Stuff & Nonsense 063: ME!
Hi! As you've probably noticed, the Miami Midnight promo window has opened, and a few nice things have come of it. Publishers Weekly seemed to like the book, Carole Barrowman included it in her Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel "best summer mysteries" list, and it made similar roundups at CrimeReads and The Real Book Spy. Also, some fantastic authors I admire have said nice things about the book:
The even bigger news was that my fourth novel, Blackout, was nominated for an Anthony Award in the Best Novel category (!!!!!!!) - alongside luminaries like Laura Lippman, Megan Abbott, Lou Berney, and Jennifer Hillier. Still buzzing over that.
BookRiot had nice things to say about Pete Fernandez, including him in their listicle on the best mystery series characters, alongside rising stars like Sherlock Holmes and Easy Rawlins.
Lethal Lit, the crime fiction/YA podcast I co-created and co-wrote with Monica Gallagher for iHeart Radio and Einhorn's Epic Productions, entered into a co-development deal with Cavalry Media to work on a potential TV show. So, that's neat.
Also: I've joined The Sunday Long Read team, and I'll be contributing a feature on comics longreads called Sunday Comix. My first installment hit a few weeks ago. This has been fun and it's always neat to become a part of something you enjoyed as a fan. Don't worry, though, this newsletter will always have my heart.
I'll be posting about Miami Midnight events and such soon. In the meantime, feel free to preorder the book! It's appreciated. Oh, and did I mention it's the last one?
I haven't been doing many guest posts here, but I couldn't say no to my friend (and former Splash Page student!) Jason Inman, who has a new book - Super Soldiers - hitting this month. Here's Jason's bio, and his thoughtful piece! Enjoy.
Jason Inman hails from a farm in Kansas. His newest non-fiction book, Super Soldiers, is about the deep connection between comic book characters and soldiers in the military. Before becoming a writer, Jason served in the US Army deploying for a year in Iraq. In comics, Jason has co-written Science for Bedside Press and Jupiter Jet for Action Lab Entertainment.
He has also written for several websites and internet shows including Good Mythical Morning and Honest Trailers. Jason is a frequent guest on Collider Movie Talk and hosted DC All Access for over three years. You can follow him on Twitter: @Jawiin or check out his website www.jasoninman.com.
My new book, Super Soldiers, quickly became the most personal thing I’ve ever written. The original concept was quite simple and primarily inspired by my podcast Geek History Lesson. On our show, we examine comic book and pop culture characters from their origins to their current iterations. This non-fiction book was to explore superheroes and villains that have served in the military and decide by the end of each chapter whether or not that character was a good or bad example of a servicemember. For my first chapter, I picked the most obvious example of that: Captain America! However, when I started writing it, I found myself faced with a blank page. Why couldn’t I create a compelling narrative based on my thesis for this walking and talking American flag?
My wife stumbled upon the answer. I needed to inject stories from my personal military experiences in the book. I served in the Army and was deployed as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was not particularly eager to do that at first but soon saw her suggestion as the best decision.
Each chapter of Super Soldiers features a personal story from my time in the U.S. military. While detailing each of these military superheroes journeys, I found myself being able to connect on a deeper level with these characters. Their experiences were similar to my adventures! I could now analyze them better because I no longer saw them as fictional characters, but as fellow brothers and sisters in arms. Being deployed felt very similar to the way Captain Atom’s origin was told, the way I tackled basic training was close to the way Hal Jordan faces every villain, and I even fought my superiors in the same way that Carol Danvers did. These military heroes and villains allowed me to share stories I’ve never told anyone else. My wife, my first beta reader, was quite surprised by the events I had never shared.
I want the readers of my new book to come away with an original perspective on these heroes and villains. Thinking about what the idea of military service should mean to their narratives, and how readers should consider those themes when encountering their future adventures. The pages of Super Soldiers taught me the most important lesson. It’s impossible to write anything without injecting a piece of your soul into the words.
That's it for now. Talk soon!