories in this very awesome world you have created.

    • George says:

      A fellow Las Vegan! Do you get your fix at Alternate Reality Comics? I certainly intend to write more adventures for Astra, although I’m going to write other stories for a bit after finishing Villains Inc. (Artemis gets her own book next.) I hope you continue to enjoy them.

      • Adam D. says:

        Can’t wait for Artemis to get her own book! Actually my comic fix gets taken care of at Maximum Comics.

  5. Trevor says:

    G’Day from Australia!! Have read all three of the books and have throughly enjoyed them! When can we expect the next book? Just one minor constructive observation-Hope “shivers” in reponse to nearly every situation-I found this a little annoying after a while.

    • George says:

      Thanks, mate! Glad you enjoyed them, and, yes, I have become aware of the need to employ different verbs. Episode 3 will be out in November, hopefully early November.

  6. kerrywk says:

    Marion, there doesn’t seem to be a “contact” option on any of your pages so I do hope you see this.

    Your book, Wearing The Cape, is not viewable on UK Kindle because of the category it is in.

    If you visit the Kindle Store from the main amazon.co.uk website, it is fine BUT, if you use an actual Kindle to shop, the “Comics & Graphic Novels” category doesn’t show. This is largely because the books in that category are incompatible with a Kindle device.

    I have read and liked the sample of your book but I doubt many readers in the UK are aware of it. I’m not sure if it’s you or your publisher who chose the category but, either way, if I were you, I would try to change it into science fiction or fantasy or something similar where it it viewable.

    I found it completely by accident because I do almost all my book browsing through the Kindle.

    If you want to move it and check back with me to see if it is visible, feel free – there is an “email me” button on http://kerrywilkinson.com (I don’t want to post the address on a publcly viewable page)

    All the best,
    Kerry

  7. dave calderon says:

    Hi Marion! I have not read a super hero book or even a comic in nearly 30 years. I don’t know how I found your books but I’m glad I did. I absolutely love them and am looking forward to many more! Happy holidays!!….Dave

  8. Jessie says:

    Dang It! I just finished episode 4 . Loved it, but you still didn’t give us a list of the types, and their abilities. PLEASE just tell me what an Ajax type is. I have read WTC and Villains, inc 3 times. There is no clear description of his powers in the books.

    • George says:

      Dr. Beth gave Hope a synopsis that she read at home (first part of WtC). To sum up: super strong, super tough, able to fly, and with enhanced senses of sight and hearing. Basically Superman without the x-ray vision, heat vision, and super-breath–and of course not nearly as strong; Superman could lift a cruise ship–Astra can’t quite lift a tank. Sorry; I really had intended to prepare a list of types, and may still do so on this site.

      • George says:

        Oops. Just reviewed this: Ajax-type, not Atlas-type. Basically, we’re talking Ajax; super strong, super tough (probably a bit stronger and tougher than Atlas), and that’s it. In Marvel comics, the Thing is a good example–in DC comics, Hercules.

  9. Jessie says:

    Thank you so much for the quick response George! Can’t wait for “Bite Me”. I’m quickly becoming a huge fan of your work. Keep ‘em coming, and I’ll keep on buying. BTW I live near Laughlin, NV. There are no comic shops here, so when I do buy mine, I trek up to Cosmic Comics on Flamingo , and Alternate Reality Comics on Maryland.

  10. Jessie says:

    LOL. OK.

  11. Christina D says:

    Hi there! First of all, just started reading Wearing the Cape last night and I LOVE it! I want to get the next few books in the series, but it doesn’t look like Amazon has all of them for the Kindle. I am only seeing Wearing the Cape, Villains Inc., Villains Inc Episode 1 and Villains Inc Episode 4. Where can I find Episodes 2 & 3? Are they available for the Kindle?

    Thank you!
    Christina

    • George says:

      I see you answered your own question! Glad you’re enjoying the book, and you might want to look over on Marion Harmon, A Writer In Vegas and take part in the “contest” on the Mysteries of Amazon, And A Drawing post.

  12. Ian says:

    I’ve been trying to buy the Kindle version of Wearing the Cape from Amazon.com for the last few weeks, but it keeps telling me it is unavailable. Has it been withdrawn or is it some sort of snafu at Amazon?

  13. Ian says:

    Tried that link. On the resulting page, where the purchasing controls should be (right side), you instead get the text “Not currrently available”.

    I half wondered if it was because I live in New Zealand, and your books were for some reason blocked for sale here. However, Amazon is quite happy to sell me Villains Inc, with that page coming up with all the normal purchasing controls visible.

    • I have just gone into my Amazon account and tried something with the regions. Wait a few hours, then try again (it may take a day for the change). If that doesn’t fix it, I don’t know what to say. If you decide to buy the paperback edition, wait a couple of weeks–it’s being reprinted with an incredible new cover.

      • Ian says:

        Just tried again and it is still not working. Buying the paperback is not really an option; with shipping, the cost would be $28. I’ll put in a help request with Amazon and see if they can do anything. Given that VI is available, I can’t see why they should be blocking WtC.

    • George says:

      I find that disturbing. I wonder what other regions WtC isn’t available in.

      • Ian says:

        I’m just online with Amazon right now trying to see what is wrong. At the moment, WtC does not even appear at all in the Kindle Store (for me at least). They’re looking into it right now. Let you know what they find.

      • Ian says:

        Amazon support person “Marion” said: “…I have checked and it seems the book that you are trying download is not available for international wireless delivery.”

        They said you would need to contact them about it.

      • George says:

        Thanks for the tip–I have sent a request to KDP’s customer service department. I’ll let you know what I hear.

      • George says:

        I think the problem has been fixed–try it now and we’ll see what happens.

      • Ian says:

        Success! Purchased and downloaded. Looking forward to reading it.

  14. Tomas says:

    You going to release this for the nook?

  15. Loren says:

    I just finished “Wearing The Cape” on my kendle apped smartphone. Wow. I’m planning on ordering the book soon. It’s great to discover a new author to add to my list of must reads. As a pen and paper superhero role-player, I get the feeling you have, at least some exposure to superhero role-play. Some things even bring a particular system to mind. If you are or were a role-player, it contributed to your understanding of the super mindset and universe. If you are not, you have done an outstanding job. Either way, you have created a well thought out, lush universe that beautifully integrates real world and “superhero physics” into a world setting I would like to play. By the way, your science is pretty good too.

    I was born, raised and reside in El Paso. I found “The Guard” to be an intriguing idea. If you should decide to expand on this idea in the future, I would be happy to provide answers to any questions you might have about El Paso and the surrounding region.

    • George says:

      Hello Loren–I was just reviewing my site and found some unanswered posts. I’m glad you enjoyed WtC. (And yes, I played quite a few RPGs back in school–including Villains and Vigilantes, Champions, and GURPS Supers.) I have no plans for using El Paso, but it’s cool that you found The Guard intriguing; I was trying to show that different states and cities addressed superhuman security differently.

  16. Aaron says:

    I just purchased both books and am only partly through the first. I’m enjoying it so far. I do have one gripe, which is actually what directed me to this site. It’s difficult to keep the “types” of powers/classes clear. You already answered here a question about an “Ajax-type,” but at least 25% through the first book, it’s unclear what, say, Quin does. All I know is she looks like a Barbie in a harlequin costume.

    My point, though, is a suggestion: place a guide at the beginning or end of the book with some basic info about each hero, including hero/villain name, secret/civilian identity, a description of powers and “type,” and a blurb about the character. Readers could easily flip back and forth when a character pops up again without having to hunt for the character’s introductory description. Besides making life easier on your reader, this tactic has an analog in comics; pick up a collected edition of, for example, Fables, and at the beginning, you will find a list and short description of the “characters so far” to remind readers of previous developments.

  17. eamon montgomery says:

    Hi,

    I love your work and I am trying to read it but Villains Inc., Episode 2 and 3 are not available on Kindle and I was wondering why?

  18. Great book and I’ve read it several times already and sent a Kindle copy to a friend. I’ll be buying the new paperback when it is released as well.

    I’ve been involved with a superhero role-playing campaign for 20 years and we have covered in both game sessions and back-stories many of the issues Wearing the Cape addresses. Bravo!

    If you would like to see what we’ve done since 1992 our campaign’s website is http://home.earthlink.net/~jeffspur/

    There are even a few short stories posted there; although none are of the caliber of Wearing the Cape. Just follow the Fiction link. Feel free to mine the site for ideas if you ever consider more superhero stories; we’d be honored.

    • George says:

      I’d never heard of a campaign lasting that long! I’m a GURPS gamer myself (or used to be when I played), but I also played Villains and Vigilantes, Heroes/Champions, and even–briefly–the DC and Marvel RPGs, so, yes, a lot of the themes and issues in Wearing the Cape came from superhero role-playing; I’m glad the story rings true to someone who spends so much time in the same kind of world.

  19. Lacee says:

    Hey, I’d like to say thank you for writing [i]Wearing the Cape[/i] and [i]Villains, Inc[/i]. :D Even though I was writing one, I didn’t know that there was a market for superhero [i]novels[/i] until I saw it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Again, thank you. :)

    • George says:

      You’re welcome, and there is a large and growing market; I may be optimistic, but I predict that, with the boost being given to the genre by Hollywood, superheroes may well be the next vampires (i.e., they’re going to pretty much invade every other genre before too long–from horror to chick-lit). For more superhero stories go to Wearing the Cape‘s Amazon page and check out the Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought bar. If you enjoyed Wearing the Cape and Villains Inc. you may want to enter the drawing for the signed editions.

      See http://marionharmon.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/thoughts-on-astra-and-a-new-drawing/

      And good luck with your writing!

  20. Black Howling says:

    Would you be opposed to a little fan-fiction in the world you framed? There is a story that kind of exploded in my brain of the “tragic” anti-hero involving the ever present them of the “road out of darkness” That came to me after reading WtC and Vil. Inc. Normally I don’t go in for writing fan-fiction(not that I find it objectionable, just not my bag usually) but this one seems good.

  21. Black Howling says:

    http://xblackhowlingx.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/for-every-actio/

    I banged out the first two chapters, to get the “Base” of the story out of my head.. But that is the direction I was heading in the whole story he’ll be teetering on the precpice of light and dark. Lines he won’t cross and the ones he has to stop himself from crossing. Though still just a rough outline and can probably use a dozen rewrites…

  22. You know I’m re-reading these books.. you seem to be leaving open the chance of “Evolution” within Astras powerset.. the Dr Beth I believe said something to the effect that her strength could grow. and When she remembered Atlas breaking the sound barrier with her in tow.. she said ‘I’m not near that fast yet..’

    • George says:

      Yes, I did. Part of that is the simple inference that physical powers can be “strengthened” through exercise. Is there a hard upper limit? In theory there doesn’t need to be, since normal biology and physics has nothing to do with it. Do I imagine Atlas-types ever approaching the power-level of someone like say, Superman? In a world, no. I consciously chose to limit heroes to ungodlike levels of power so that normal humans, with sufficient training and equipment, can deal with them if they must (although the bodycount is likely to be very high).

    • George says:

      And if you’re at the stage of rereading, you should enter the drawing–you might win a book to mark up.

  23. Interesting, really truly interesting. It brings up the question “what would make someone who’s already a “Limit Breaker” choose to dig deeper and break their ‘limits’ again?” Makes my imagination run off the Rez, especially thinking about her Sound Breaking Death Stoop I have to admit when I read that fight scene the first time I had an image of contrails sweeping off of her like feathery falcon wings swept back ..

    I could never mark up a book even text books, it’s constitutional inability to deface a friend. which means I relay on memory and retyping things into text documents for cataloguing

  24. George says:

    And just possibly Astra “raised her game” a bit in the Big Fight. Certainly in the second book she comments that she seems to heal just a little faster after every beat-down; whether that’s true or just her getting used to carrying on while injured is known only to me, but I don’t forsee startling increases in power-levels for established characters. Increased confidence and competence, oh yes.

    • I kind of think that is what defines a hero, the person who, that for a few important seconds can raise their game to the level that is needed.. and the cost be paid later. I don’t know, it’s fascinating to sit back and speculate though..

  25. Mildweasel says:

    Is there any way of purchasing this without having to give Amazon or B&N my soul? I am a long time customer of Baen ebooks and have become addicted to their model.

    • George says:

      Not electronically, I’m afraid. But you can order the paperbacks directly from Createspace, of if you go to my other blog (at marionharmon.wordpress.com) you can order author-signed copies using paypal and for the same price.

      • Mildweasel says:

        Thanks for the reply:) Id be happier with a couple of epub files, but after reading the sample chapters I ordered the dead tree version from Amazon. Look forward to reading them

  26. James says:

    Is there any word on when the third book, Bite Me, will be out?

  27. James says:

    Thank you. I have read both your books twice already. I look forward to reading more stories from the WtC universe. Above posts are also right, you should get a good agent and shop this around, it would make a great series.

  28. Lacee says:

    Hey, in the first book (which I’ve reread more than once now) I noticed Atlas mentioning ‘A-Class Black Hats’ when giving Astra a tour around the Dome when she first got there. I’m curious, since I don’t believe they were ever explained… what are Black Hats? Sorry if this is a spoilery question. ^^;

  29. Michaela Brown says:

    I just finished WTC:TB and I must say that it’s extremely impressive. Definitely buying a paperback copy of the full book. Keep up the fantasticness. xo

  30. Anestis says:

    I was directed to you by a friend linking to the Giveaway on Kindle on Wednesday. The only issue is I don’t have a Kindle, and I find the Kindle app on the iPhone annoying to use whereas iBooks is much nicer to use.

    Is there any chance you will release your books on the Apple iBook store? I am interested in reading them, and I want to pay for them (paying authors is awesome as they write more things if they have money).

    • George says:

      I’m afraid not. Wearing the Cape is being picked up next year by a publisher, and they will probably make it available through a wider range of electronic formats, but until then Kindle is it. However, if you pick it up tomorrow and like it enough to keep, you can always buy the trade paperback edition.

      • Anestis says:

        Bugger.

        Thanks for the response. I’ll probably get it, but it’s annoying because, as I said, the iBook app just feels better to me.

  31. Ruby Ridge says:

    Just finished Wearing the Cape and loved it (gave it 5 stars on Goodreads) Please keep on with this series

  32. Bruna says:

    Hey! I’m from Brazil and although I can read very well in english, I don’t know how to write (weird, I know). But after reading your book I had to come here and try, because it was awesome. I don’t have words to describe it, after I finished I wanted to start Villains Inc. right away and read all your books.

    What I really wanted to say is that you should keep writing this. I saw that you self published, so I thought you deserved to know this. This book isn’t a best seller because people (still) don’t know about it. I have read all these YA books, Wearing the Cape is one of the best. In the worst case scenario, it’s like I am Number Four + superheroes/comic book/Marvel DC.

    *I don’t know if a lot of brazilians read your books and talk to you, but in case you’re wondering how I found your book, it was because the cover art on deviantart.

  33. Scott says:

    Is there a wikia site or some kind of reference for when I forget who a character or event is or what it is they can do? I just started VI and it’s been a while since I read WtC.

  34. I wish it were only $5. Seems all the ebook companies have decided that 100% inflation is good because there is no ‘competition’ that will undersell.

    • George says:

      Actually many publishers are now selling some of their ebook titles for significantly less than the paperback editions. I set Wearing the Cape and its sequels at $7.99 because that puts it at half the price of the POD paperback editions and is the price I’m personally willing to pay for a book by an author I like to read. Do I lose some readers who aren’t willing to pay more than $.99, $2.99, $5.99? Yes, I’m sure I do. But the prices I’ve set allow me sufficient income to do what I love, which is write professionally.

      • All of the ‘new copies’ that I’ve been seeing have been only $2 difference in price from a dead tree version ($9 to $11). Heck, for another book that I was looking into buying when it came out, the ebook version was only $3 less than the _hard cover_ version cost.

        And that’s highway robbery.

      • George says:

        Not really. You’ve got to remember that when they print 20,000+ copies the actual printing cost of a paperback is maybe $2-$3. The shelf price of the book goes to cover not just the author’s royalty (usually around 15%) but the wages of the editors, marketers, and other staff. And unless a book is hugely popular enough to sell out, bookstores return unsold books for refunds and that, too, is figured into the shelf price. A publishing house that releases 20 books in one year may see one or two take off, most of them do so-so, and a few completely flop (expensive failures).

        So what does this have to do with ebook pricing? Ebook publication only removes the $2-$3 printing/shipping cost and the risk of getting stuck with a warehouse full of returns. Publishing houses still have to pay for artists, copy-editors, marketing, etc, and make a little profit. So most new first edition books are still going to sell for close to the paperback price. Older books, the ones that have been around for a decade or so, may start to get marked down, but there is really very little reason for them to be marked down steeply so long as readers will still pay close to full price for professionally written and edited books.

        Even forward-thinking publishers like Baen Books, who often make a successful and long-running author’s first books available for free to entice you to try him, will keep older ebooks in the $5-$7 range because they are part of the old publishing house business model. They must pay the bills like everyone else, so it’s hardly price-gouging or highway robbery.

        That said, things are gradually changing as the technology is allowing indie and small-press publishers to compete with the big publishers. Just don’t expect to see a $5 first edition release from Stephen King or Dean Koontz any time soon.

      • I disagree, heavily. Almost no transportation cost, no returns cost, no printing costs.

        I’ve been regularly running into e-books that are more expensive than new copies of soft-covers or nearly new ‘used’ hardcovers.

        $3-$5 should be amazingly good price point as the publishers never have to do a reprint, never have to pay to destroy books that are returned.

        I want to buy an e-book copy of things, but as it stands, I can wait six months and get a physical copy that I can keep forever for significant less cost.

      • George says:

        Since I’m not a publisher I won’t argue. Market competition will sort it out eventually.

  35. Danny says:

    any thoughts on making wearing the cape into a graphic novel or comic book series to?

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