Featured Artist: Kristen Brand – White Knight and Black Valentine

I mentioned before that one of my favorite hobbies is to explore the world of indie authors for hidden gems lost in the sea of coal. And one of my favorite genres to explore for great indie authors is the superhero genre. What’s that? Yes, pros superhero fiction exists and it’s awesome. There are quite a few notable authors in the indie superhero genre, but Kristen Brand truly stands out. Her main trilogy follows the retired superhero White Knight and his wife, the former supervillainess, the Black Valentine. The first book begins after both have been married, retired, and had a child. It’s kind of like the Godfather 3’s: “they keep pulling me back in.” But what do you expect when one of the most notorious villains in the country marries the most popular heroes in the country? Being the best comes with a lot of baggage…a lot of baggage that doesn’t go away. The stories are well edited, excellently

read more Featured Artist: Kristen Brand – White Knight and Black Valentine

Two Dimensional Villains and When to Use Them

If you were to mention the archetypal mustache-twirling villain to the average reader or moviegoer, you might be answered with a laugh. Villains with no complexity, no other characteristic other than “pure evil,” are considered things of the past. Our pallets have evolved. This is where I offer a reminder that everything is fair game in the world of writing. With the right presentation, any bad idea can become a good idea. The mustache twirler is just another trope, just another tool in the box. So, are two-dimensional villains useful? Absolutely, and here’s how. Today’s audience is one that, not only enjoy sequels but expect them. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s unusual for new intellectual property to stand alone. Every popular story gets a sequel. Many writers are creating works with the intention of producing a series or, at the very least, a trilogy. If you’re reading this, and are a writer planning

read more Two Dimensional Villains and When to Use Them

The Importance of FanFiction

Fanfiction has developed a certain…reputation…over the years. The term alone can conjure some very disturbing images: gender-bending, creepy fetishes, and pregnant men. Gross stuff. Because of its oddities, some might consider it on the same level as porn. However, despite the possible weirdness present in the world of FanFiction, there are still many people yearning for interesting stories taking place in their favorite worlds and there are still as many people willing to write those stories. And that’s the beauty of FanFiction in a nutshell. What do I mean by that? In my opinion, writing FanFiction is the most effective practice for an aspiring writer. When most people imagine a writer, they see a poorly dressed guy typing away on a laptop with a cigarette hanging from his mouth and a half-empty bottle of scotch within arm’s reach. The other thing people think about when they hear the word “writer” is world-building: creating interesting characters, creating vast new worlds with

read more The Importance of FanFiction