The Flying Woman — Chapter Three

The Flying Woman is now in production. A cover is in the works. The interior design is in progress. And the manuscript is done. It shouldn’t be too much longer.

But in the meantime, here’s one more preview chapter…

(For a draft of Chapter One, click here, and for a draft of Chapter Two, click here.)

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Copyright 2018 Daniel R. Sherrier. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

The Flying Woman

–a novel–

by Daniel Sherrier

3.

As she descended in the elevator, Miranda considered what she just did. She had never felt any physical attraction toward Ken Shield. But, on an intellectual level, she acknowledged that he possessed many fine qualities. He wasn’t right for a brief, passionate fling. A guy like him qualified as long-term boyfriend material. And Bianca was wrong that Miranda avoided long-term boyfriends—never mind that the longest of her numerous relationships lasted five months, back in high school …

But yeah, Ken seemed like a decent option. What was the harm in a couple of dates?

The elevator carriage settled, and Miranda expected to find Officer Hoskins somewhere along the well-lit path, ever vigilant as he stood guard over the park. But once the door opened, she saw only a long, vacant stretch of brick surrounded by topiaries and impenetrable darkness. The park did span several acres around the tower. Perhaps something demanded Hoskins’s attention.

Miranda kept her phone in hand as she began her brisk walk, reminding herself that this was one of the safer parts of town. Still, her parents had issued many warnings about the dangers a city held after dark, and her mind replayed the greatest hits. Miranda felt her ears expanding to catch even the faintest rustling of leaves.

She heard something else. Not leaves or wind or any scurrying critter. Nothing from nature. Nothing natural.

A moan. It was coming from somewhere behind those bushes. Miranda’s senses all dialed up to maximum. Continue reading

The Flying Woman — Chapter Two

The Flying Woman is coming later this year, but for now, here’s the latest draft of Chapter Two. (Read a draft of Chapter One here, when the book was called Terrific.)

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Copyright 2018 Daniel R. Sherrier. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

The Flying Woman

–a novel–

By Daniel Sherrier

2.

Greek gods lined the way to Mount Olympus … though these gods appeared in the form of meticulously maintained topiaries, and this Mount Olympus was a fat tower occupying a public park in the center of the city, standing taller than all else within a seven-mile radius.

Miranda hiked between looming bushes, down the long brick path that led straight to the elevator centered beneath the tower. As always, she found the nice old policeman, Officer Hoskins, patrolling the park with a friendly smile beneath his white mustache.

The overhead lights shaded and deepened his wrinkles as he nodded at her. “Welcome back, young lady. Enjoy yourself up there—but not too much, you hear?”

He said that every single time, and he chuckled at himself every time. But Miranda had to admire the old man’s relentlessly positive attitude. He may not have gone far in his career, but he seemed happy where he was. An enviable quality.

“Yes, sir. I’ll be sure to keep my ruckus to a minimum,” Miranda said, mirroring the smile.

And she entered the elevator, as usual, alone. Continue reading

Coming this fall … The Flying Woman

This book has taken me over three years to write. I’ve rewritten it from the ground up three and a half times. And, at long last, it’s entering into the production stage.

I’ve found some good people to work on the editing, cover/jacket design, and interior design, and the book should be ready to launch no later than this November.

This will be my first novel. (My previous books are series of novellas and novelettes.) In earlier posts, I’ve called it Terrific. And it was a very different book when I started with that title. But a new title has sprung from the latest version:

The Flying Woman

Here’s a draft description:

The impossible has become reality. A masked man possesses extraordinary powers, and he’s using those fantastic abilities to fight crime and pursue justice. Meanwhile, Miranda Thomas expects to fail at the only thing she ever wanted to do: become a famous star of the stage and screen.

One night, Miranda encounters a woman who’s more than human. But this powerful woman is dying, fatally wounded by an unknown assailant. Miranda’s next decision propels her life in a new direction—and nothing can prepare her for how she, and the world, will change.

More to come!

Marvel’s Top Ten Stories: 1966-1970

At long last, round two! We looked at the top ten stories from the Marvel (Comics) Universe’s first five years a few months ago, so let’s move on to the second five years.

In that previous five-year span, everything was fresh, exciting, and unlike anything previously seen in comic books. The freewheeling creativity resulted in a wide range of quality, but certainly plenty of enduring ideas and memorable stories. In this second increment, the Marvel creators have settled into a more comfortable rhythm, achieving a more consistent level of quality. It won’t be every modern reader’s cup of tea, but the era definitely has its share of classics. Here’s ten of them:

10) The Amazing Spider-Man #65 (by Stan Lee and John Romita)

The police arrest an injured Spider-Man…right before the prisoners revolt. Spidey has to use his wits to navigate the situation—and save the life of his girlfriend’s father, Capt. Stacy. It’s a fun adventure that offers a different type of threat than usual, while ongoing subplots continue to simmer in the background. The issue helps strengthen the growing bond between Spider-Man and Capt. Stacy, giving Peter a much-needed friend and mentor, one who instinctively knows Spider-Man can’t be all that bad. Continue reading

Exclusive Report: I’m no longer exclusive

My books were enrolled in Kindle Select for a while, and that was fine. I gave away a bunch of free ebooks like I was Santa Claus and offered some sales like I was Wal-Mart. And I agreed not to sell my ebooks through any other outlet, like I was rationing them or something.

Anyway, that’s all done now. I’ve republished through Smashwords, and they were nice enough to distribute to several fine retailers, such as Barnes & Noble and Kobo. So if you don’t like the Amazon/Kindle option, there is another. More than just one other, in fact. Check out my “Books” tab above for thrilling links to some of those prodigious purveyors of electronic publishing.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing revisions on Terrific and getting that in shape for release later this year, at long last. I posted a draft of the first chapter a while ago; perhaps I’ll post a draft of chapter two soon.

Also, the second installment of my “Marvel’s Top Ten” blog series should also be ready before too much longer, so keep an eye out for the best of 1965-1970 in the coming weeks.

And don’t forget: If you’ve read and enjoyed any of my books, please be so kind as to leave a review at the retailer of your choice. Even a super-short, quick one can make all the difference. Thank you!

Marvel’s Top Ten Stories: 1961-1965

Presenting, just for fun, Marvel Comics’ ten best stories from 1961-1965!

Why only a five-year period? For proper apples-to-apples comparisons, firstly. The comics medium has changed quite a bit over the years, so it’s hardly fair to compare, say, ten-year-old comics to fifty-year-old comics. Plus, the shorter period is more manageable and allows me to highlight more great books over time—sometimes complete storylines, sometimes standout single issues, whatever is merited. (I’ll get to later periods…eventually. And note that these are grouped by release date, not cover date.)

So we begin at the dawn of the Marvel Universe. True, many books from this era don’t hold up particularly well, not to the adult reader. They are dated indeed. But in the foundation of each series are strong, enduring concepts and flawed but heroic characters that people of varied backgrounds can relate to. Plus, the old comics offer plenty of charm with their fast-paced displays of free-flowing imagination. Looking back on these early issues, it’s not hard to see why the characters have survived the decades.

(Spoilers ahead, but these came out over five decades ago, so…)

Let’s get to it. As Stan Lee would say, Face Front, True Believers! Make Mine Marvel! Excelsior! ’Nuff Said!

Wait. Not ’Nuff Said yet. We need the list…

10) The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko)

The superhero genre has a simple but effective formula: The hero almost loses to the villain but ultimately prevails, often improving him or herself along the way. Doctor Octopus’s debut shows an early example of that formula in action, back when flawed superheroes were still a fresh idea. As the book opens, Spider-Man is feeling supremely confident in his crimefighting abilities, and he’s itching for a challenge.

And he gets one, and he gets clobbered, leading Peter to wonder if he’s even cut out for this superhero lifestyle after all. So he’s got a choice: quit, or try again but do it better this time.

Peter Parker is still growing into his role at this stage, and that’s part of what made this series so novel—the superhero was actually growing as a person.

And we haven’t seen the last of Spider-Man on this list. The Amazing Spider-Man was easily Marvel’s strongest series of this era. Continue reading

Terrific — Chapter One

Yes, yes, yes. I’m still working on my upcoming superhero novel, Terrific. What, you don’t believe me? Well, here’s the proof!

Below is the current draft of the first chapter. Note that it is just a draft and will undergo revisions later, but things are coming along. When you self-publish, it’s vitally important that you reject your own work to ensure you put out the best possible book. I’ve rejected two full previous versions of Terrific, as well as another half a manuscript, but I’m feeling confident about how this one is turning out.

So read it, enjoy, and bug me to get the thing finished and published.

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Copyright 2017 Daniel R. Sherrier. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Terrific

–a novel–

By Daniel Sherrier

1.

Miranda Thomas liked pretending to be someone else. Her true self receded behind a persona she had spent innumerable hours crafting, rehearsing, and perfecting to the greatest possible extent. And her hard work paid off as she made her regional theatre debut in The Reluctant Guest.

They enjoyed her. Several dozen strangers laughed at all the right moments. Everyone returned to their seats after intermission. They cheered when the lights went down at the play’s conclusion. And audiences never lied. Miranda loved that about them.

She had graduated from Olympus University a mere three months earlier, and she was already doing her favorite thing in the world…as a professional. Her castmates were fun, the reviews were strong, and the nonprofit company owned a charming venue. This was not a poor start.

Today’s matinee wasn’t quite finished. Miranda had one last moment on the stage, the only one as herself.

Warm light enveloping her, she crossed the polished floorboards of the Aeschylus Theater for her curtain call. The stage was smaller than most, and its house seated a mere eighty-eight on three sides. An intimate performance space, perfect for a four-person contemporary comedy. It minimized the barrier between actors and audience, filtering none of their reaction. Right now, it was Miranda’s stage. Continue reading

Today’s Super Comic — Action Comics #775 (2001)

At last, here we are. May 17, 2016, I started writing one quick, positive comic book review a day, with the goal of doing so for a full year. It was part writing exercise (get the words down fast and move on), part analytical exercise (if a book works, why does it work?), and an opportunity to focus on the positive and thank the writers and artists who have given me countless hours of enjoyment over the course of many years.

So let’s finish with one of the best single-issue Superman stories ever written. Action Comics #775 shows us why Superman will never go out of style and should never go out of style.

A new team of powerful superhumans appears. They call themselves the Elite, and to get the job done, they’ll kill the bad guys and any innocent bystanders who happen to be within range, so long as the larger threat is eliminated, permanently.

Superman’s not having that. As the public begins to wonder if maybe there’s some validity to the Elite’s approach, Superman realizes it’s up to him to show the world there’s a better way.

What makes Superman cool isn’t his powers; it’s how he uses them. He doesn’t force his will on others or try to seize more power for himself, and he leads by example, with physical force being the last resort. He always operates within clearly set parameters. It would be too easy for him to cross any number of lines, so he doesn’t. Most others would give into the temptation, but he’s strong enough to control himself.

In this issue, he’s not only trying to stop the Elite from killing people, but he’s also standing up for ideals—and he’s standing up to people who are seemingly more powerful than even he is.

“Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul, I swear… until my dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice becomes the reality we all share — I’ll never stop fighting. Ever.”

Ladies and gentlemen—Superman! There’s a reason he’s the greatest superhero ever created. He’s a role model for kids and adults alike, and he demonstrates values that should never go out of style, no matter how times change.

Writer: Joe Kelly

Penciler: Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo

Cover: Tim Bradstreet

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology

Appropriate For: ages 12 and up