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.

142 thoughts on “Wearing the Cape

  1. 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.

    1. 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. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Great – Can’t wait! I’d love for your books to be picked up by a movie production studio!!

  5. 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,

  6. 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

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  8. 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.

      1. Well if you’ve read WtC and VI three times already the PUT UP THE FIRST REVIEW ON AMAZON! And I get my comics from Alternate Reality Comics–I’ve known Ralph and Kat for years.

  9. 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!

    1. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

    1. Villains Inc. is now available as a complete novel (http://www.amazon.com/Villains-Inc-Wearing-Cape-ebook/dp/B006RCL9QE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2), so VI 2-3 have been removed. VI4 is staying up until the end of the month for all those who previously bought VI1-3 and don’t want to spend the extra dollar for VI, and VI1 remains available so that Amazon Prime owners can borrow it as a sample. Since VI2 and VI3 each cost $1.50, getting VI instead doesn’t cost anything extra–and you have all four episodes in one file. Glad you’re enjoying the stories.

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. Hey, I’d like to say thank you for writing [i]Wearing the Cape[/i] and [i]Villains, Inc[/i]. 😀 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. 🙂

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

      And good luck with your writing!

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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..’

    1. 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).

  20. 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

  21. 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.

    1. 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..

  22. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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. ^^;

      1. I’ve never heard the phrase (I read a lot, but to be honest, tend to avoid westerns), and with all of the other terms being thrown around about superhero class types, it confused me. Thank you!

  25. 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

  26. 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).

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

  30. I received the first book in your series from a friend for Christmas. I enjoyed the energy and freshness of your concept so much that i used all the money I received for Christmas and purchased the remaining books in the series. Just finished up the last one the other day. I heard you are designing a game for this universe. If you still need game testers I am a Certified Rules Munchkin in several different Super Hero oriented gaming systems and might be able to help you in finding any of the loopholes that might need to be fixed. I already have an idea for a new US Marshall that could show up to help all the Young Sentinels to hone and improve the uses of all their powers. A medical doctor that has the ability to duplicate the powers of up to 8 people at the same time that are within a quarter mile radius of him as well as suppress the use of powers within a couple hundred feet radius of himself.

    1. I am glad to hear you enjoyed the books (and sorry about you blowing your Christmas money on them). I will be initiating further rounds of playtesting and will give details here, so watch the blog. Meanwhile, if you’re serious then you might want to learn Fate Core (by Bad Hat) and check out some of its permutations (Atomic-Robo, Mindjammer, etc).

  31. Just a quick note to say ‘thank you’. The detail and depth in your world building has made superheroes credible and the public reactions believable. I remember reading, many years ago, that they key to any form of fantasy storytelling was getting the reader so ‘suspend their disbelief’ and this series certainly did that for me.

  32. Hello and Thank You for such a great series! It’s been on my list for a while now, and I got it for christmas with a kindle fire – then promptly blew through the first 4 Hope books and Bite me! I’m on Ronin Games now, and loving it! I really like Megaton, and hope we get more of him at some point. I really liked the multiple viewpoints of Young Sentinels too. My favorite parts have been the reality you lend to this world – learning through Hope what it would be like to be a hero (and not just the heart-racing action parts!)

    It made me want to run a superhero game again, and then I saw you’re working on one! I saw Astra’s picture on Google+ when you were calling for playtesters all the time, sad I didn’t respond then. Think I’ll run my game with Fate Accelerated, but will grab whatever you put out, mostly for power types and grades. Your universe is so solid, I feel like it’d make running a game so much smoother.

    Just wanted you to know I’m still looking forward to the RPG, and all future WtC novels and short stories you decide to make! Also, I can’t help but hear Nathan Fillion whenever I read Atlas’ dialogue. He’d be a bit old in the movie version, though.

      1. The google+ group is for the playtest. But you can sign up for the newsletter at wearingthecape.com, and I put up notices from my author blog on the Wearing the Cape Facebook page as well.

  33. Will there be a 6th book? Astra’s journals mention her trip to Oz so …
    Hard to see how you could top Ronin Games though.

  34. Hi,
    So something that I was wondering in the books following ‘Bite Me’ they make constant references to her New Orleans life. Will there be more adventures on that side of the universe? Great series and actually enjoy a female lead in a book series playing the superman role.

    1. Glad you’re enjoying the stories! There is a short-story set in New Orleans in the new book, Team Ups and Crossovers, which will be out at the end of the month.

  35. Found wearing the cape via the grrl power webcomic, checked out the free taster. Might be intrigued enough to check out the rest of the book(s).

    Found a small but slightly annoying error in the free taster pdf of “wearing the cape:the beginning” at smashwords :

    ” You’re mother infuriates me”

    – should be your, not you’re.

  36. Heya, I just finished reading Teamups and Crossovers, and I nontice your blog doesn’t list it or Ronin Games.

    One of the early comments here was about a list of types and classes and what they mean. It didn’t end up appearing in Villains Inc, and I’m curious if we’re going to see it before the RPG (can’t wait for the RPG!).

    I am curious about something else, as well. In book one, Hope used the term progressive breakthrough, but I don’t recall any further mention of it after that. Supposedly she was supposed to get stronger/tougher/faster over time, but they haven’t really re-tested her that I recall.

    1. Since the RPG will be out before the next book, a list of Power-Types will appear there first. A Power Class can be a somewhat wide category, and Astra might become stronger within her class, eventually perhaps as strong as Atlas was.

  37. Will we be seeing a certain Maxima MLP as one of Hope’s souvenir in a future book? Along with the holo-cube of Faith and Hope and the magic snow globe of Santa’s workshop?

  38. I’ve just finished rereading the series for the something-th time, and last night the RPG popped up in my Kickstarter feed. Of course, I had to back it. What’s on more Kickstarter after 300 or so? 🙂 I just wanted to commend that, as an LDS woman and combat-disabled veteran, I really appreciate seeing an LDS author who is not afraid of strong, female characters who don’t consider it a contradiction to want both a family/romantic love and a role outside the home as well. Considering the strange looks I get sometimes in Relief Society when my comment starts with, “There was this time in Iraq….” (which is why I don’t comment that often!), I often feel pressured to conform to traditional gender roles more than is comfortable for me, my husband, or our kids.
    This is one series I can share with my daughter as she gets a little older (she is 9 now, without having to rip out large chunks for explicit content, yet it isn’t treacly sweet or only giving adventures to the men. If my daughter ever picks up Twilight (ugh), we will have to have yet another candid conversation about the princess stereotype in sci-if. With Wearing the Cape, she will see a set of strong, female characters who are flawed human beings doing the best they can. Thanks for being a rare voice!

    1. Thank you, Alicia! That means a lot to me. I never set out to write a story about a “strong female role-model,” it just worked out that way because I adore strong female characters and have written what I like to read. I’m touched that you feel my stories are worthy of sharing with your daughter when she reaches the right age.

  39. Marion I have loved superheroes for years but never really got into the whole graphic novel thing. i like being able to read about things because then i can imagine the settings for myself and (with a male lead) imagine myself as the main character. The descriptions of the city, and surrounding areas are great without being so all encompassing that it bogs down the text of the books.
    I picked up wearing the cape a couple years ago along with a handful of other superhero books and of all of the books on my kindle (over 300 now) this series is now one of only 3 and the only superhero series that i go back and reread. i have read WtC and VI 6 times now and each of the others as you post a new book. thank you for your time spent crafting your characters and stories. i eagerly await the next installment. i think one of the keys that i liked the most in the first book is what happened with Atlas. The timing was perfect and it left Astra free to pursue other things instead of turning it into just another romance novel.
    Thank you and keep up the good work

    1. Thank you for your comments (it’s always wonderful to hear I’m on someone’s “reread” list). Out of curiousity, what are the other two series you go back to again and again?

  40. I actually ended up buying the series (and reading the whole thing in less than a week) after spotting the RPG on Drivethru. Compelling stuff Mr Harmon – I love it.

    I have been searching for a superhero outlet for a while now – most of my tentative forays into the fiction have left me cold, I am not and never have been much into comics, but still love the genre and largely experience it through the plethora of movie and TV series made in recent years, games like City of Heroes/Villains online back in the day, memories of GURPS super games back at university and devouring RPG settings not based on big IPs like Marvel or DC (Godlike/Wild Talents, Savage Worlds).

    WtC changed that and the series has now earned a place on my roll of honour – a list of series that gets re-read just before the release of the next book. As you asked a previous commentator their lists, here is mine FWIW: Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files (and the Codex Alera if he ever did anything else in that universe), Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus series, Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London/Peter Grant series. Raymond E. Feists Midkemia books used to be on that list too when he was still writing in the setting.

    Following my WtC revelation, I ran to the Kickstater and bought a backers package to get the next two splatbooks. You could say I am more than a little obsessed. I wish I had known about this all when the Kickstarter was active – I would have backed the KS enough to get a hero included in them. As a Brit I fear we get overlooked all to often when it comes to fictional supers and would have loved to get one slotted in. Further to this, many thanks for addressing the UK’s situation in the RPG.

    A couple of questions if you don’t mind:

    From the books, it sounds as though there is a de facto tier system when it comes to CAIs – the Sentinels top of the heap of course, then the various Knights groups and then the Guardians. The impression I get is that the highest profile Knights would be as A Class heavy as the Sentinels, lower profile Knights teams mostly B Class and the Guardians mostly Bs, Cs and even Ds with maybe a few As in certain locations (like Chicago). Is this an accurate summation, or are the Knights and Guardians both a mix of all classes?

    On a related note, the Sentinels seem more or less unique in being a single-team organisation – do other cities in the US have their own unique signature teams or are they universally serviced by Knight or Guardian franchises? Or are there other multi-team organisations, perhaps regionally significant or specialising in lower-power-class heroes?

    1. Thank you for letting me know how much you’ve enjoyed the books! To answer your question:

      The whole CAI system evolved over time. Remember the Sentinels’ full name is the Chicago Sentinels; in theory a game group could name themselves the Santa Fe Sentinels, and I’m sure there are a few other Sentinels teams scattered around. The Guardians and Knights teams are two separate CAI franchises, rather than being joined in a formal tier system; the Knights teams are more prestigious, mainly due to the L.A. Knights and Las Vegas Knights, but there are more Guardians teams. The Chicago Sentinels is the “top of the heap” in Chicago because, hey, they’re the Sentinels and it’s the nature of the Sentinels/Guardians contract with the state.

      That’s quite a reading list, and I have a recommendation you might appreciate: Bridge of Birds, by Barry Hughart. I hope you enjoy the game.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I am putting together a group to play the game – the first time I would have rolled the dice in anger in a table-top RPG in 20 years! (I am a historical wargamer so its not like my dice lie fallow)…

        Ok, I get the CAI structure now and had no idea there may be other Sentinels – would they use the same PR structures as the Chicago team? Good to know there is no formal tier system – it would probably function more like pro sports leagues/divisions with the more powerful (and hence potentially better paid) capes signing up with the more prestigious “franchises” in a locality, regardless of their Sentinels/Guardians/Knights labels. Presumably the team budgets would also be set by their employer (the state/city) which would also vary enormously.

        I have putatively put together a CAI structure for St. Louis (my chosen city for the group) – the St Louis Knights, the St. Clair Knights and the St. Charles Guardians, with the St. Louis Knights being the premier (and PC) team. Good to know I was not totally off track on that, although I may now mix-up my planned B and C Class NPC spreads…

        I was going to do a London group based on the sidebar in the RPG, but I decided not to given how prescriptive the RoEs would be for either the Mayor’s team or the ESG… Just looking at what our armed police have to tolerate in terms of oversight and reaction to weapon discharge makes me shudder at how the authorities would view permanently armed supes… I can guarantee one or more “imports” in St. Louis though 🙂

        Thanks for the reading suggestion – I will take a look. Cheers and keep up the good work – and email me if you ever want to delve into supes in the UK and want some background info or ideas – I would be happy to help (Short CV – MA in history, worked as a political assistant for 2 years, Southern African immigrant, pretty experienced in advertising, marketing and journalistic copy). Anyhow, will leave you alone now.

      2. I hope you enjoy your return to RPGing! As for ideas about British supers, there are lively conversations going on at the google+ community page (and my preview notes for how other parts of the world handled things post-Event); if you’d like to put your thoughts out there for the WtC:RPG community (some of them British) to look at, then by all means do so! Here’s the link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101484222420788421171

  41. What do you think the likelihood is of us (as fans) getting a Rush spin-off? I was compounding information into the Wearing the Cape Wikia, when I realised he would be so perfect for a novel like that. Perhaps when you’re finished with the WtC series, it could be a project to work on then.

    As I write, I don’t remember whether or not Rush dies within the last books of the series (I haven’t read Team-Ups and Crossovers yet), but even so the spin-off could serve as a prequel.

    I found the concept interesting because we don’t even know the man’s name, and while we have small, miniscule, tid-bits of info about his story, there is so much more that you could go into with him – for example, the events surrounding his breakthrough (in college while playing football), and why he specifically had it then as opposed to every other game, as well as the events leading up to him “trying out” for the Chicago Sentinels.

    Thanks for a great series so far 🙂

    1. Not much chance of a Rush spin-off, I’m afraid. I’d be happy to see someone else write about him if WtC ever expanded into a shared universe, though. As to his name and background, you can find out a lot more in his cape-file entry in Wearing the Cape: The Roleplaying Game. His name is Scott Baker. Rush was originally his sports nickname.

  42. Love the series but I really wish Omega Night was available somewhere for those people who do not have a credit card (so outside Amazon.com)

  43. Huge Astra fan here. I have not seen any info so I was wondering when I might get to read a new Astra adventure. I have read all the current books more than once. I also do not seem to be receiving my email updates.
    More books would be great. Comic Books would be great. Not sure about the game I am more of a video game RPG guy.
    But I am so ready to buy and read a new book about Astra or any of the gang really but Astra is my favorite.

    1. Recursion is in process! Hopefully the newest book in the WtC series will have a December release date, so look for an announcement here and on the Wearing the Cape facebook page. And I’m sorry so many readers are having to be extra-patient this year.

  44. Got to meet you yesterday at SLC Fans. Was nice to say hello to a favorite author and to get good ideas on what else to read or reread. Keep up the good work and can’t wait for the new year!

  45. I just noticed something, for the mention it gwts, we have no description, no idea what the chicago sentinels logo looks like? Care to draw one?

      1. I read the entire series before reading JG and it made it much better. Such a great series!

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