A Light On The Horizon

Young Sentinels Cover FinalWow. Just, wow.

We got a breather after taking down Villains Inc. Sort of, or a chance to change to a slow dance anyway. I missed Jacky, but the new members fitted in nicely even if sometimes I thought Watchman was trying to kill me. While peace didn’t exactly descend on our great metropolis, we didn’t see all-out supervillain battles slaughtering civilians and wrecking real estate, and except for the one omega operation—and the public never found out how close that one came to ending the party—nothing came along to bust up the good time.

But Charley was about to dance the foxtrot and we didn’t have enough partners to fill her card.

From the journal of Hope Corrigan.

I finished Bite Me: Big Easy Nights last October, and figured I could write Young Sentinels in six months, easy. Boy was I wrong. For those waiting impatiently, I must shamefully confess that it is still not done. But it is getting closer. I’ve lined up a profession editor, who has already gone over the first half. I am close to completion of the second half, and if everything looks good may well be publishing by the end of next month. Maybe.

It has been a very interesting experience. One of the things I hadn’t counted on, going into my fourth book, was just how difficult juggling three 1st-person POVs was going to be. Astra is still the main character, but now there are two more POV character arcs. And once again so much is happening: Astra is getting another life-changing event (not for the better), Shelly’s getting a big one too, and YS is introducing the Young Sentinels of the title: Astra, Galatea, and Crash, but also four more teen heroes as the Sentinels get a cadet-team.

And Chicago is going to have a very bad day.

On another topic, I will be manning a booth at the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Convention next month, so anyone who wants a signed copy of WtC, Bite Me, of VI, should come on down. I’m sharing the booth with Imagined Interprises Inc., the small-press publishers that will be putting out my books in paperback next year. This will be my second tabling event (the first was a book festival), and it will be comparatively small, but I figure it’s comic books. I think a few people will be interested in Astra.

Beyond Young Sentinels lies a void. I honestly don’t know what I’ll be doing besides getting into the convention circuit (I really should have started doing it last year). I would like to do another Artemis story, but Bite Me isn’t my best seller. Worst Contact beckons invitingly, but so does the idea of doing several short stories that highlight different characters in the Post-Event world. I’m really not sure what will strike fire in my mind.

I just hope the fans will forgive me for introducing them to a breakthrough who thinks she is Ozma…


25 thoughts on “A Light On The Horizon

  1. Wow! That’s a beautiful cover illustration! I thought all your covers were good but this is definitely the best. Kudos to the artist!

    I am if course disappointed that YJ isn’t ready yet, but I’ll keep waiting. I hope you find an idea to continue writing in the “Astraverse” but if your muse leads you somewhere else, I’ll still be reading your books.

  2. Hi, I don’t want to put any pressure on you but i would really like for you to not forget about this series and to make an effort to continue making it, I have looked all over the net and there is not another novel who seriously deal with superheroes on a serious way, I bought your books from amazon and i can say that they are great, the genre of superheroes is mostly used on comics there are very few novels about them and even less that are done right, you have the imagination and talent to make this genre very unique and interesting, thank you for some amazing books.

    1. Thanks for the thought, and even if the next book I do isn’t a Wearing the Cape book, I’m not abandoning the series–there are far too many good stories still to tell.

  3. Awesome cover! Have you thought of blowing the covers up to poster size as a back drop in your booth at the comic con? They would draw comic fans like flies. I would purchase one if they were available especially the newest cover. That is of course if you have the copyright to the art.

    Will you be at the Comic con all three days? I am trying to plan on attending but may only be able to attend on Sunday. Also do you think you will have enough books to last all three days? I think you are great author and expect many of the comic fans at the con to pick up your books. I have kindle copies of all your books and did have physical copies of Wearing the Cape and Villains Inc., but gave those to a friend. I am trying to decide if I should pick up new copies from Amazon to bring with me or take a chance that you will have books available. I know you offer signed copies from your site, but there is nothing like getting a book signed in person.

    Also I believe you mentioned a special edition Wearing the Cape, how is that project coming along? It is something I would be interested in.

    What to do after you complete Young Sentinels. I would be interested in more short stories I enjoyed Omega Night. Although it left me wanting more.

    Hmmm, Ozma as in princess Ozma? If so that will be interesting.

    And finally any chance of getting another sample chapter of Young Sentinels to tide us over to the publication date 🙂

    1. I plan on being at the convention all three days, and should have enough books to last. I think. Honestly, it would be both cool and frustrating if I sold out of my stock. And yes, posters are a serious consideration.

  4. Artemis is very interesting and worth pursuing also short stories that can lead to full length features.

  5. Wow, that’s an awesome cover. I’m not much of a cover analyst but I think it covers everything I’d expect from the tone and work up to this next book;
    1) It is a calm, portside view of the city, daylight shining down upon it, indicating a relatively calm time for Chicago.
    2) There are gathering stormclouds so it is the calm before the storm.
    3) Astra is facing towards the gathering clouds all alone, indicating perhaps the Sentinels being vastly outnumbered by the coming dangers – or how Astra herself feels with all the secrets she keeps from almost everyone else and the monumental task she sees before her – and why she’d need a couple of sidekicks.
    4) We see Astra from behind, her face unseen, alluding to the doubt of the coming future.

    Of course, it is highly possible that I’m seeing way too much into the cover. The whole thing may have just been a cool image and Astra’s behind merely fanservice. 🙂

    PS: we’re never going to see her face clearly in a cover, are we?

    1. The story behind the art is: I told Viktoria I wanted a more contemplative cover for this one, and emailed her a jpg. of the cover of David Palmer’s Emergence and a nice reference-shot of Chicago’s skyline seen from Lake Michigan. I doubt Viktoria was thinking about fanservice…

      1. I had to look up the cover for Emergence, it is pretty cool how Viktoria translated that cover to Young Sentinels cover. She really nailed it. And I must say you are a super villain in your own right for throwing that book reference out there. I read the description and I want to read that book. It is going to be hard to track down since it is only in tree book form and looks like it is out of print. Some of the enjoyment in old books is tracking them down.

      2. Bwa ha ha ha. Emergence was, for me, one of the most interesting sci-fi books of the 80s. Although Candidia Foster Smith is much younger than Hope Corrigan, looking back she was probably a huge influence on how I wrote a competent-but-uncertain teenage girl. Fortunately you can get a good-condition used copy on Amazon.

  6. Have you ever considered starting an official continuity/canon and licensing out other characters? It would seem that you have created such a promising world in which all manner of interesting characters live. If you started some sort of official reference to track the continuity, then other authors could offer up their take and grow your brand, while maintaining some minimum level of consistency across the products. It’s just such a great place. It reminds me of the world of “Astro City” with the character driven realism of “Powers”.

    1. I have considered it–certainly other settings have benefited from this approach (The 1632 books come to mind). Of course most writers prefer to play in their own sandbox but, who knows what the future might hold?

  7. Hi Marion–first, please let me say, “Thank you!” for the series. I’ve never been much of a fan of superhero books (usually because they’re not very good), but I’ve quite enjoyed your work to date. I’ve written enough to know it’s not easy . . . and it make me appreciate good work all the more. Kudos, sir, kudos! 🙂
    I was wondering a bit about Astra, and I was hoping you could answer a question or two (assuming it’s not going to ruin any plotlines). I believe you identified Astra as a progressive breakthrough (in Wearing the Cape, as I recall), like Atlas. How do you envision that working? Does she keep getting stronger until she peaks? Or just keep getting stronger as long as she’s challanged? Will/can she grow into another Atlas–one of the strongest beings on the planet, not just top 10% where she came through originally?
    I was also wondering . . . can a progressive breakthrough have another breakthrough? After all, their power is still evolving . . .
    Just a couple of fun thoughts on a late weekday evening.

    1. Progressive breakthroughs generally develop like any human ability that can be sharpened or strengthened through practice. Yes, Astra is getting stronger. Give her ten years and she might catch up with Atlas. Beyond that, who knows?

  8. That’s assuming she survives those ten years. With the kind of pacing in metahuman events the books show, Astra should be facing a major challenge twice a year. What are the chances she survives every single challenge? Kind of reminds me of my DnD group. They asked why there weren’t more 20th level characters on the campaign world. I answered that to “get a level” a character has to face 12-13 challenging fights. The chances of surviving 250 such fights in a row would be a lot less than 1 in a billion without plot armor / GM help.

    I wonder though. Astra has already gained one power through unusual events – to sense magic. There are also other cases of gaining powers through the interaction of other powers – which means Astra (or anybody else) could potentially gain a “level up” through such events.
    Here’s an idea; an Atlas-class bitten by a master vampire. Or someone that regenerates too fast to be slowly killed to be possessed by a summoned “demon”. Or, since the first example has regeneration from two different sources at once, an Atlas-class bitten by a master vampire and possessed by a summoned “demon”.

    Scary huh?

  9. I am a huge fan of the series, but I did have some questions about a certain character. I hope I’m not getting into too many spoilers here, but I wanted to know more about the Luckiest Man in the World. What is his alter-ego, for starters? All we ever hear him called is Seven. Also, how did he get his breakthrough? It’s such an unusual power, I figured it had something to do with Las Vegas or gambling. I also like the idea of leveling up, or branching off new powers through the series, could other heroes besides Astra gain powers? And will we hear more about the New York and Las Vegas groups of heroes? In VI, you began talking about how the cops had started thinking in “Us/Them” situations, like certain crimes were jut for capes and certain crimes were for regular cops. Do you address this in YS? Another question (I know, I’m racking them up, but it proves I love your work) What ever happened to Shankman? Did he get elected? And does former President Kayle have a superpower? The stories say he radically changed after the Event, and became wonderfully loved by almost everyone. Could he be a super like Charming was in VI? Okay, I’m done now. Sorry for completely fan-geeking out on you.

    1. Your answers are: nobody knows; yes; eventually (maybe); no, not really; he got elected; no/maybe/yes.

      More seriously, Seven is one of those rare heroes who has no private identity–he’s just Seven and nobody knows where he came from (well, presumably his family knows, but they’re not talking). If you’re wondering how anyone can keep a secret that completely, he is the Luckiest Man Alive after all. Leveling up works like exercise, more incremental than sudden leaps. Sudden new powers tend to be highly situational (as Astra’s probably-temporary magic sensitivity). Oh, and you will see Shankman again. As for President Kayle, all details are classified.

  10. Yay ! Finally !
    The series is amazing and I like it very much both the possibilities you explore and to see the realism which you add to it.
    The only thing I dislike about it is that I have to wait so long for new books and they’re not that easy to get for me.

    So I’m rather curious if the (paper format) book will be available through other means then Amazon as well.
    I’ve no credit card and have a hard time getting it ordered through my bookstore here in the Netherlands.

    Any chance of ordering it directly from you, and paying through PayPal or such ?

    Keep up the good work meanwhile.

  11. I managed to find a bookseller who accepts payment by PayPal and who actually delivers to the Netherlands as well.
    Thanks for the effort though and if I can’t manage to get to get the book from them in the future I’ll certainly e-mail you directly.

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