Sunday, December 11, 2011

Got superhero?

me, in my first wetsuit, 2008
Those who've known me for a while, know a few things about me:

1. I want to be a superhero, and I think my wetsuit will turn me into one. Given that I've swum more than a 5K (at once, mind you) since this photo, and this year I've swum in the open waters of the Long Island Sound well into December, it may just be (slowly, but surely) working; and

2. My life hasn't been the same since I entered the first ever Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award* contest in 2007- 2008, not just because, from there, I took my writing seriously, got agented (and reagented, and then re-re-agented, oy), and got a book deal, but also because I made some of the best friends of my life through that contest, and met some amazing writers, many of whom have gone on to some pretty cool success.

So, what's my point? Um. If you combine those two things, superhero'ing (yeah, sue me, I made up that word) and ABNA friends, you get that I'm happy to be congratulating one such dude today, and introducing Ian Thomas Healy, a/k/a He, of the Hair.

This is Ian (and his hair):
And this is his brand spankin' new Superhero book, Just Cause:

Isn't it cool looking!? Ian says, "Just Cause is available directly from the publisher, New Babel Books ( in both ebook and print editions, and to shop small businesses!" And I agree!

I asked Ian to describe Just Cause in a single sentence, so here you go: "a rookie superhero races to earn her place on the world's greatest team, but first she'll have to confront the villain who killed her father."

Of course, she will, Ian. Of course she will. :)

I also asked him to describe a bit about his book's genre: "If New Adult was a real genre, Just Cause would fit. The main character is 18, just graduated high school, so it fits into the upper edges of YA. But Superhero fiction is its own subgenre, straddling the line between science fiction and fantasy, with its own set of recognizable tropes and conventions. It is a growing genre, the way cyberpunk took off in the early '80s, with authors including Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge, Carrie Vaughn, Austin Grossman, Rob Rogers, Van Allen Plexico, and oh yes, George R. R. Martin.

 And, finally, I was curious how he got into writing Superhero fiction: "I'm a longtime comic book geek. The moment I realized I could write superheroes in prose instead of graphic form was when I read the first Wild Cards book, written by numerous authors and edited by George R. R. Martin."

 Of course, me and my sound-bite love wanted to know just a few other tidbits.
  • First, Ian's favorite Just Cause scene: "My favorite scene takes place at the climax, in a huge battle in Guatemala, when Sally finally faces down the villain who killed her father and ends up fighting him while he rockets off into the stratosphere (did I mention she can't fly?)."

  • Second, the hardest part about writing Just Cause: ". . . was realizing that it required massive changes. I wound up cutting 40Kwords entirely and writing 20K new words to transform it from the mess it was before into the tale it is now."
Yeah, yeah, tell me something I don't know (and live... ;))

  • And last, of course, I wanted to know what kind of superhero Ian is, himself, in real life. Okay, fine, would want to be, if he weren't one Of the Hair already:  "For me, trying to pigeonhole a single superpower I'd want to have is like asking a food critic what his one favorite dish is. I've always kind of liked the idea of a non-powered superhero like Batman, so maybe I'd be this guy, Black Dog:
I like that Black Dog seems to be in some sort of water universe... ;)
Black Dog has no powers, just pure badassery, like a mixture of Chuck Norris, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Gates."

Badassery, hmmm. I guess if I couldn't breathe underwater, some plain old badassery would be nice.

So, there you have it: Ian, Hair, Badassery, and an intro to Just Cause. So, what are you waiting for, peeps?! Go and get your copy. Or, one for your favorite superhero lover. Wait, not superhero lover. Superhero lover! Oh, geez, never mind, I don't care. Just check it out, and get one for someone you love.

*stretches on wetsuit and leaves.*

- gae

*This year's Amazon Contest starts 1/23. Check it out if you're itching to be a published writer!


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Gae!

    By the way, people, if you haven't read The Pull of Gravity, shame on you. It's a good book! *wags finger at you*

  2. I loved ABNA too because it made me think I could really do something. I made it to the quarter finals and have since shelved that book, but it was enough. Very cool interview and congrats Ian!

  3. I shelved my ABNA book two, though I have delusions of taking it out again one day. I have a lot of delusions.