Tag Archives: superhero

The Hat, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Welcome all you superheroes and ghost whisperers. You citizens of the great beyond. You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, and I have a real treat for you today. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my guest today is Lizzie St. Laurent. She’s a twenty-one year old college dropout working multiple jobs to keep her head above water. “Welcome to the show, Lizzie”

“Hi Lisa. Hi everyone.”

“Lizzie, it looks like your parents are fairly well off. They were able to buy you a car, and pitched in for your education. How did you get to this point in your life?”

“College was always in the plan. To pull it off, I was going to live with my grandmother, and did up until she died. Then a college friend talked me into moving in with her, and that was okay until she bailed and went home to her parents. I was stuck with the apartment, and all the bills. I had to drop out and take on an extra job to make ends meet.”

“It wasn’t possible to keep living in your grandmother’s house? Did she have a mortgage or something?”

“No. She owned it free and clear, but it was part of the estate and my uncle couldn’t wait to get his hands on the money. He wound up with the lions share, because my mom, his sister, is out on the west coast.

“I didn’t care, but I loved her and wanted a memento of some kind. He refused and tried to pass off a casino ashtray as something of hers. Maybe it was, but I wanted a house plant or something.”

“I hate it when people are like that. This brings us to a pivotal point in your life though. Tell us what you did next.”

“I, um. I stole a box of stuff from the back of the truck. Partially because I’m an heir too, and partially because I wanted something of hers. It turned out to be this crappy old hat.

“Turned out it wasn’t a hat at all. He is a creature from another dimension, and he’s trapped in the form of a hat. He’s been here for thousands of years, and his last owner was my grandfather who I barely knew.”

“I know my fashion, and it changes even for men. I can’t imagine a style stuck around for thousands of years.”

“Oh, he can change, but always as headwear. It all started out when this soldier wanted eyes in the back of his head. He paid a witch to cast a spell like that on his helmet. The spell kind of worked, but it trapped him here and bound him to the soldiers bloodline. Turns out, I’m part of that bloodline.”

“That’s pretty cool. You could always have the latest fashion just by having him change, plus you could watch for muggers behind you at night.”

“Yeah, but there’s more to it than that. He’s a complete person himself. He has a mission, and my family’s been tangled up in it for years and years. He is some kind of paranormal avenger.”

“You mean like a superhero?”

“Yeah, if you want to put it that way, only he doesn’t arrest people or beat up the bad guys, he sh – um shoots them.”

“Wait a minute. How can a hat shoot anyone?”

“He um… He uses me for that.”

“You mean he takes over your body and makes you shoot people? Like some kind of Jekyll and Hyde thing?”

“Not exactly. Most of the time it’s monsters, but sometimes it’s people. Bad people though. I went along with it to save some babies.

“It’s more like I’m there, but he’s there too. I can do things I could never do before because he can.”

“I’m not understanding that, sorry.”

“He taught me how to shoot. I can shoot a pistol with my right hand, but at the same time, he can shoot one with my left hand. I can see what he sees, and I can even sleep while he drives my car.

“You make it all sound bad, but he’s an incredible musician. He plays the upright bass. I can sing a little, so we formed a band. It brings in enough money to pay the bills. It also takes us out nights where we can protect people from bad things.”

“What do your band mates think of him?”

“They don’t know. They just see me, wearing a hat, while I play the bass and cover the vocals. It makes me nervous not having a regular paycheck, but it’s worked out so far.

“Look, there’s a lot more to it, Lisa. There is a cabin in the woods, and the hat has some other skills, like being able to find people if he’s ever met them before. I don’t know if we have time for it all today.”

“Not for nothing, Lizzie, but I’m a robot girl who also appeared in a story. As such, I have some special skills myself. I can tell those earbuds you’re wearing aren’t giving off a signal of any kind. That’s him isn’t it?”

“Um, they’re just not turned on.”

“They aren’t turned on, because they’re fake. They aren’t even giving off an electrical imprint. Why don’t you come out and talk to us? Are you shy?”

“Oh, god no. He isn’t shy at all. He wants to maintain his cover. Thinks if people hear the broadcast they’ll just think I’m some crazy girl.”

“Lizzie, I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface here. I mean your grandfather was some kind of paranormal assassin, now you are too. We just don’t have time to dive into all of it.”

“It’s okay, Lisa. Your listeners can read all about it in the book The Hat, by our mutual author C.S. Boyack. It’s been a pleasure working with you today, and I hope we can do it again soon.”

“Maybe sooner than you think. The Hat is available on Amazon and I’ll go ahead and include a purchase link. I’m also going to add one of the posters I made to promote this book, since Craig wrote it. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

Pick up your copy right here.

One of the posters Lisa posed for to promote this novella.

Lisa Burton

Advertisements

27 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

More great news for The Hat

The Hat is a delightfully fun, whimsical fantasy with overtones of chick lit and Disney magic. As a novella, it is a fast, fast read, and I was disappointed when I came to the end.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a 21-year-old college dropout who is having a difficult time following the loss of her grandmother, whom she loved and with whom she lived. She moved to an apartment, but her roommate abandoned her, and now she is working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Her uncle is in control of her grandmothers’ estate, and when she visits her grandmother’s house in the hopes of having something by which to remember her, she finds everything boxed up and on a moving truck. In frustration, she snatches a box from the truck and brings it home.

Read more at Noelle’s blog.

18 Comments

Filed under Writing

The Hat strikes again

Karen O. delivered this wonderful review of The Hat today. Stop over at Karen’s place to check it out. She’s a voracious reader who reviews the books she reads. She’s absolutely someone all authors should get to know. Karen also writes, and you might want to check out In A Small Compass too.

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:      *****

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water. Keep Reading here…

2 Comments

Filed under Writing

Congratulations Mr. Boyack, it’s a book

The Hat actually published a few moments ago. Before I could update my blog, somebody already bought one, so that’s a good sign. I’m going to give you a little free written idea of what it’s all about.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a hard working girl at the beginning of the story. When her grandmother passed she lost her living arrangement, and dropped out of college to make her own way.

She winds up with something from the estate, under some odd circumstances that I won’t spoil here. It turns out to be a hat that once belonged to her grandfather. Except, this hat is actually a being from another dimension. It appears Grandpa had a bit of a history.

Add in a cluster of innocent babies, some human traffickers, and witless authorities and you get a recipe for a paranormal adventure story like no other. The only problem is that Lizzie and The Hat need to learn to work together. In fact they need to go through a kind of symbiosis to make things happen.

They choose music as a way to learn more about each other, and find a way to work together. This kind of music:

I’d be honored if you would pick up a copy and check it out. I’m only asking 99¢, because it’s a novella. This is a bonus too, because you can read it in one afternoon. Here is the purchase link. If I did it right, you can also click on the cover in my sidebar.

I need to bundle up some pre-written posts, some cool Lisa Burton artwork I’ve been holding, and send some kit out to a few hosts who’ve offered to help spread the word.

63 Comments

Filed under Writing

Sometimes I get lucky

My wife’s new schedule sucks, but it plays into my plans on occasion. I also call my parents every Sunday, but they’re on vacation right now. I started my day, like always. Dogs got fed, social media got surfed, other apps that drive news to me got browsed.

Then I read the last two chapters I wrote on The Hat. I’m at the phase where plants and payoffs have to get installed and not just the loose storyboarding I do. This led to deleting nearly a thousand words. Some of this has to do with the fact that Lizzie’s Mini Cooper doesn’t have a trunk, it has a tailgate. Oops.

The dogs were in sleep mode for some reason. They’re crazy right now, but I’ve learned to strike when the iron is hot. I replaced everything I deleted with better words, then added more. Days like this make me wish I kept a better count, but it looks like I wrote about 5000 new words total. The story is a handful of words under 20K right now.

Lizzie came away from the disaster with a partial victory. Any subsequent attempts won’t go so easily. She had a crisis of faith during the disaster event, and there was a bit of soul searching. We also learned about some new abilities the hat has, and they’re kind of scary.

I need to go back again and make specific parts of the aftermath more personal for Lizzie. It involves little things, but will make some of it more real. My next move will be to go back through and flesh a lot of things out. In fact I may start from the first page and do this. I like to move forward with confidence, and doing these things helps me move forward. It may sound like one step forward and two steps back, but I’m about ten thousand words ahead of where I thought I’d be right now.

Lizzie did a bit of shopping therapy after moving where the bad guys went. In a way, it’s revealing the confidence she will need to get through the next phase. She’s looking like a more legitimate superhero now. She also has a new fatalistic attitude that could be just what’s needed… or actually fatal if things don’t work out.

I engaged in an extensive text thread with my daughter, and fashion consultant. I needed to make sure Lizzie’s new outfit made sense. She read what I had and said it sounds great.

I’m setting myself up for something odd too. This story will require a longer denouement than others I’ve written. After the main story ends, I want about three things to happen to sew up loose ends. I’ve always believed that was a bad thing. I’m worried about it, but maybe I’ll gain clarity by the time I get there. This has to do with it being a buddy story. They each need their bit of something, but they need something together too.

I want to try something fun in this book, but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out. When I do a story break, I center three asterisks (***) and jump the story ahead. Easy peasy right? This time, I would like to do three bass clefs. I can’t find a keystroke to include a bass clef to save my life. I even looked for emoji’s, and can’t find a bass clef. There are some treble clefs, and plenty of musical notes. Why no bass clef? I thought for sure Times New Roman would have one, it has all kinds of symbols.

Do any of you know how to tell a word processor to make a bass clef? Maybe I could use clip art and squeeze down to size.

31 Comments

Filed under Writing

The Best?

Otto is still hurting, and there isn't much I can do about it. His pain killers make a huge difference, and time is the other necessary ingredient. He's sleeping under my feet as I type this. Walking around hurts, but he feels better afterward. We're going to take all of them for a walk after supper.

I got up early again, and this time I tackled the last beta edit for The Enhanced League. When everyone got up, it looked as though I wouldn't finish. It involved some big changes. The riskiest of which was to cut one story from the manuscript and move it. This is because I can't read a calendar, and the book goes in calendar order. I must have checked it three times myself, and six out of seven beta readers missed it too. Thank God for the seventh one.

The way this year has gone, I want to whisper this, but “I finished!” This isn't the end, yet. I need to read it a couple more times, before sending it to my formatter, but this is a major hurdle.

We got away for a few hours today and saw Wonder Woman. We have several movies we wanted to see, and I let my wife choose. She chose well.

I've been reading or watching superheroes since the 1960s. I watched the Adam West Batman when it was originally broadcast. I saw Superman, with Christopher Reeve in the theater. (Actually watched the old Superman series in black and white, but they were reruns.)

I've been at about all the superhero movies since then; Avengers, Spiderman, Batman, X-Men, etc. Some of them are amazing surprises, like Ant Man, or the first Ghostrider. Some of them just don't get there for me. I've even watched the pseudo superheroes, like Zorro, Lone Ranger, and The League of Extrordinary Gentlemen.

Having qualified my viewing credentials, I think I'm ready to call it: Wonder Woman is the best superhero movie I've ever seen. Let the teeth gnashing begin.

I checked some reviews. The reviews are polarizing. The reviewer either feels as I do, or it's the worst movie ever. This smacks of an old bitch that's been around forever, Marvel fanboys. If it isn't Marvel, it must be destroyed at all costs.

Marvel owns the superhero world right now. They've done fantastic things, and will do more. I love them, but it doesn't mean other great characters aren't out there, or that someone else can't pull this off. DC is famous for trotting out terrible movies based upon their characters, but this time they got it right.

Gal Gadot is a perfect Wonder Woman. She is beautiful enough, and I applaud DC in going with someone who wasn't a mainstream actress. Maybe they learned their lesson with Halley Berry. I like the idea that she looks athletic, but still female. They could have gone for a body builder, but stuck more with the track star physique.

She did a fine job too. When she smiles it lights up the theater. When she's supposed to be pissed, she looks pissed. No botoxed to death face here.

Chris Pine was great too. He is the bigger name, and could have taken over. He played the supporting role well. He may not remain the bigger name, but remember casting this one happened before Dawn of Justice.

There were some things, there always are. I saw the twist coming a mile away. I also don't recall the big reveal about Diana's parentage, and I subscribed to the comic for years. I'll call it poetic license and let it be.

I like the idea that Diana's mission was basically a hit job. She actually killed the guy with a sword too. There's no sugar coated girly cheesecake here. The fact that this kind of story is a hit with fans makes me feel a lot better about my next book.

My next work is going to be called The Hat. It's all outlined, but still needs a few things. It's going to be a paranormal buddy story with shades of Deathwish and Deadpool. If Diana can ventilate the bad guy, I think I'm on solid ground.

Tonight I'm having the last of my morels over a nice ribeye. Maybe I'll crack open a nice porter too. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

46 Comments

Filed under Writing

Let’s ramble shall we?

Wow, you slack off for a couple of days and the stats sure plummet around here. I don't believe the stats are as important as my sanity though, so it is what it is.

Still, blogging is good for me. It is a goal and it has some self imposed deadlines, and those can be positive things. Writing something on a regular basis has merit. I write my fiction in fits and starts. I can be very productive, and my methods probably won't work for everyone. Blogging requires me to write something at least five times per week.

Word metrics get a little bit stale as a topic, but they are part of who I am, and therefore, appropriate to the blog. I finished my short story today about Jason Fogg. It isn't great, and probably needs more polish than my normal short story, but I have faith in Jason.

This led me to thinking about characters. Jason fits into the superhero category. He isn't a hero, but let's use the word anyway. Lisa Burton could fit into that category too. I think it's important for them to have vulnerabilities. They have to be defeatable somehow.

Lisa has some charming flaws, like the idea that she believes she is a fashion icon, but sometimes gets it completely wrong. She's likely to wear one of her pinup outfits to a formal event, because she thinks it's cute. There are some serious flaws too, like her vulnerability to electric shock. She has a software conflict that can seize up her programming at times too.

Jason is a recovering addict, a kind of sex addict. He used his ability to turn into fog to become a peeping tom of sorts. He's married now and struggles to live that part of his life down. I like this better than some kind of internet addiction, because he has victims. I decided that he hates his job too. He knows too much about people, and it's made him a bit crass. I think he's relatable now. While nobody is going to respect someone who creeps on unsuspecting women, it felt more challenging than making him the standard private detective/drunk. There are a lot of people struggling with addictions of all kinds. Many of us hate our jobs, struggle with bills, fight with our spouses.

He also learned that fog is vulnerable to freezing in this story. I kind of like that. He's imperfect, he has a past, and now he has his own kryptonite. Like I said, the story needs some serious help, and I may never release it to anyone, but I'm glad I wrote it. I will polish it up, then figure out if it's worth sharing.

My superhero TV shows were on last night. It was kind of cool seeing John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays get a scene together on The Flash. They play small recurring roles on the show, but once upon a time, he was the Flash and she was Iris Allen. I still think their version of the show was better than the new one.

Then there is SHIELD. This was a two hour season finale that turned out really good. Evil was ultimately defeated, but it took a very personal sacrifice to make it happen. Of course it's a superhero type show, and they could return next year too. They sewed things up well, but left lots of teasers to tune in next fall.

I really enjoyed these episodes, but I decided I'm tired of something too. I'm kind of tired of characters who hold out their palms, and powerzzz. I admit to writing this myself, but I think I'll try a little bit harder from now on. Why do heroes and villains need to use their hands to call up earthquakes and such anyway? It looks good in film, and with CG animation we can even see the powerzzz. Does that relate to the written word?

Does this mean that I'm declaring it cliché? Maybe.

You all know the scenes I'm talking about. Maybe it's an attempt to show something isn't easy, or draining on the character. Their muscles flex, the arm vibrates, they grimace and sweat. I really don't know, but can I do something different? Characters with special abilities are a staple of speculative fiction. Everything from witches to supervillains can have mad powers. I've even seen vampires use their finger to glamorize someone under their control. What can I do differently? Barbara Eden and Elizabeth Montgomery never had that problem.

In other news, I worked on two more radio interviews today. These aren't completely new ones, but they have to go back and forth a few times. I feel good about hitting them back over the net.

I also got a new piece of Lisa Burton art. I ordered them four at a time, and shared the first one right away. I may hold this one back for a while. I can wait until the timing's right and come up with a story to go along with it.

One of the big benefits to me this year has been working with other talented and creative people. Sean is a great artist, and I believe his stock will rise over the next few years. I also get to collaborate with some great writers on the radio slots. I've learned a few things, and I've made some new friends too. Authors operate in solitude, and it's nice to get together on a project sometimes.

I'm stuck in a classroom again all day tomorrow. I may be a little slow responding to comments, but Lisa has a new episode of her radio show for you.

My parents are visiting this weekend, so I may not get a lot of chance for updates. Writing fiction won't be an option. It's good for me to socialize though, and I might pop in for an update.

How's that for a ramble?

57 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized