"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Catfight and Hell Kitten . . . Really? Really!

Hey y'all! I'm beginning to think there may be a lot of writers in my life (and I will confess that sometimes it seems as though there are too many, but I love them all). I'm fortunate enough to call many of them my friends. I'm also fortunate that when I don't have time to put together a quality blog post for you all to read, they seem to have projects they want to talk about.

So, cutting to the chase, Joshua Unruh has an amazing new project in the works that I will be editing, but he's asking for help from readers of all ages, shapes, sizes, and any other distinction you can imagine. I'll let him tell you the rest while I go work on that project that's been back burnered for far too long.

Oh, and while you're here, check out the artwork he sent me to show off a couple of new characters. Also, stay tuned to the end of this post for last-minute info Josh gave me regarding a contest!

Meet Catfight.
So here’s the deal: I love superheroes and have for most of my life. I will not apologize for this. I know that some of you are wondering why I’d have to apologize. If that’s you wondering, it’s probably because you are very young.

I mean, sure, these days superheroes are making bajillions of dollars on screens across America every summer. But back in the day, I got ridiculed when I had them folded in half and stuffed in my back pocket.

Right now you don’t believe me. And you shouldn’t because that statement was a lie.

Because I would NEVER fold a comic and put it in my back pocket! You keep those damn things in Mylar bags with cardboard backs so they don’t get wrinkled and tell yourself they’re going to finance your college education one day.

Anyway, I love superheroes. But they haven’t stayed as lovable as I’d like. I once read a quote on the internet that went something like, “comics used to be for above average kids, but now they’re for below average adults.”

That statement isn’t entirely true, but it hits close enough to sting. It’s not that there’s too much sex, it’s that there’s too much sexism. And it’s not that there’s too much violence, it’s that the tearing off of arms is celebrated. And it isn’t that all the characters are white…well, actually, it is that all the characters are white. Or all the ones you can name, anyway.

So I’ve decided to do something about it. Now, I can’t draw for crap, but I can write my ass off. So my plan is to serialize prose superhero stories, one a month just like comic books. These stories will star heroes who are women and maybe even (gasp) not white. The stories will be appropriate for all-ages, which is totally different than “for kids.” And if you can’t tell the difference, then you’re the one with the problem.

Most of all these stories will be about heroes.

Somewhere along the line, it became cool to be cynical. Like cynicism is the most reality based way to see the world. Like how you’re na├»ve or simple or childish if you see the good in people.

Well screw that. Cynicism is the easy way out. Looking for the good in people? Seeing the hopeful possibilities for the future? That is HARD. Damned hard. And we need more examples of it, even fictional ones. So I’m going to write some. And every kid who needs reminded of how worthwhile selflessness and optimism are should see somebody who looks like them making it so.

Say hi to Hell Kitten.
So that’s my grandiose plan. But I’m a working writer. I have to eat. So to make this plan work, I’m using Patreon. Patreon is like an ongoing Kickstarter. You pledge a certain amount of money, and you get dinged for it whenever I publish a story. You can set a limit, though, if I start getting too prolific.

And then, you know the best part? I release that story into the wild for anyone to read for free whether they were a patron or not. Why? Two reasons. First, because I’ve already been paid. Second, because I want people who need to see heroes that look like they do to read my stories. Giving the stories away seems a good way to make that happen.

If you think that sounds worthwhile, then please visit me at www.patreon.com/pulpdictionpress. There are goals to add new things into every story, which are like rewards for my readers. And there are rewards for those who patronize as well.

Superheroes are ordinary people who use their gifts to do the extraordinary. You can be that for me with a click of the pledge button. The cape and tights are optional.

Here's that last-minute contest information I promised you: Josh has a few copies of his already released teen female superhero book, TEEN Agents in the Plundered Parent Protocol, that he has pledged to sign. So here's what you do . . .

If you choose to pledge to Josh's Patreon project, simply return here and leave a comment saying you did so. Your name will be entered into a drawing to win a paperback of the TEEN AGENTS book in addition to receiving the new comics as they are released. He doesn't have a ton to go around for this blog tour, so your chances of winning are obviously based on how many participants there are.

Thank you, Josh, and Happy Reading everyone!

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