(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Monday, May 2, 2016

News, And The Final Taste

First, some publishing news!  The audiobook of Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain went on sale, and hit #1 in all audiobooks on Amazon.  I mention this not to toot my own horn (although I'm pretty happy) but because the audiobook company responded by immediately buying the rights to books 2 and 3.  They'll be available... however long the turnover is on that!

Also, hardbacks were caught up in a formatting error the printer never told my publisher about.  They could be for sale already, for all I know.  Soon, definitely.

Finally, my publisher isn't thrilled about me giving sneak peaks, but I decided the first three chapters of a book can't hurt.  I have finished the third chapter of the tentatively titled I Did Not Give That Spider Superhuman Intelligence.

Enjoy!

43 comments:

  1. Wow that was kinda sad. . . . :(. The community is much rougher in the 80s it seems. Palooka Joe doesn't mess around. I am also now convinced that all the mesoamerican gods are both real/alive and somehow posses advanced technology.

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    1. The 80's were before the Dark Ages, before the Dark Time, before the rise of the evil Political Correctness police.

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    2. In a world where Superpowers have always existed. Yeah you have to kinda figure that all the myths of our world is documented history in theirs. just imagine what ancient Greece or Egypt was like with actual super powered people. How many civilizations nearly conquered the world without super powers.

      And having grown up in the 80's, this story does have the feel of it down pretty accurately.

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    3. In particular, it's not just the 80s, it's 1980. Bismuth may be the most '1980' appropriate villain ever. I could have gone for more realistically varied characters, but the early 80s was such an intensely goofy time obsessed with its own zeitgeist and stereotypes, I figured I should go whole hog and have fun. Irene sees everything through 'fun' colored glasses anyway.

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    4. (I am trying to keep the gigantic cultural dominance of racial stereotypes as on-the-sidelines as possible, as a courtesy to those they would hurt, because they're distracting, and because I think most of my readers wouldn't recognize just how omnipresent and acceptable those stereotypes were back then.)

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  2. I think the story needs at least one token male character who isn't a joke, a monster or both. It's getting weird on me.

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    1. This is 1980. EVERYONE was a joke. Neon Rider and Bismuth would be considered the height of cool, which is why I picked them. Still, worry not! You will see much more of the serious and human side of the men in this book. They've been introduced when they're 'on stage.'

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    2. Honestly, one of the things I like about Mr Roberts' writing style is that he takes things seriously, even the silliness and he also takes things humorously, even the serious parts.

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  3. A view into the world, humor and tragedy, this has much more of the depth that I have come to expect of Mr. Roberts. Well done!

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  4. Well, "Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain" is perfect for an audiobook. It's not just that it's a first person narrative, it's something about enjoying the narrator's "voice" as she reacts to things in the story. I actively avoid audiobooks, but I'm interested in this one.

    And it's looking like "I Did Not Give That Spider Superhuman Intelligence" has a analogous quality, even if it's a different kind of story.

    It's too bad "radio shows" aren't a thing any more.

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    1. True, but now there are podcast, which I believe are better. You have much more variety, and do not have to listen to only the more limited local stations.

      The local stations I was able to listen to were abysmal. So, an improvement in my opinion.

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    2. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who hates local radio. it's horrible.

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  5. Yes! I was one of the ones asking about the audio versions of Books 2 and 3. I hope they use the same narrator - she did a great job on Book 1.

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    1. Would you believe my publisher STILL hasn't given me a copy?

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    2. Really?! You're the *author*! This is Rodney Dangerfield levels of no respect.

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    3. I agree with jvr, please use the same narrator. She rocked the book, and I can't wait for more. So many audiobooks suffer when they switch narrators.

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  6. I have a friend waiting for the next audio books :) I got him into it because the first audio book had been on sale. And now we're going to be doing a MASKs game with that setting :)

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    1. Awww, I'm flattered! Have fun! The general attitude of LA's superhuman community extends to most of the developed world, so don't feel obligated to stick with my city. Admittedly, other cities don't have Spider. Spider is cool. And Russia... Russia is a mess.

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    2. That's the goal :)
      This is going to be a bit in the future, I was going to be using the Protege playbook and have Penny as his mentor. After all, who better for a fledgling super genius than The Penelope Akk ^_^

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  7. I'm really enjoying it so far. I've always been a fan of the sweet innocent looking girl being a major powerhouse. It's one of the uses of irony that I have always loved.

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  8. So, this is just a few rough first impressions, without a more detailed readthrough, as one does, but in any case:

    We see the origins of The Expert here, which I thought very well done, but also intriguing. I personally think he chose a good name, given some of the others, but on more weighty matters, one wonders what happened. He seems to be working for the heroes here - yet we know he is a villain, indeed, perhaps the leader of the 'mad scientists'. What happened to turn him? Perhaps seeing the work of such heroes as Palooka Joe, or something else?

    Palooka Joe was absolutely hilarious. I have no doubt the USSR and other Communist regimes (assuming they exist) used him as propaganda to show how commercialized and capitalist the US is. Which gives rise to a chilling thought - did Ayn Rand inspire any superheroes?

    We see another anthropomorphized force in Death, in addition to Gabriel and Lucifer. Interestingly enough, in this one, there is no doubt of the truth of her identity, as there is with Lucifer and Gabriel. A more bombastic age, perhaps, or simply that we are in a more skeptical one?

    I loved Bismuth. Everything was so very 80's, especially him and Neon Rider, but he absolutely crushed it. Seeing him from Irene's eyes was wonderful - it truly felt like the greatest of an 80's rave.

    The truly important question, though: Why was Palooka Joe so violent? Was that at all okay? Spider claims to have written the first accords, and this would have to be after Evolution, so presumably some accords were written. Was it all right because he only killed a robot? In any case, Palooka Joe sounds like the kind of hero villains might try to actively get rid of, and not just for being annoying. He sounds like the kind of hero to cause a lot of collateral damage trying to apprehend a villain, and with no sense of proportions or limitations. Perhaps this was where lines delineating the 'good' and 'bad' heroes began.

    In any case, this was absolutely brilliant, and I can't wait until we get the book.

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    1. A statement and an opinion.
      Pyschopomp isn't the personification of death as Lucy and Gab claim to be for the Archangels. She only hold's death scythe and serves it's will. Also Anthropomorphic isn't the proper word in this context.


      As for the opinion Roberts has said that it was a much rougher time. I would wager a guess this takes place before the Accords, which would mean that there are likely people on both sides who are only in it for to fight, hurt people, and get famous. Joe sounds like someone who's in it for money and fame, but also likes to fight.
      Also I think it's meant to show contrast to the supers in the TIM story's. As well as the give us some reasons for Midnight's retirements. She's not human or superhuman. It was only a single scene but she obviously didn't fit in well with the other hero's. Even the cop was way too fight happy, she pulled a gun on what at first look would have been 3 kids.

      But again that's kinda how the 80's were, the comics, the movies, the actual people.

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    2. Expert is a capitalist, I suspect even in the future he sells to both sides. He isn't shown ever doing anything but being a resource.

      Neutral is where I see him.

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    3. Expert expressed an interest in purchasing and dissecting Marcia, which suggests a sociopathic lack of empathy and respect for human life. It's hard to tell whether young Expert was like that, though, if only because it's harder to tell what might be missing from his personality that what's present.

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    4. Indeed, anthropomorphized is not the correct work, but neither was 'divine' or ' mythical', so I was unsure what else I could use...
      As for your statement regarding Pyschopomp, I agree it makes more sense that her being Death itself, but what proof do you have to support this? If she does only wield Death's Scythe, it is clear in any case that it bestows longevity if not immortality upon the wielder.

      I don't know that the Accords haven't been agreed upon yet. The problem is that the timeline is very unclear - when was Evolution? When was he killed? How long did it take for both the superhero and super-villain communities to come together and then decide to negotiate and hammer out the accords? We need a more solid timeline, I think.
      On the other hand, it may be that being the 80's the idea of machines/robots having intelligence/being alive wasn't even in anyone's awareness.

      I can't see The Expert selling to both sides. If he's selling to the villains, wouldn't the heroes crack down on him? Also, he seemed to be the leader of the mad/evil scientist community when they met and welcomed Penny in Chinatown.

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    5. Koby -- I know that feeling all to well. I use a thesaurus all the damn time. As for Proof there is no real proof, like most things in these discussions. But in the three chapters we've seen, she never once calls her self Death. But she states a few times that she carry's Death's Scythe. Not her scythe, if she thought or pretended to be Death she would call most likely call it hers.
      Now as for the reality of the Scythe being death's I'm still not convinced. To the best of my knowledge Roberts has yet to say if there really is/was a Death, Lucifer, Gabriel, or any other beings from our Religions and myths. I think it is just as likely that Pyschopomp developed powers and the Scythe is the manifestation of it.

      I can't be the only one who is expecting the spider in the title to be Spider of Chinatown. Which would put this before the Accords which Spider was a major part of.
      I think Joe was simply being a major dick when he killed the robot. He purposely destroyed the thing beyond any repair.

      The Expert. I think he is well into the sociopath spectrum. As part of that he doesn't think in terms or Good/Bad or Right/Wrong. He understands things. He sees the value in these things. He makes things and sells things. I doubt he is even remotely picky about who's buying them. If this is the case, then I would say he's a part of the villain community because they don't judge. Most heroes would be all sorts of touchy about such things.

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    6. Just pointing out that Tony Stark was an arms merchant. As long as he isn't using his inventions directly to do dastardly deeds, I can see some heroes who will buy from him. Pre-accord things look pretty grey and post-accord they are even MORE "unless you get caught red-handed."

      Not to say that some heroes are going to be sticklier-than-thou though. I just see that there is a market. Not everyone has a BrainiAKK on call and mad scientists seem fairly light on the ground for the heroes compared to the vills.

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    7. We've only seen the Expert a handful of times for brief moments. I would imagine the Hero's would have more a problem with his methods then his allegiances.
      If they could get some new gear that could save them and numerous civilians, even if it's from a person who supplies villains, I can see them doing it.
      Now if that same tech was the result of dissecting a middle school girl, then I could see them not touching it no matter what it could do.
      There is a point where, for the greater good, stops applying.

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    8. Sorry for taking so long - was on guard duty commanding an outpost at the border, couldn't properly reply... Anyway:

      Given Irene's age, you'd think she'd know who is Death and who isn't. On the other hand, given her ancestry, maybe it really is just an artifact, with Psychopomp being its wielder... We really need more on Irene, which is why I can't wait for this book.

      Well, we know from the third book that 'getting personal' was recognized as a problem back in '76, and this is the 80's, so it would be at least 4 years after that... on the other hand, we don't know if official recognition (The Accords) was made (along with other agreements), or if it was just a 'gentleman's agreement'. I could see Irene and her team being responsible for Spider, I suppose.

      The Expert... well, he seemed to have a bit of psychopathy when talking about Marcia in the third book. On the other hand, Claire had weekly lunches with him, and he's been part of the community for a long time, so he clearly has restraint. Also, I'd think he sells to both, because if one side is buying from the best, if the other doesn't, they're at a serious disadvantage. So sure, they wouldn't buy tech that resulted from the dissection of a live teenager. But from a dead teenager's body, or even just from pieces she's left behind (given how she seems to heal from any injury, you've got to assume she'll spill quite a bit of organic matter)? I can see heroes buying that.
      The Expert did make some kind of comment about how having hero parents is the best way for someone to become a villain, and we've seen that hero powers seem to be very family-oriented... so maybe his own parents drove him to become a villain?

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  9. So, is a TIM movie eventually going to come out?

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  10. I believe the expression is "shut up and take my money", whilst dancing somewhat gleefully. Any chance we can preorder this? This looks to be a cracker of a book.

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  11. I notice The Indomitable Ten is now available in paperback.

    I also see the book attributed to, among others, "Lecturer in Economics Richard Roberts (Author)". Inside joke at Curiosity Quills?

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  12. I picked this up and the narrator they got does an amazing job of bringing you story to life.

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  13. The 2nd audiobook is out! And they used the same narrator! I snapped it up as soon as I saw it.

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  14. My kids love the "Please don't tell my parents..." series. Here's a poem from my daughter:

    Tick, tock, moving like clockwork
    I see it all, blueprints in my mind
    Inventions, ticking through time
    All of them truly mine
    Evil plots and intentions
    Oh dear did I mention
    All of this tech belongs to me
    Because I am Bad Penny


    Black gear, handsome smile
    I may look all brawn and no brain
    But if you think that you'll be in pain
    In not time at all your loot is my gain
    My power is at your disposal, dark mistress
    With my masked eyes, I will never miss
    If we're fighting you better be nervous
    Reviled at your service


    I am a cute, fuzzy teddy bear
    If you think that, you're in my snare
    I may look cute but I'll beat you, no problem
    There really is no such thing as dumb blonde
    I glide on frictionless feet
    The second you see me, you're basically beat
    All of my enemies, please beware
    Nice to meet you, I'm eClaire

    Thanks for the awesome stories!!

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  15. I love this series. Penny kicks butt! More, please!

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    1. It's a five book series, and after that, probably some side books set in the same world. We still haven't figured out what to call that world.

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    2. Can we have a side book about Lucyfar? As much I love TIM, Lucy's my favorite character. :-)

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    3. Proooobably not about Lucyfar. Heavily featuring her, quite possibly, but there are minds I do not want people to see inside. Lucyfar's is one of those. Still, at the moment I only have this book about Irene, and the last two books of the Inscrutable Machine planned out. Who knows what inspirations will hit me?

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  16. so any idea when the next book will be available then?

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    1. This answer represents a thirty second pause in writing the final chapter. Expect blog updates very soon.

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