There’s a long and a short answer to the question of why I started writing superhero prose fiction.
Here’s the short answer: I thought it would be unpublishable.
That’s generally the opposite reason would be writers start writing anything, but you’ll be amused to learn that this one rests on some fairly solid logic–providing certain assumptions are true.
Now for the long answer…
In 2007, before the Kindle/epublishing explosion, there was (and still is) this thing called online serial fiction. At that time, if you wanted to make your writing available to a wide number of people , serializing your fiction through a website was basically your only option outside of Lulu.com.
I’d started reading a number of serials at that point, and had always wanted to write for an audience, so it didn’t take long before I started thinking about what I wanted to write.
For what it’s worth, I had a novel pretty much ready to go, and you know what? It was not The Legion of Nothing. You’ll see it one of these days, but it’s currently unpublished.
Why? Well, here’s the thing. Publishers want first publishing rights, and publishing something on the web counts as first publication.
At that point, I had to come up with something else. I needed to come up with something that I’d enjoy writing, but also something that no publisher would touch.
After a little thought, I knew the answer: superheroes.
Why superheroes? First of all, I’ve always enjoyed superhero comics. I’ve never been much of a comic book collector, but many of my friends are. That saves me a lot of money and storage space because I get to read great comics and then return them to their owners.
The second reason for choosing superheroes was, as mentioned, their lack of appeal to acquisition editors.
I’d never seen a superhero novel outside of novelizations of movies, and the Wildcards series. This was great because it meant that I could self-publish the story on my website without fear of regretting it later.
There’s no lost chances of publishing a book that you had zero chance of publishing to begin with.
Oh, and there was a third reason for choosing superheroes. I already had the beginnings of a story. I had this character that I’d created for a role-playing game that I’d never gotten to use–a teenager who’d discovered the powered armor his grandfather used during World War 2.
I’d already thought through his family relationships. All I needed was a plot, and creating one didn’t take long.
Once I started publishing The Legion of Nothing on my website, I gradually gained a small readership, and have since started turning the online web serial into a series of novels.
And that’s the long and short of how I started writing superhero fiction.