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I love Facebook. Sure, it’s mostly politics, kitten videos, and viral photos misquoting famous people that are posted by hordes of duck-lipped teenagers and soccer moms. Yet, there are diamonds in that rough. It was there that I discovered my calling in life, as I logged in and found atop my wall the beauty, the wonder, the magnificence that is cosplay girls. One look at an Alexandrian Steampunk Harley Quinn and I knew what I must do.

I was to go to a convention!

Naturally, I couldn’t just go as myself. I would travel incognito, and when I heard about HelmCon in the city of Federation, there could be no other costume for me than my infamous alter-ego, Semi-Colon!

The plan was set: I would show up; droves of fans would scramble for pictures; luscious women would swoon; panels would invite me on for a chance to freestyle a rap; I’d describe epic battles with my arch nemesis, Comma Splice; and sweet, sweet fame would take me into her plush, maternal embrace!

So why then am I now standing alone in a bustling lobby, overlooked by a plethora of lesser known super heroes, like Marvel’s Deadpool? Seriously, who is that guy?

“Is that a costume, or are you happy to see me?” One woman jeers. Her group laughs as they walk away.

I sigh.

That’s when I feel the blow over my head and everything goes dark.

When I wake, I’m in a brightly lit room. I look around, confused. There are goons on either side of me, dressed in tights, their bristling facial hair framing scowling faces.

“Mr. Colon, we meet again!” howls a madman across the room.

Jerking my arms from the goons, I say, “It’s Semi-Colon, there’s a very significant difference.” Then I look up and gasp. “Hey, aren’t you … Nicholas Ahlhelm? Author and Editor-in-Chief of Metahuman Press?”

He coughs, says, “I … er … no! I’m Brain Master, master of the brain-men!”

I blink.

He nods.

I scratch my head.

He says, “Okay, yes. I’m Nicholas Ahlhelm. But now that you know my true identity, you must die!”

A shark pit opens up.

“Wait!” I cry as the men wrench me from the chair, dragging me closer to the edge. Below, laser-mounted Great Whites splash about. “This was all a … uh … ruse! Yes! I’m not really Semi-Colon, I only dressed as him in hopes of being captured and taken to your lair!”

The men stop. Nicholas rubs his chin. “And why would you do that?”

“To interview you about your Kickstarter project!” I flash an overly toothy grin.

“Oh, well, that sounds reasonable. Very well,” He snaps his fingers and the goons let me go.

Clearing my throat, I retake my seat. That’s when I say:

Thanks for giving me the time to interview you, and for not feeding me to your basement laser sharks of doom. So, let’s get started: What is it about writing that draws you to the craft? What does it do for you, and what got you into it?

The need to tell my stories. As a supreme figure in the ever growing world of super powered fiction, I have to—nay, I must—make the world know of my skill and care at crafting narratives of metahuman adventure.

I have long held these beliefs, since my days of childhood, many years ago. Growing up, I was far from the obvious ruler of men I am today. Instead, I was but a boy in love with two things, books and superheroes. It seemed only natural that I would work to meld the two in a most unholy manner.  

What is your writing process like? Do you have a ritual or habit, or is it more spontaneous? Does it involve capturing interviewers and then sending them on their way after a brisk shark scare that everyone can laugh about later?

Interviewers have little to fear from me should they avoid my great wrath.

My process is haphazard, as fits a being of my obvious genius. As I have two young protégés in my care, I must often find time around their weapons and tactics training to put the metaphorical pen to paper. I often write at night, either on breaks from my regular career as a megalomaniacal conqueror of men or on my rare night away from said task.

I often write at night, either on breaks from my regular career as a megalomaniacal conqueror of men or on my rare night away from said task.

So, tell me about Lightweight.

Lightweight is the tale of a foolish mortal that deems to call himself a hero. He is not yet eighteen when his story begins. He awakens to strange dreams to find their contents are real and he can suddenly control the very force of gravity. Instead of making the wise decision to use such abilities to conquer all mankind, he uses them to defend friends and his city from threats. His first foe is a giant robot known as Titan, an engine of destruction that should be more than a match for some foolish young upstart.

Of course, there is more to the boy’s story than just that. He sits in the middle of a pair of ancient sects and a massive conspiracy of super powered beings that could shake the foundation of the world. But those are secrets for another time.

Superheroes are very popular. They can be found everywhere, from comics to movies and even video games. I’m sure you remember a time when superhero fiction was considered a fringe market, something only a nerdy few were interested in. How do you feel about it becoming so mainstream over the last decade or so?

I would not call it mainstream even today, but a certain acceptance of this milieu of stories has arrived. I am a man of the future, and I see this trend only continuing. If all goes well, I will be a man of great fortune from these endeavors. All the more resources to put behind my master plan.

I would not call it mainstream even today, but a certain acceptance of this milieu of stories has arrived.

What was your favorite part about bringing super heroes to novels? 

Creative control. My mind cannot and will not be filtered by fools and madmen. Only the imperious eyes of the one called “my editor” have a chance to do such a thing. In the pages of prose, I can enter the minds of my foes and weave intricate plots the world has never seen, and shall not on the pages of a comic or on the silver screen.

There seems like a lot of room for growth in this kind of project. Any plans to turn Lightweight into a larger series? 

The Kickstarter is only the beginning for Lightweight. Should it prove successful, I see the project continuing forth for months and years to come. My glorious intelligence has envisioned over three years of plots for the character already with many more to come one hopes.

The Kickstarter exists for two reasons. One, I must pay the talented Brent Sprecher for the work he is doing on the project. Two, I must prove the concept of ongoing monthly prose fiction has the legs to stand on over the coming months and years. For it must one day reign supreme!    

The Kickstarter is only the beginning for Lightweight. Should it prove successful, I see the project continuing forth for months and years to come.

What other projects do you have in the works, outside of the Lightweight universe?

Lightweight is the main focus of my current existence, but alas not my only one. It exists in a shared universe, one already seen in other masterworks, such as Freedom Patton: A Dangerous Place to Live and Living Legends: Old Soldiers. But even they are not the limit of my works.

I have several stories in the pipeline for both Airship 27 and my own Metahuman Press line of anthologies. At the current time, I work to finish the first draft of Fight Card: Rosie the Ripper, a novel that will lure MMA fans in to my nest of evil.

You’re applying for a job at Target: What super hero would you want to be and why?

I do not know of this superteam, The Target, that you speak about, but I do know I would never stand with them. Nay, I would destroy them as only a man of my great power could do.

I suppose I see much of my colleague, the magnanimous Victor Von Doom, in my character. Both of us are clearly smarter than those around us and far too powerful for mere mortals to ever truly understand.

Who or what are some of your biggest influences? 

In my path of world conquest, I owe many thanks to the aforementioned Von Doom, Former President Luthor, and of course Lord Darkseid of Apokolips.

In the field of fiction, my influences are many. My writing style owes much to Stephen King, Jane Yolen and Robert B. Parker. My inspirations in the world of superhuman graphical literature include one Robert Kirkman, a conqueror in his own right, Erik Larsen, Kurt Busiek and James Robinson, among many others. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors or people attempting to escape evil lairs?

Never ever challenge the intelligence of a superior.

And write. Always, always write. It is the most important factor in anyone looking to hone their craft.

And write. Always, always write. It is the most important factor in anyone looking to hone their craft.

Okay, final question: What are the chances that you already fed those sharks today?

I say you were a fool to walk in here today.

But should you survive, let it be known other wayward mortals can find me at SuperPoweredFiction.com, Twitter or Facebook.

I’ll take that as a yes then. Selective perception for the win!

As for the readers, be sure to check out the Lightweight Kickstarter, and keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming self help book, “I survived Laser Sharks of Doom, and so can you!”

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