Wednesday, January 26, 2011

**Guest Post from Susan Jane Bigelow, author of BROKEN**

Hi Bibliognome readers! Thanks a bunch to Becky for the opportunity to write a guest post here, and of course for the great review of Broken.

I admit it, I've loved superhero stories my entire life. When I was young, I couldn't get enough of the adventures of Batman, Wonder Woman, X-Men and more. I used to ride my bike up to town, buy comic books and some sort of horrible-for-you snack food, and sit on the rocks above the waterfall in the nearby park to read about superheroes and ingest toxic levels of sugar.

As I got older I found myself drawn to more complex interpretations and subversions of those familiar stories, and read works like The Maxx, Astro City and Watchmen. Even now, I love finding smart takes on super-powered people, like Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible and the brilliant, short-lived ABC Family series “The Middleman.”

What keeps drawing me back to these sorts of stories? Why do I write them?

Well, first off, they're a lot of fun. I love reading and writing about characters who can do astonishingly cool things! It speaks to my inner nine-year-old.

But also, I think a lot of the appeal for me lies in the incredible range of possibilities for fresh, exciting storytelling. In Broken there's a man who flies, a woman who can rapidly heal herself, and a kid who sees the future, among others, and their very existence raises all kinds of questions for stories to explore. How do these characters manage their abilities, and how integral are their powers to their personalities? How do they interact with an outside society that doesn't seem to like them very much? What do these characters actually do with their abilities, if anything, and why? Perhaps most importantly, how does each character deal with simply being different in a fundamental way from everyone else?

That combination of fantastic and human elements is one sure way that I get hopelessly sucked into a story. It's why I love science fiction and fantasy as much as I do. I honestly can't imagine writing anything else.

Superhero stories in particular can be simple morality plays, exciting adventure stories, or hokey good-guys-win fare. They can also be dark, hopeful, complex and engaging stories about human nature. I tried to put elements of both in Broken and other stories I'm writing about this world, and despite the dark setting I've tried to include moments of grace and hope.

In short, I tried to write the kind of book that a younger me would want to read in the park on a dreamy, hot summer day.

-Susan Jane Bigelow

1 comment:

  1. Soon I Will Be Invincible is a favourite of mine. Devil's Cape is another great modern superhero novel.

    I would totally read this book in the park on a dreamy, hot summer day. It's just right for that...


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