Welcome to the blog, Jim! Could you tell us a little bit about your novel?
Confessions of a D-List Supervillain grew out of the five chapter novella of the same name that I first wrote in 2008 and appeared in my 2009 short story collection Horror, Humor, and Heroes Volume One. Of all the reviews that collection has received to date, the majority said that they wanted to see more of Mechani-Cal and his adventures.
The story is that of a low ranking supercriminal and his journey from being a bad guy to being a slightly less bad guy. He wears his own “home built” battlesuit, which is good, but it can’t compete with someone like Ultraweapon (my universe’s rough equivalent of Iron Man). Cal is a bit of an inventor for hire - gun runner, if you will - and hired muscle. When the world gets overrun by a major supervillain’s latest scheme gone awry, Cal is one of the few that’s left unaffected. He’s got one chance to save the world, whether he wants to or not!
I plan to make this into a trilogy. I’ve got more plans for Cal and company and I hope readers will join me for the journey.
What led you to write this book?
I liked the idea of the redemption story, but with a realistic and somewhat gritty take on things. Cal’s metamorphosis is gradual and he “falls off the wagon” several times along the way and reverts to form, because it’s good to be bad. He’s sarcastic and doesn’t worry about offending people too much.
Your story is told from the point of view of a villain. How did you handle the challenge of writing a protagonist who is a bad guy?
One of the things that’s nice about writing things from a bad guy’s perspective is he isn’t limited to the types of actions the other side has. Cal can get a little nasty and vindictive. He can lose his temper and, instead of reasoning with a bunch of rioters and looters, just start tossing around tear gas canisters until the crowd disperses. I didn’t consider this to be a challenge, but an advantage. Still, I needed outside beta readers to make certain I didn’t get too carried away. That was probably the one drawback, making sure that Cal’s actions didn’t go too far.
What comic books inspire you?
One of my favorite trilogies of all time is called Eagleheart by an author named CT Westcott. He wrote an excellent anti-hero named Will Bucko in it. It’s not a comic book, but just the same.
As far as comics go, I stopped collecting them a long time ago. From the plot of Confessions, you’d expect me to say Iron Man, but I was more of a Spiderman or X-Men guy than the Avengers. I like my heroes to have flaws and hardships. Tony Stark’s flaws hit a little too close to home for a kid growing up in a household where there was someone with alcohol issues.
What is your best advice on writing?
Realism! There is no substitute, even in fiction. Characters influence the plot and the plot influences the characters. For a reader to be able to suspend their disbelief, the character’s actions within the structure of the plot must be believable. Not only does this apply to your main characters, but even minor characters. If someone’s actions make the reader start figuratively scratching their head, then the wheels start coming off. As a writer, view each scene from the perspective of everyone involved and ask if each character behaves in a believable fashion. Authors who can do that will have an advantage over those who don’t.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Jim!
Jim Bernheimer can be found on: www.jimbernheimer.com, on Facebook, his Amazon.com author page, and the Permuted Press message board.
Confessions of a D-List Supervillain is available at: Amazon (as a kindle right now, the paperback will probably be out by the end of the month), soon it will be available for the Nook, and also Smashwords.com
Jim Bernheimer lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife and two daughters. Through Gryphonwood Press, he has published Spirals of Destiny Book One: Rider, Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman, and the soon-to-be released sequel Dead Eye 2: The Skinwalker Conspiracies. Under his own EJB imprint, Jim has published Horror, Humor, and Heroes (Volumes One and Two) and Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. His next project (after Dead Eye 2) will be Spirals of Destiny Book Two: Sorceress.
Hmm, after reading about comics, I want to go watch Kick-Ass again! Or maybe I’ll request The Dark Knight Returns via interlibrary loan… I miss the giant comic book/manga section in my hometown’s library!
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