“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their Inspirations and Influences. In this feature, we invite writers to talk about their new books, older titles, and their writing overall.
Tomorrow, we are delighted to publish the fourth story in our Year of the Superhero season: Superior by Jessica Lack. Today, we have Jessica as our guest, talking about the Inspirations & Influences behind her story.
Please give a warm welcome to Jessica!
Superior was initially influenced by another short story (and I do mean short story, maybe 700 words) that I wrote years ago as part of a creative writing course. I’m sure we were given some prompt or other, but I don’t remember what it was. I don’t think I ever even got proper feedback on that story from anyone; it was just one of those exercises meant to force you to churn out something creative. The seeds for Superior are there, though: an irreverent but optimistic tone, a hero who isn’t as irreproachable as he seems to the adoring public, and a focus on the sidekick (or “intern,” as the case may be) instead of the hero himself.
I was also influenced by big Hollywood action movies, but not, I think, in the obvious way. As entertaining as they are, I always find myself worrying about all of the unidentified people that must wind up as “collateral damage” in those big, blockbuster battles. One of the worst offenders for me was the latest Star Trek movie, Into Darkness; I’ll avoid spoilers here, but I’ll admit I found it difficult to focus my attention on our imperiled heroes at the end when they were surrounded by such devastation. So Superior is a superhero story that, really, doesn’t care about the superheroes. Or the big battles. Or saving the world. Instead, it focuses on how the normal people on the periphery of these “super” things respond to and deal with them.
Aside from that, I’m sure that a huge influence on both Jamie’s tone and the relationship between Jamie and Tad is the phenomenal short story “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Alaya Dawn Johnson. It’s another pop culture teen love story—this one focused on zombies instead of superheroes. It’s grim and funny and disturbing and relatable, and has an opening metaphor about macaroni and cheese that I will never stop loving.
How to Get the Book
Superior will be published officially on August 16, 2016, when it will be available for free in full on this here blog. You can buy the ebook (EPUB & MOBI) from all major retailers online and directly from us right now! The ebook contains the short story, as well as a Q&A and essay with the author.
Buy the Ebook:
Need a copy *right* now? Want to read it *today*? You can buy it directly from us!
Add the book on Goodreads, and read Superior for free online on August 16, 2016.