Lexie Dunne is the author of the Superheroes Anonymous series, published by Harper Voyager Impulse.
(reposted from Books That Hook)
BTH: Please tell me a little about your journey to becoming a published author.
LD: My journey to publishing has inspired people to literally reach for my throat, but luckily I have the reflexes of a drunk duck, so I managed to avoid getting strangled by tripping and taking that person down with me. I’ve been writing since I was eleven, but never seriously attempted to get published. When Harper Voyager Impulse offered an open submission, I submitted SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS thinking that I didn’t have a snowball’s chance on Tatooine. Joke was on me: 15 months later, they reached out to me. My editor put me in touch with my fantastic agent and two books later, I’m publishing a book that should never, ever be confused for a manual, even though it’s called HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD.
BTH: Which superhero did you love most as a child?
LD: As a child, I didn’t really connect with the classic caped superheroes. I mean, I watched cartoons, but those focused on male superheroes and those weren’t as interesting to me. I played Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers with my brother and I was, respectively, April O’Neil and Trini Kwan because April was The Girl and Trini had the saber-toothed tiger Dinozord. When X-Men came out in 2000, my immediate favorite was Rogue, and that was my turning point for superheroes. By the time Black Widow came along, I was ready. You have no idea how excited I am for all of the little girls who will get to grow up with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, two of my favorites now.
BTH: If you could be a superhero, what powers would you want?
LD: I’d like the ability to montage. I need a new skill, like learning French? Cue the classic 80s rock to show a montage of me trying on a beret, sounding out basic French words, enjoying a tasty baguette, studying late at night, acing a French test, and less than two minutes later, I’m fluent! Boom.
BTH: Do you have a specific audience in mind when you write? Or do you write more for yourself and think about the appeal later?
LD: It’s conceited, but my audience is definitely me. I’ve learned not to chase the market, which is a wonderful thing to figure out when you truly hate running as much as I do. If I’m not passionate about a subject, you may not be able to tell with the finished product due to really amazing editors. But I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to write when I like what I’m writing, so that’s a philosophy I follow.
BTH: Are you a planner or a pantser?
LD: I am a very lazy planner. Friends have told me about outlines that go on longer than some novellas, spanning thousands of words. My outline is usually less than three pages. I have a vague idea of where the book is going and I have the tentpoles constructed, which is various plot points I know I need to hit. But while the actual draft occurs, those poles may move or they may prove not to be load-bearing at all and therefore they get tossed. I like this metaphor a lot.
BTH: What was the most valuable piece of writing advice you have received?
LD: “A tree does not produce fruit all year round.” With writing advice there’s always the caveat that it doesn’t apply to everybody—you do you, basically—but for me, this proved helpful. There’s always the impetus to produce, to create more, whether it’s blog posts, newsletters, new books, social media posts, editing, etc. I can be hard on myself if I’m not doing enough, which leads to spiraling, so sometimes I need to hear it’s okay, take a break, relax, even trees don’t work all year and look what beautiful fruit they produce.
Thank you so much, Lexie, for taking the time to answer our questions!
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lexie Dunne is a life-long winner of the coveted trophy for participation and author of the Superheroes Anonymous series. By day a mild-mannered technical writer and by night a writer of masked crusaders, she keeps life interesting by ignoring it completely and writing instead. She hails from St. Louis, home of the world’s largest croquet game piece. Follow her on Twitter; @DunneWriting.
HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD
In the third book of Lexie Dunne’s action-packed Superheroes Anonymous series, Hostage Girl returns once again to save the world.
Gail Godwin—once so famous for being kidnapped by supervillains, the media still calls her Hostage Girl—is done with superheroes and their shadowy schemes. She’s got a cute boyfriend, a great roommate, and she’s even returned to her old job. For the first time in years, life is exactly what she wants it to be.
But when a figure from her past resurfaces, he brings with him a plague that changes the game for every superhero and villain out there. Now Gail must team up with both friend and foe to help save the world she thought she had left behind.