I liked the bit about the silliness of superhero names, and noticed that you didn’t specify the protagonist’s own. Did you work on any prospects for that, or did you always prefer to leave that up to the reader’s imagination?
I may have considered a sobriquet at some point, but in writing the story no name-dropping moment ever came up.
This seems like a nice, fun example of the benefits of being modestly successful at something—no stress over having to prove yourself, no stress over always struggling to stay at the top. I thought of writers, of course, but what really inspired this idea?
I have always loved the obscure superheroes who exist at the fringes of the Marvel and DC Universes, taking care of their little corners of creation—and indeed I note that Marvel’s Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Spider-Man are very much within this tradition, despite forces that sometimes draw them to more universal concerns. I was a deep fan of Squirrel Girl before she hit the big time, and when writing Spider-Man I did my little bit—unappreciated—to expand the fame of Razorback, the hero whose helmet is a giant pig head.
Since I mentioned writing careers, yours seems to me both successful and wide-ranging! Are there any new forms or genres or markets you still want to try out? Any new goals you have an eye on?
As I’ve had cause to note my last few appearances, I have completed a novel-length crime thriller that has yet to be snatched up. I’d love to write a novel of Vonnegutian satire, and—more unlikely—have vague ambitions of someday attempting a romance novel, strange for a guy who has thus far only done a couple of identifiable love stories.
What have you been reading lately that you want to recommend?
I love Until the Last Dog Dies by Robert Guffey and provided a rave cover quote for Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones by Micah Dean Hicks. I am currently reading a recent novel by Walter Mosley and am looking forward to the next Hap and Leonard novel by Joe Lansdale. I think N.K. Jemisin kicks all sorts of unholy butt. I have an Ellen Datlow anthology ready to go.
Do you have any new releases that you’d like our readers know about?
Skyboat Media’s audio collection of my fiction, And Other Stories (adbl.co/2JTRN0z).
Spread the word!