Junior Hero Blues started off as a parody. A parody of supeheroes, and comic book stories. A nod to the fact that pretty much anything and everything in the genre has already been done. But in my submission letter, I dubbed it an “affectionate satire,” which is exactly what it is. I love superheroes, and I love the clichés, and I wanted to write something in which I could freely enjoy those clichés, and demonstrate my love for them. It just kind of grew from there.
Obviously somewhere along the line, it became more than a parody. The world building and the characterisation got deep enough that it became its own story, in a world where all those silly clichés make sense and have a backstory to them. I want readers to go into the story thinking that it’s just a jokey cliché and come out with memories of a fully formed, realistic world. I have no idea if I achieved that or not of course, but I tried.
It also became a bit of a commentary on people as well. How many people in your life seem one dimensional and boring? How many characters in stories that you watch or read are just one dimensionally good or evil? Something the main character in JHB learns as part of growing up is that things and people who seem one dimensional often turn out to be more complex. But I also didn’t want to go the super dark route of “there is no good and evil” that seems so popular these days. Javier learns that good and evil definitely exist, but they aren’t as black and white as they might have originally seemed.
I’m not sure at this point if JHB is actually a parody or not. The dictionary definition of parody is “an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect” so I guess it is. But it’s also its own story that I put a lot of myself into, particularly my love for superheroes. I really hope that shines through.
Last year, Javier Medina was your average socially awkward gay high schooler with a chip on his shoulder. This year, he’s . . . well, pretty much the same, but with bonus superpowers, a costume with an ab window to show off his new goods, and a secret identity as the high-flying, wise-cracking superhero Blue Spark.
But being a Junior Hero means that Javier gets all the responsibility and none of the cool gadgets. It’s hard enough working for the Legion of Liberty and fighting against the evil Organization, all while trying to keep on top of schoolwork and suspicious parents. Add in a hunky boyfriend who’s way out of Javier’s league, and an even hunkier villain who keeps appearing every time said boyfriend mysteriously disappears, and Blue Spark is in for one big dollop of teenage angst. All while engaging in some epic superhero action and, oh yeah, an all-out battle to protect Liberty City from the forces of evil.
Welcome to the 100% true and totally unbiased account of life as a teenage superhero.
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J.K. Pendragon is a Canadian author with a love of all things romantic and fantastical. They first came to the queer-fiction community through m/m romance, but soon began to branch off into writing other queer fiction. As a bisexual and genderqueer person, J.K. is dedicated to producing diverse, entertaining fiction that showcases characters across the rainbow spectrum, and provides queer characters with the happy endings they are so often denied.
After writing in the romance community for several years, Junior Hero Blues is J.K.’s first book for young adults. Having been very positively affected by the queer books they came across as a teen, J.K. hopes their young adult books can have a similar effect on teens who may have a harder time finding books about people like themselves.
Notable works by J.K. Pendragon include Ink & Flowers, a contemporary romance novel with coming out themes, and To Summon Nightmares, a horror-fantasy that follows the journey of a young trans man into a world of magic and danger. To Summon Nightmares is the winner of the 2015 Rainbow Awards’ Best Transgender Fiction award. J.K. also contributed to Less Than Three Press’s Geek Out: A Collection of Trans and Genderqueer Romance.
J.K. currently resides in British Columbia, Canada, with a boyfriend, a cat, and a large collection of artisanal teas that they really need to get around to drinking. They are always happy to chat, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @JKPendragon.
Connect with J.K.:
- Website: www.jkpendragon.com
- Blog: www.jkpendragon.com/blog
- Twitter: @JKPendragon
- Tumblr: jkpendragon.tumblr.com
To celebrate the release of Junior Hero Blues, three lucky winners will receive $15 in Amazon credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 12, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
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