Title: The Supervillain and Me
Author: Danielle Banas
Series: Morriston Superheroes #1
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 10th, 2018
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Superheroes, Young Adult
As witty as it is heartpounding, this fresh take on the beloved superhero genre is all about finding your own way to shine even when it seems everyone else around you is, well… super.
Never trust a guy in spandex.
In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees―they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.
That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.
After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Supervillain and Me is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
The majority of my planning happens on the notes app on my phone – and let it be known that even though I’m a pretty organized person in all other areas of my life, my writing notes are a total mess. I basically just jot down whatever comes to mind, and for some reason it seems like half of that stuff always comes to mind while I’m in the shower and have no access to my phone – so then I’m stuck trying to memorize entire scenes of dialogue until I shut the water off. I’m naturally a pantser, but I’m trying to get better at outlining. Actually, the last outline I made was over four thousand words and had fancy chapter headings and concise bullet points and the whole nine yards. I was pretty proud of that one. But for The Supervillain and Me, I barely outlined at all. I typed up some character bios and picked out everyone’s superhero names and then I just went for it. I had a vague idea what I wanted to do for the first half of the story, but then I reached the second half and was like, “Crap. Now what?” So then I actually had to outline a little bit. Funny enough, I still have that (very messy) outline saved on my laptop.
2. Are you part of a writers group that gets together and helps each other with their writing?
I’m not part of an official writers group, however, I did have The Supervillain and Me available to read online for about two and a half years before it got picked up by my publisher, and the feedback that I received from some of my early readers really helped shape the second and third drafts of the story. I would read a lot of comments about what people were liking and disliking, and I could really tell what types of scenes made them the most excited (hint: there was usually flirty/witty banter or kissing involved). Sometimes I would even read random comments that had very little to do with my story, but they would give me an idea for a scene to add in a later chapter that I know I never would have thought of by myself. I always say that this book wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t posted the first draft online four years ago, and it’s so true.
3. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Just get the words on the page. It doesn’t matter if they’re perfect or not (spoiler alert: they won’t be perfect), but just get them out of your head. You can always make them better later. Also, just write what you want to write. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s considered “trendy” or might be trendy in the future. If you want to write about a time-traveling milkman, then write about a time-traveling milkman. Or an alien that joins the cast of a reality show. (I would actually read that book if you wrote it.) But my point is write whatever inspires you. There are people out there who will love it as much as you do.
4. So, with the theme of your story I have to ask, DC or Marvel? Who is your favorite superhero? Or your favorite villain? Favorite superhero movie?
Oh goody. This is the part of the interview where I get to rant about my deep, passionate love for Spider-Man. So if it’s not obvious, Marvel for the win. The Spider-Man movies with Tobey Maguire were the first superhero movies I ever saw as a kid, so that’s probably where my obsession started, but it really grew when I saw the Andrew Garfield films. I just find Peter Parker so dang relatable. Most other superheroes in movies are adults, but Peter is this nerdy school kid, and I was such a dork when I was in school. Such a dork. So to me, Spider-Man really reinforces the concept that literally anyone can be a hero, which is something that I really tried to focus on in my book as well. And if I can rant for just a little bit longer, Tobey and Andrew are great, but Tom Holland is where it’s at, my friends. Homecoming is my favorite Spider-Man film by far, not only because of Tom, but also because Michael Keaton was such an amazing Vulture. Actually, Michael Keaton could play a lamp post and I would love it. He and I are from the same town, but I’ve never met him. My dad even grew up in the house that Michael Keaton’s family used to own back in the day, so I feel like I have this weird Michael Keaton/Batman connection. Maybe I was always destined to write a book about superheroes. But with that said, I’ll stop fangirling now. I’m so sorry you had to endure that.
Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @daniellebanas