WiRL: “We just lost the Christian audience”


Episode 55: The One with Too Much Data

Barry’s nightmare comes true, as the Netflix model approaches publishing. Morgan counsels calm, but c’mon — it’s Barry. An extended discussion of data in publishing, and we want YOUR opinions. Plus: Barry has an epiphany about revisions and reveals (again) what a horrible, egotistical monster he is.

How it Happened: Game

Warning: Spoilers for Game!

First, let me get this off my chest: The title of the book is Game. Not The Game. Just Game.

Game coverI feel better now. 🙂

Not much to say about the genesis of this one. I had signed on to write two books, I Hunt Killers and a sequelThen I convinced my publisher that the story should be a trilogy. Good thing, too, because as I recount here, I didn’t really know how to tell the whole story in just two books. [Read more…]

WiRL: “Stop Feeding the Baby Purple Things”

Episode 55: The One where Morgan Dances

What, when, and how should you share about your kids on social media? Do they have a say in it? Are Barry and Morgan hypocrites for talking about Leia on the show? Being alone in the house when you have kids. Morgan reads the comments on an article.

WiRL: “From the Latin for ‘Cut it’”

Episode 54: The One where Leia Watches Law & Order

Prologues: Threat or menace? Morgan rolls her eyes…in a loving way. Barry says writers don’t cheat, and then admits he cheats. Being a good parent will kill you. Waiting for the perfect week that doesn’t exist. Dueling revision updates! Morgan disses Rockford.

How it Happened: The Mad Mask

The second book in the ARCHVILLAIN series: The Mad Mask!Given that it’s part two in a series, you’d think that there’s not much to tell about how The Mad Mask came to be…and you’d be right! This is gonna be a short one.

The book had to happen, of course, because I was contracted for a total of three Archvillain books. But the story didn’t have to be the one I turned in. I decided on introducing the Mad Mask because of something my brother said to me.

When I was first debating whether or not to write the series at all, my brother pointed out — as I mentioned last time — that I could have a lot of fun parodying the comic books I loved so much. And he was right! That’s why, for example, most of the teachers at Kyle’s school are named after various super-hero secret identities.

“You could totally have fun making of Dr. Doom,” he pointed out, and in that instant, the Mad Mask was born.

Read the Mad Mask’s dialogue. Change some proper nouns and it’s pretty much Stan Lee Dr. Doom dialogue. My only innovation was shoving the egomaniacal blathering of a genius scientist-cum-European despot into the mouth of a 14-year-old brat.

I was channeling Stan the Man something fierce and loving every minute of it. (It’s no accident that the Mad Mask’s creation — Ultitron — is a portmanteau of two Marvel robotic villains, Ultron and Ultimo.)

Anyway, once the villain was settled, I realized that I could have a lot of fun playing off the idea that Kyle was now in the middle of a horrible spectrum, with Mighty Mike — dumb do-gooder — on one end and the Mad Mask — wily lunatic — on the other.

And of course no matter what he did, Kyle would still end up hated and feared by the population in general. Poor kid can’t catch a break.

I wrote this one fast. Not because I had to — it just flowed out of me. And when it was done, it needed very little work, just some light tweaking. Man, I wish they were all like that!

(Oh, trivia note: With this book, a new editor came on-board the series about halfway through. Her only request: That I please stop naming characters with the initials M. M. — she was getting confused by her own notes! I agreed that the joke had gone on long enough.)