Archive for November, 2009

Boys do too read! (I should know, I am one)

Posted in Life, Plugs, Writing, YA Books on November 17, 2009 by Matt

There’s a lot of talk these days about the reading habits of boys.  There’s this idea floating around out there that boys of a certain age, say, 9-12, (or what I like to call the swell age of cool) do not read.  The common wisdom is that they are too busy with their PSP’s or X-Box three-millions to pick up a book.  Girls read and they like books about lovelorn vampires – the rest need not apply.

Hogwash.  Balderdash.  (insert own old-fashiony sounding outrage here)

Boys do read, we just need to give them books that they want to read (hint, the word ‘lovelorn’ should not appear anywhere in the summary).  Give them action and adventure and humor, but give it to them in a good book – one that respects their intelligence and doesn’t talk down to them.

Tonight I had the pleasure of having coffee with fellow boys-lit scribe Aaron Starmer, the author of the awesome DWEEB, and he confirmed my own suspicions.  The boys are there and they want something to read – they love a good story just like anyone else – it’s just our job to give it to them.

So you see that, boys?  See how I stood up for you there in the face of public disdain? See how I got your back?  So, since we are all best friends now, have you heard of this little book out there called POWERLESS?  I hear it’s pretty good . . .

Powerless Top Ten . . . er, Nine . . . oh let’s just finish this up for Pete’s sake!

Posted in Comics, Powerless, Writing on November 9, 2009 by Matt

I am bad at deadlines.  Publishers deadlines, house-cleaning deadlines and apparently blogging deadlines.  I had, of course, intended to count down to the auspicious debut of my first book with this walk down memory lane but seeing as the book came out LIKE TWO WEEKS AGO I think we’d better wrap this segment up.  And fast.

Number Two & One: Marvel and DC, Respectively

marvel

DCcomicsLogo

 

If there was any one formative medium of entertainment during my childhood it was superhero comics.  Now granted, I was a big nerd and my geekery did not stop there.  Star Wars, sci-fi and fantasy books, Dungeons and Dragons – they were all a part of my growing up, but the superhero comics put out monthly by the Big Two were my bread and butter.  My very first part time job was doing odds and ends at a comic book shop and they paid me in – you guessed it – comic books.

 

A quick anecdote – some years ago, while I was still working at unfinished short stories and working up the courage to actually attempt a novel, I got it in my head that I wanted to write comic books, too. Being a bit naive, I started submitting scripts to various publishers and earning my first form rejections – my first badges of honor.  Needing guidance, I took a class at NYU on comics script writing and got the chance to meet some very nice professionals, both editors and writers.  One of the editors from the Big Two gave us some sage advice that is, in part, responsible for where I am today.  When asked how one goes about getting into the business of writing comics he gave a succinct, five-word answer:

“Get published somewhere else first.”

It wasn’t too long after that I began my first book (which I finished and quickly put into a drawer to never see the light of day again).  But my second book was Powerless, and that worked out quite nicely.

Now, it would be overstating it to say I started writing novels so that I might someday get the chance to write superhero comics, but it wouldn’t be an outright lie.

(And I’m still waiting.  Ahem, ahem.)

Another Nice Powerless Review!

Posted in Plugs, Powerless, YA Books on November 2, 2009 by Matt

This very nice review came out today from Publishers Weekly:

In a wholly satisfying debut, Cody tackles themes of heroism, sacrifice and coming-of-age, as played out in a comic book–inspired good vs. evil scenario. Soon after arriving in the small town of Noble’s Green, Pa., where his family has moved to take care of his ailing grandmother, 12-year-old Daniel Corrigan discovers the existence of real-life superheroes. In this town, certain kids develop superpowers, which they use in secret to perform good deeds (for the most part). One catch: as soon as they turn 13, their powers and all related memories vanish. As Daniel forges a friendship with these extraordinary youths, he uses good old-fashioned investigative skills rather than superhuman abilities to uncover the secret of their powers’ origins and the dark force that has been preying on the town’s children for decades. What do comic books from the 1940s, a pulp hero, a burned-down orphanage and a pair of superhuman bullies have to do with the mystery? It all comes together in a tightly woven narrative characterized by a persuasive premise, memorable characters, a bit of intrigue and a sense of wonder. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)

I have to tell you, all Mondays should start off like this.  And Tuesdays, and Wednesdays . . .