Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bats, Bullies, Brujeria, and a Blog on Superheroes

Wow…even though it’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything here, I assure you, I have been busy writing.

I just finished a weeklong blog tour, which means I‘ve been writing guest blogs for other young adult literature websites as a way of promoting my book. Each blog is different. Some hosts ask for specific topics, while others are open to just about anything related to YA Lit, writing in general, or your book.

What’s really cool is that I think I was actually (okay, virtually) in Australia on Monday, England on Wednesday, and somewhere in Middle America just yesterday afternoon. Quite the superman, aren’t I? (yuk, yuk)

And…while touring the world, I still managed to grade nearly a hundred AP student essays analyzing the author’s use of a character foil. Some didn’t do that well, so I tried to better illustrate the idea by having them draw pictures of Ron and Hermione next to Harry and then I asked them to, well...that’s probably the subject of a separate blog, isn’t it?
Anyway, now that things have settled down, I’ve gone back to writing the sequel to The Revenge Artist (just starting chapter eight) and it suddenly occurred to me that I’m actually writing a superhero story. Not that Evelyn isn’t eventually heroic in The Revenge Artist; but still, the story is mainly about her discovering her powers and saving herself—a necessary step in a superheroes’ development, nonetheless. I guess if it were a superhero movie it would be more like a Batman Begins, or an Evelyn Begins, if you will. Except his thing is bats and hers is bullies, but you get what I mean.

So, in the sequel, although high school isn’t any easier, Evelyn is in a very different place than she was just a month earlier. Here, I’ll show you what I mean:

“It was just a dream, a stupid dream.”
“Yeah, if it was my dream,” said Karen. “But with you, it’s never that simple.”
Evelyn wasn’t sure how to take that. She hadn’t told anyone else about the drawings in her black book, why she made them, or what they were for...not Karen and Denise, not even Sammy. Mr. Schwartz was the only one. “What?” she huffed. “You mean that whole, I’m a witch thing?”
Neither responded.
“You know, that’s not very nice…you two are supposed to be my friends.”
“C’mon, Evelyn,” said Karen. “Some people take that Brujeria shit seriously.”
“Yes, but—”
“Really, Evelyn.” Denise leaned forward a little, lowering her voice. “I think people are actually nicer to me.”
“Because of me?”
“Well, I don’t know…maybe. I mean, people actually walk around me now in the halls…you know, not just over me.”

This new self-awareness allows Evelyn to notice things she never would have, it lets her see beyond herself, and it takes her places she would never have gone before. But isn’t that part of the superhero’s journey? First save yourself, then…save the cheerleader, save the world? You know, with great power comes great responsibility? Or, said in a very deep, gravely voice, “I…am…Evelyn.”

Come to think of it, maybe this one suits Evelyn best: Don’t make me angry…you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

I’m thinking of calling the sequel, Evelyn Hernandez and the Psycho Loner Kid, but, of course, nothing is final yet.

To make up for being away so long, I’ve added a bonus essay on…wait for it…Superheroes!