The Storybundle Indie Superbundle is out now! Included in that bundle is the amazing “Action Figures” by Michael Bailey. Here he answers those burning questions everyone has about his story and the indie superhero author!
I’ve been a fan of superhero comics since I was little, and my appreciation for the genre has only grown over the years. I always wanted to get into the comics industry (and still do), and my series is my way of indulging that particular creative itch until I weasel my way into Marvel or DC’s good graces.
How does your superhero differ from the average fare?
First, I am doing my damnedest to make sure the series remains fun. The young adult fiction field lately has become so concerned with portraying itself as “legitimate fiction” and as a serious art form that it’s grown humorless. My books have their share of drama and heavy moments, but they don’t leave readers needing a hug and an hour in a room full of puppies afterwards.
Also, I am shamelessly taking a cue from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (the great TV show, not the terrible movie) and trying to tell stories that aren’t just about the adventures the main characters have, but are very much tied to their lives as regular teenagers and the trials of growing into adulthood. I never stray into heavy-handed “Afterschool Special” morality tale territory or treat it as a “youth issue of the day” treatise, but the real-life experiences are part of the overall story.
Would you like to see your superhero in the hands of Hollywood? If so, what do you think they’d do with it to help sell it to consumers?
I would gladly welcome a truckload of Hollywood money backing up to my front door.
If the books were ever adapted to film, I’d say the best marketing a studio could engage in is to tap into the oft-ignored female audience. Girls and women love superheroes too, and they want to see characters they can identify with up on the big screen. And they definitely want the tie-in merchandise. My wife is a big Marvel Cinematic Universe fan, and she’s always irked by the lack of Black Widow merch on the shelves.
Tell us something about your book that can’t be found in the blurb, the reviews, or any other description.
My unofficial slogan for the series is “No love triangles.” The characters will never wind up in a “Which one should I choose? Who loves me more?” situation. It’s a tired, worn-out, boring cliché of YA fiction and a lazy way to generate cheap drama, and I promised myself I would never ever resort to that trope. So far, so good.
Was there a superhero (or supervillain) that inspired you to write your book?
I’m constantly drawing inspiration from superhero archetypes, but if I had to pin down a single source of inspiration, it would be Spider-Man. He was the hero I grew up with, the hard-luck, underappreciated kid who just wanted to do some good in the world. I loved his idealism in the face of adversity, his snarky wit, and the fact that no matter how many times he got knocked down, when he needed to step up and do the right thing, he did it, without fail. I have that in the back of my mind whenever I write my stories.
About “Action Figures”
It was the worst summer of Carrie Hauser’s life, and the weirdest: it was the summer her parents announced they were getting divorced, and when a dying alien passed on to her his fantastic superhuman abilities.
All Carrie wants now is to settle into her new home in Kingsport and get her life back to something resembling normal – but that won’t be easy when her secret is discovered by a group of teenage super-hero wannabes, who need her help to discover why experimental military drones have been wreaking havoc in town.
Their search leads the fledgling super-team to Archimedes, an artificial intelligence that will do anything to escape its virtual reality prison and enter the real world.
However, the kids aren’t the only ones with an interest in Archimedes, and the super-teens soon find themselves caught in the middle of a longstanding feud between Concorde, Kingsport’s high-flying hometown hero, and his nemesis, the deadly mercenary Manticore.
Save the day? Sure…as soon as school gets out.
Michael Bailey is a professional writer from Falmouth, Massachusetts who kind of hates writing bios.
Michael has been a working writer since 1998 when he simultaneously (and at the same time) sold his first freelance article to Renaissance Magazine, and landed a job as a staff reporter for the Enterprise Newspapers. In 2013, Michael ended his tenure at the Enterprise to focus on his creative writing.
Over the years Michael has contributed several more articles to Renaissance Magazine and other local publications, and has since 2004 worked on the writing staff of two New England-based renaissance faire production companies: Pastimes Entertainment and the Connecticut Renaissance Faire.
In September 2013, Michael released his debut YA novel “Action Figures.” All four books in the series have landed on Kindle top ten best-seller lists.