Our wonderful, pimptastic, official Honorary Smuggler Karen Mahoney strikes again! When we decided to have this Watchmen Weekend, Karen mentioned that two of her fellow writers, fellow Deadline Dame Jackie Kessler and way-popular Urban Fantasy author Caitlin Kittredge, have an upcoming book about superheroes called Black and White and that they would most likely be down with doing a guest blog.
Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity and were ecstatic when both Jackie and Caitlin agreed! Since the book is written from two different characters’ points of view (with Jackie writing the superhero character and Caitlin writing the supervillain), for their guest post we Smugglers decided to ask the two main characters of Black and White a few questions.
What’s more is, Jackie and Caitlin have graciously offered to give away an ARC for Black and White! Details follow at the end of the post.
Ladies and gents, we proudly give you…
She Said/She Said, Superhero-Style
By Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge
In June 2009, a new book hits the shelves: BLACK AND WHITE. Once best friends at an elite superhero training academy, Iridium and Jet are now mortal enemies. Jet is a by-the-book hero, using her Shadow power to protect the citizens of New Chicago. Iridium, with her mastery of Light, runs the city’s underworld. For years the two have played a dangerous game of cat and mouse. But now playtime’s over. A looming evil threatens both them and the world they share. As Jet works with a “normal” man who has an extraordinary ability to make her weak in the knees, Iridium teams with a mysterious vigilante called Taser. Both Jet and Iridium are convinced that the other woman is the key to a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions. And one of them is right.
Forget the old formula of hero versus villain, because in a world where both the bad guys and the good guys are cloaked in shades of gray, nothing is as simple as…BLACK AND WHITE.
Jackie Kessler writes in the POV of Jet; Caitlin Kittredge writes in the POV of Iridium. Yes, Jackie is the tortured hero, and Caitlin is the evil genius. Guess who gets all the great lines?
And now, Jet and Iridium answer your burning questions.
THE BOOK SMUGGLERS: What makes a Villain or a Hero – Why do you do the things you do?
JET: All extrahumans train diligently at the Academy from the time they are twelve. And that’s after receiving an excellent Corp-sponsored education that provides the basics on heroing, right and wrong, the ethics of power, and branding. Not everyone is cut out to become a Squadron soldier, of course. But all extrahumans give their best to protect the citizens of New Chicago and the world. Duty first. Always.
IRIDIUM: Yes, she really speaks like that in public. Sad, isn’t it?
JET: [SNIFFS] Instead of criticizing me, why don’t you answer the question? Why are you a villain, Iri?
IRIDIUM: Listen, the world isn’t going to do you any favors. People don’t want heroes, not really. They only have extrahumans to look up to so that they have someone to tear down later on. My father taught me that.
JET: Along with how to pick locks.
IRIDIUM: And he also taught me that sometimes the world doesn’t need heroes at all. It needs villains.
JET: [SIGHS] I wouldn’t expect anything else from someone who cheated in the ethics classes.
IRIDIUM: [GRINS] The ones I didn’t ditch, anyway. Advanced Weaponry was my class.
THE BOOK SMUGGLERS: Vigilantes – Use ’em or lose ’em?
JET: Lose them. Any extrahuman who doesn’t follow the strict codes of Corp-Co doesn’t deserve the mask she wears. Operating outside of the law means breaking the law. And that’s inexcusable.
IRIDIUM: Some people don’t sleep with a code of conduct under their pillow, Jetster.
JET: The law is the law for a reason, Iri. Without it, we’d have anarchy.
IRIDIUM: A little anarchy is healthy. And fun!
THE BOOK SMUGGLERS: Values – The Greater Good vs. Moral Righteousness: which prevails?
JET: I don’t understand the question.
IRIDIUM: [ROLLS EYES] That’s because you’re a hard-wired do-gooder. The question is, do you kill a few, even innocents, to make the world a better place?
JET: Of course not! You can’t kill people — innocent or guilty! What sort of question is that?
IRIDIUM: One that a puppet like you couldn’t begin to understand. Sometimes, the ends justifies the means.
JET: Don’t go quoting Machiavelli at me. It’s not about ends and means. It’s about right and wrong. Killing is wrong.
IRIDIUM: You never could see the big picture. But then considering you’re not trained to think for yourself, I’m not surprised.
JET: You should hear what I’m thinking right now.
THE BOOK SMUGGLERS: Costumes – Who has the better wardrobe? Villains or Heroes?
JET: In terms of style? Villains. In terms of practicality? Heroes.
IRIDIUM: I’ve got a one-word answer for this one: me. I mean, look at me.
THE BOOK SMUGGLERS: The Love Life – Who gets more action? Villains or Heroes?
JET: [SIGHS] Who has time for a love life?
IRIDIUM: [SIGHS] Who has time for a love life?
THE BOOK SMUGGLERS: What do super villains and heroes do when they’re not destroying/saving the world?
JET: When I have down time, I like to curl up in my favorite rocking chair and read romance novels. It’s nice to read stories where love conquers all and there’s always a happily ever after. Real life so rarely ends well.
IRIDIUM: I catch up on my favorite cryptozoology reality show, Mysterious Chicago. Sewer mutants and monsters in Lake Michigan. Can you stand it?
JET: Sewer mutants? Really, Iri.
IRIDIUM: Hey, you never know.
THE BOOK SMUGGLERS: Jet, would you date a villain? Iridium, would you date a hero?
JET: Light, no. The whole “attracted to the bad boys” thing? Ludicrous.
IRIDIUM: Would, and did. Been there, done that.
JET: Seriously? Who?
IRIDIUM: [GRINS] I don’t kiss and tell.
JET: Not unless there’s a profit in it…
Caitlin Kittredge is the dark fantasy author of the Nocturne City series and the upcoming Black London Adventures. You can visit Caitlin online at Fangs, Fur and Fey, The League of Reluctant Adults, or at her website.
A big THANK YOU again to Jet and Iri (and Jackie and Caitlin)! We cannot wait for Black and White, out this June.
Jackie and Caitlin have generously offered ONE ARC – Advanced Reading Copy – of their upcoming book, Black and White! In order to enter, all you need do is leave a comment here answering this question: Superhero or Supervillain — which would YOU rather be?
The contest will run until Sunday March 8 at 12 noon PST. We will randomly select and announce the lucky winner then. Good luck!