Tag Archives: No More Heroes

Story Origins: Dove Without Wings

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The conception of “Dove Without Wings,” my story in No More Heroes, actually had very little to do with me. It was the most ‘targeted’ story I’ve ever written, and by that, I mean that if I hadn’t earned a place in the anthology, there was literally nothing I could have done with the piece. I don’t normally take risks like that, but this project felt so unique and I was desperate to be part of it.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept behind No More Heroes, here’s the scoop. It exists in a world populated with an original cast of superheroes and villains. Prior to the book’s opening, a great ‘Endgame-style’ battle occurs, and the victors were… the villains! Omggg plot twist, yeah? So, the big question is: What do villains do when they have no more heroes to fight? Enter a fleet of authors (including yours truly) endeavoring to answer that question.

It’s a neat idea, and the neatness is compounded by the fact that all of the authors are essentially working with the same set of characters. When submissions opened, the editors posted a list of all characters and their personalities and superpowers, and then once they chose the stories they liked best, we were asked to edit them so that the characters showed continuity from one book to another.

So, you can see why I absolutely HAD to be part of this. It was honestly one of my more challenging projects – not just because the stakes were so high, but because I had to work with other people’s creations. I’d never done that before, or since, and it was terrifying to think that I didn’t have authority to shape them myself.

We were allowed to bring in our own original characters, as long as they weren’t part of the ‘villain club.’ So, I figured I would need someone really dynamic to properly anchor me into this story, and *cue fanfare* Zen arrived. I love working with this guy a lot. Even though he only exists in one short story, he shows up in my blog posts all the time. (Seriously, all the time! Check out some of his other posts here.)

He’s a math professor, and I definitely have an obsession with math, so that’s part of it. But also, I love his mix of ‘Everything is pointless, why bother,’ and ‘Let’s get this s*** handled.’ He’s gloomy, but perceptive. Curious, but bored. Stubborn, but resigned.

Once I had him as a main character, the story itself fell into place pretty easily. (Or at least, I had the outline. Actually drafting it was quite difficult for me. Remember, I’d never worked with borrowed characters, so it felt weird.) But after it was finished, this story represented so much of what really set my soul on fire: Villains, Math, Goodies and baddies striking a temporary truce, Little sentimental nuggets in the midst of tension, Plot twists… It was simply a delight to work on.

Even though the story can never be reprinted, and it can only exist within the context of this one specific anthology, I consider it an important part of my collection, and I’m glad I took the risk. It was worth it. If you’re interested in the anthology, you can find it here on Amazon, or I always have copies at my table if we have the good fortune to be at a convention together.

My Characters Enjoying Summer Activities

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This post contains characters from the following:
The World That Forgot How to Dance
No More Heroes
A Book Without Dragons
Across Silence and Darkness (Featured in the upcoming anthology Coven)

In honor of the glorious month known as August, I asked my characters to choose their favorite Summer activity. (Also, this’ll be by first time letting the characters from my just-announced upcoming novel–A Book Without Dragons–show their pretty faces on the internet. Say hi, everybody!)


 

Ellsie
(From The World That Forgot How to Dance)

“Stargazing. Or really, anything that happens late at night and outside. Since I normally practice my dancing at night (it’s just safer that way) I associate the night with all of the feelings that go along with dance.”


Zen
(From No More Heroes)

“Planning next year’s classes. It’s nice to have the space to really analyze what worked last year and what didn’t.”

[Hannah: Wow. Sounds… fun.]

“I wear flip flips while I do it.”  Read the rest of this entry

Book Giveaway! Win a Copy of No More Heroes!!

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Giveaway is Now Closed
Thanks to all who entered! The randomly selected winner was comment #5: Tina Whitney. 


Well, friends, you’ve heard me talk about my story in the No More Heroes anthology (what’s that? You haven’t?! Well feel free to look around) and now I’m giving some lucky person out there the chance to own the anthology for freeee! *crowd goes wild*

CIMG0596

You can check out the Amazon page for more details (including retail value), but here’s the basic premise of the anthology: There was once an epic battle between the superheroes and the supervillains but (plot twist!) the villains won. Which begs the question “What do supervillains do when they don’t have heroes to get in their way?” The anthology is that question answered by many different authors. Read the rest of this entry

Scenelette: Zen’s Hens

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This post features my character Zen
His story appears in the No More Heroes anthology
No Spoilers

Once while writing, I accidentally rhymed within a sentence. (I want to say the sentence was discussing ‘Bill’s skills.’) I was amused. I giggled. And then I proceeded to find words to rhyme all of my character’s names.

I am an expert in procrastination.

Anyway, if the image is particularly intriguing to me, I’ll write it out. So, here’s one for my grumpy mathematician, Zen.

~*~

Zen’s morning began with dropping his coffee on the way to his office, and he was convinced that there was no possible event that could make him put the loss of much-needed caffeine out of his mind. This was before he opened the door and saw the chickens. Read the rest of this entry

My Characters Ordering Winter Beverages

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Well, I don’t know about you guys, but my corner of the world has been feeling the full wrath of January weather this past week. As a daydreaming topic one chilly morning, I asked all of my characters what their favorite hot beverage was. Here are some of the answers. As usual, my alter-ego Hannah interjected whenever it suited her. Her words are in the [brackets].

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Rodney from School Spirit 

“Hot apple cider. With a cinnamon stick, please!”

~*~

Lisa from Ball Girl 

“Chai tea with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream melted in it.” Read the rest of this entry

My Characters being Thankful

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This post features characters from my stories
No Spoilers

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

In the spirit of the Holiday, I asked all of my characters what they were thankful for. The little interjections inside the square brackets are from my Alter-Ego, Hannah, keeping my people honest.

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Matt from The TimeWarp Bill

“Man, I don’t know… Is it corny if I put down the stuff that happened in my story?”

[Hannah: very corny, but please go on.]

“Well, it sort of changed my mind about some things. So that’s good and all. So quit making fun of me.”

[Hannah: Not making fun of you, Sweetie. I like corny.] Read the rest of this entry

My Characters Complaining about Halloween Costumes

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This Post features the following characters from my stories
Kaleb from Loved by Numbers
Zen from No More Heroes
No Spoilers

Happy Halloween, everyone!!

I held my traditional Halloween social for my characters. They all exist together in their Out-of-Story state, but they tend to stick with their plot-mates, so I occasionally hold little events to force interaction. (You know, for funsies)

Anyway, I decided this year to make costumes mandatory, and by assignment only. Here’s a snippet of my Alter Ego dealing with Kaleb’s reaction. I hope everyone had a fun, safe, candy-filled day!

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 “Hannah, I’m not wearing this!” Kaleb stormed into the room Hannah was currently using as her ‘office.’ This changed frequently depending on her mood; sometimes with a corporate business feel, sometimes like a cozy therapy room. At the moment, it resembled the backstage of a theater production, what with the costumes she was gleefully doling out on my behalf.

“Wow, I’m shocked,” she said.

“You know I hate math.” Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: My Characters Playing “Never Have I Ever”

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This post features the following characters from my stories:
Matt from The TimeWarp Bill
Lisa from Ball Girl
Wistal from The Suicide Game
Zen from No More Heroes 
No Spoilers 

Pardon me while I ask my characters to do random things for my own amusement 🙂 As usual, I asked my alter-ego Hannah to be the moderator for these little events. This is slightly different from other drabbles in that the characters are completely OOS (Out of Story), meaning that they are fully aware of their status as story characters. Enjoy! 

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“Sooo… can we start yet, or what?” Matt asked after making a paper airplane out of his game rules and watching it take a disappointingly short flight across the room.

“Hannah said there were supposed to be four of us,” Lisa said as she read her own rules a third time, even though the game wasn’t all that difficult to understand.

A voice called from the hallway, “I found him,” a moment before Hannah led the somewhat disgruntled man inside and pointed sternly at the empty space on the couch. Read the rest of this entry

Character Blog Hop: Zen

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This post discusses Zen from Dove Without Wings (No More Heroes)
Spoilers have been “whited out”

So, in my Often Clueless way, I just noticed that Raeven tagged me in the character blog hop. (You can read her post here, which I strongly suggest if you are, like myself, a Seth fan.)

I decided to go with Zen for this one. I’ve drabbled about him a couple times, and also I recently ordered 30 copies of his book, so the guy’s been on my mind. 🙂 Incidentally, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m sort of paranoid about spoilers. So, any answers that give away important plot points are ‘whited out’ and between (( these )). If you’ve already read his story, or aren’t bothered by insider knowledge, you can highlight them to read them.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

His full name is Dr. Zenaida Macroura Dove. He prefers being called Zen, but will generally answer to “Dr. Dove.” His is, at the present moment, one of only three characters I’ve given middle names. (Four if you count my alter ego,  Hannah). Zen is quite fictional. Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: Samantha and Zen

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This post features the following characters:
Samantha from Waiting Room
Zen from Dove Without Wings (No More Heroes)
No Spoilers

First off, thank you muchly to everyone who voted in my previous post! (If you missed it, fear not. I’ll probably do it again because I had a good time with this!) 

So, the Drabble you picked for me was Zen + Samantha + a wine-tasting party. Which was a fun little challenge because Zen would never go to something like that unless being forced. I tried writing it from both points of view, but ultimately chose this one. I almost always write from inside Samantha’s head, so it was cool seeing what someone else thinks of her. (Even if that someone is Zen, who has very low emotionality compared to my other characters, but hey.)  Read the rest of this entry

My Characters as Flowers

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In honor of it finally being springtime (Yay! I can’t even tell you how much yay!!) I took a nice long walk and found flowers that reminded me of various characters.

I normally link to the stories, but… I’m feeling lazy just now (I should be writing the climax of a novella this weekend, so I’ve been writing in high gear for a few weeks now. Rewarding. But exhausting.) So, if anyone’s interested in reading any of the stories, I have the links collected here.

Okay. And now for the pretty things.


 

Kaleb – Loved by Numbers

Kaleb Flower

This flower just seemed like such an attention magnet. It could be in a garden of ten other varieties, and yet that would be the one I’d notice, and I’ll bet the flower would just love that. Very much like Kaleb’s attitude pre-story.

Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: Zen and Rodney

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This post features the following characters from my stories:
Zen from Dove Without Wings
Rodney from School Spirit
No Spoilers

Another writing exercise I favor is the ‘two-character mash up.’ I choose two characters at random (I have a huge list of all my characters, and a jar with numbers in it) and then either choose a word from the dictionary, or ask someone for a suggestion. Then I write a short drabble with both characters, and the word.

I find that I can learn a lot about my people (or dragons, in this case) by throwing them in odd situations with personalities they don’t normally encounter. And yeah, it’s also fun 😉 Let’s not forget that.

So this little piece is the sum of Zen + Rodney + ‘inflate’

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The sound of tapping on the window finally wriggled its way inside Zen’s protective bubble of studious concentration. Reluctantly, he left the equations on his chalkboard and turned towards his office’s singular window. Read the rest of this entry