League of Superheroes by Steve Rice, instead of doing a Review, I decided to do an interview this month. So sit back and enjoy! Don't forget to read a way to win a free copy!
Welcome to Caffeine & Romance's interview 'room', Today we have Steve Rice with us, the Author of League of Superheroes, Thanks for coming Steve.
Good evening, supheroes and supervillains! I just flew in from Colorado, and boy, is my suit tired!
1. What inspired you to write this story?
I've written some superhero fiction before--I wrote a short story in the eighth grade about some engineers' kids who put together something like a Titan suit--it even had a character named Charlie, though he was very different then. I brought them back in the twelfth grade, only now the story was narrated by a language geek and involved creating a robot that became a kind of superhero. [I go into some of this at http://ansric.blogspot.com/2008/09/league-of-superheroes-opening-day.html ] But a lot of the incidental material arose because I would see some effect misrepresented in fiction. I do try to get the physics right.
The precise circumstances were odd, though: In January 2004, I found myself staying as a guest with some people I knew from a new church. I had moved to Colorado from Alaska in late July 2003 to help my mother, who was moving there. I had no job, no contacts, and no skills appropriate to the area. I did have my computer, and I kept my sanity in part by reading e-books I had stored there.
I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer, but I usually have a really good idea of my main characters and the general direction of the story before I begin. In fact, I usually know the ending scene before I start. In this case, I suddenly had the opening scene and the mysterious girl in the chat room. I knew who and what she was, but that was about it. But I started writing, and I finished the story in a couple weeks. The plot line and characters changed considerably during that time.
2. Who is your favorite character and why?
That's almost impossible to answer. I have to love my characters to write about them, though it doesn't always happen immediately. I didn't care for Tom initially--it wasn't until he did his power dive over the cliff that I truly began to like him. Rod is mostly comic relief, but he is more important to the series than most people would imagine. Charlie leads from behind and keeps things from exploding. Allen is between Charlie and Tom in maturity--and age, for that matter. Clarice was supposed to be a flat nuisance-sibling character, but Tom will eventually say more than once that she was the best superhero in the group. And Uncle and Genie are both tragic figures, trying for salvation, but on their own terms.
3. How have your personal faith and beliefs influenced your story?
There are always echoes of C. S. Lewis in my writing, and _League of Superheroes_ echoes certain points from _The Abolition of Man_, _That Hideous Strength_, and other books. It also reflects my belief in Literary Lifestyle Evangelism: instead of having the characters preach at the reader, they simply live out their faith before the reader. They try to figure out (usually with God's help) what is right, though they aren't perfect. And the really important jobs are accomplished by faith and the power of God, not by even Genie's incredibly advanced technology. That becomes more pronounced in later stories.
4. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Certain of Tom's quirks were a bit annoying. In particular, he's trying to recapture how he felt and what he thought at the time--he's writing this well after the fact--so there are places where he's nearly lying: he knows better now, but he will state that something was so, even though he will eventually admit otherwise. He misrepresents Rod, for example, I think out of envy and even a little fear. On the other hand, he sometimes comments on matters from a future viewpoint because he can't help it, as when he calls himself a fool for putting down Clarice's prayerful approach to Genie's technology. It's because he still blames himself (I think unreasonably) for almost getting her killed a few stories down the line as a result of his attitude. So fielding Tom's quirks is sometimes hard.
5. What was easiest?
The story itself came easily: I really did just sit down and write it, and there weren't any major blocks along the way. Some of the sequels weren't that easy, but this one flowed.
6. What's next for you?
Assuming this sells reasonably well, the next book is _Genie At Large_, which introduces the series villain and properly sets up the spiritual conflict. I also have some unrelated projects, such as _Galatea_, which I hope to publish through Lulu in the near future.
7. What's your Life Verse?
I usually cite Proverbs 25:2--"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings." But a better verse for the series would probably be Proverbs 21:30--"There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD." God has a plan for Genie, and he cannot be stopped.
I Love hearing the different verses people quote as their Life Verse
8.What would you like people to take away from your story, after they read it?
I suppose the idea of thinking and living like a Christian rather than just drifting with popular culture (even supposedly Christian popular culture). Don't be a robot; know and follow God.
Well Thanks for Coming! Any CLosing Remarks?
Hello, I must be going!
I cannot stay;
I came to say
I must be going!
I'm glad I came,
But just the same
I must be going...
-Rufus T. Firefly
A Little Blurb about League of Superhero's:
The League of Superheroes
Four teenage boys and one little sister discover someone in a chat room who claims to be a little girl named Genie, but whose scientific knowledge and technology are a few centuries ahead of anyone else.
Who or what is Genie? The most intelligent mortal in history—an integral part of the most powerful force mankind has ever unleashed. And she does not consider herself subject to the laws of God or man.
On a whim, Genie transforms her new friends into the League of Superheroes:
Titan—a walking and flying tank—is Rod Davies, a klutzy, diplomacy-impaired beanpole who is also a certified genius in math and physics;
Darklight—an invisible spy—is the narrator, Tom Reilly, a scientifically inclined polyglot;
Tachyon—able to speed or slow time in his area—is Allen Peters, super-hacker; and
Micromegas—a size-changer—is Charlie Taylor, who hopes someday to be a medical missionary.
And then there are Clarice Peters, Allen’s little sister and perhaps Genie’s best friend, and "Uncle," the mysterious elderly man who was the first to treat Genie like a human being…
But can even superheroes save her (and the world) from her so-called creators—and from Genie herself?
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~Rae Byuel (by.u.el)~
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