Sunday, August 5, 2012
Superheroes and World Building - a blog post guest
Today, we welcome Ruth Diaz, on her blog tour for The Superheroes Union: Dynama. Superheroes and Worldbuilding For my upcoming release, The Superheroes Union: Dynama, I had to build a large city with elements of New York, Boston, and Washington DC incorporated into it. That's how Trade City was born, somewhere along the northeastern Atlantic coast of the US. Of course, Trade City has something none of those cities have in real life: superheroes. Working with superheroes turned out to be interesting from a world-building point of view, because I got to intertwine pieces of the world we live in with elements that would never be possible in the real world, and those are the elements that make the setting of a superhero story unique. It's fairly different from designing a space station or a fantasy realm in that it's much more about social adjustments than changes to a place or the people themselves. The Superheroes Union itself is probably the most unique element I built for my superheroes. Superpowers are fantastic, but so many of them have been done before, sometimes they just feel like a game of mix-and-match to me. Deciding that a technopath could "read the mind" of a computer, while a technomancer could make a machine do things it never ought to do was fun. But figuring out how the union would handle childcare, healthcare, and a duty roster for group requiring utmost secrecy was more challenging. To build the world of the Superheroes Union, I had to research subways, cartilaginous fish, tower cranes, tornadoes, unions, the US Department of State, and the Smithsonian Institute. Only a fraction of that research ever ends up on the page, but that's worldbuilding for you. And speculative fiction doesn't run without it. Then there were the villains. How would a supervillain actually function in my fictional contemporary world? How would they hide a secret lair when we can watch so many things via satellite? What would their goals be, when ruling the world seems like more trouble than it's worth and there must be ways to make money that don't involve painting a target on your back for any bored superhero with something to prove? In Trade City, it's not unusual to see superheroes flying amidst the skyscrapers or supervillains dueling with them in the city streets. The police have learned to put up barricades and just keep innocent bystanders out of the way. There are superhero fan pages on Facebook. If a superhero's secret identity comes apart, they get mobbed as if they were rock stars. Not to mention, any supervillains who hold a grudge then know exactly where to find them and everyone they hold dear. It makes dating very complicated. ;-) What are your favorite elements when you're reading a superhero comic book or watching a superhero movie? What are the pieces that make the heroes, the villains, and their world distinct from one another? What do you think makes your favorite superhero worlds/universes live and breathe, or are there any that just leave you cold? What if your evil ex really was evil? TJ Gutierrez used to be a superhero. But after the birth of her twins seven years ago, she hung up the yellow spandex. Until the day her archenemy and ex-husband, Singularity, breaks out of prison. When it becomes clear he’s after the kids, she’s forced to call the nanny helpline—and once again become...Dynama! Annmarie Smith doesn’t have a superpower. She saves the world by keeping kids safe while their parents fight evil. She temporarily moves in with TJ, and the way the magnetic mama puts family first captures Annmarie’s respect, and maybe her heart—even though she knows better than to fall for a superhero. Still, it’s hard to resist their wicked chemistry. Kapow! But they can only hide from the world for so long. When Singularity’s quest for custody puts the kids’ lives in danger, can the two women conquer the evil villain and save TJ’s family—all before their first date? The Superheroes Union: Dynama is available from Carina Press on August 20, 2012. Pre-order now! Carina Press store | Amazon.com | BarnesandNoble.com Ruth Diaz writes genre romances about non-mainstream relationships. She hides a number of publications in a different genre under another name, but The Superheroes Union: Dynama is her first romance publication. For more information, you can subscribe to her blog, like her on Facebook, or follow @RuthDiazWrites on Twitter (where she is most active and, well, opinionated).