Guest Post: A Girly Look at Superheroes by Susan Bischoff + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Guest Post , Susan Bischoff , The Latin Lover Posted on September 7, 2011 @ 6:00 am 10 comments
Today I am very happy to welcome one of THE authors who restored my faith in the YA genre and proved to me that stories about teenagers can be just as well written and entertaining for an older public (=older than teens) as adult books. Please welcome Susan Bischoff, author of the Talent Chronicles series, the second novel of which Heroes ‘Til Curfew was just released!
I lurrved Book #1 Hush Money (you can read my review here)and when I heard about the release of the second book I just had to ask Susan about something I have been wondering about for some time: Superheroes aren’t usually deemed as “girly.” How come you were inspired to write a story about them?
I’m a child of the 1970s. For us, the world was not supposed to be pink and blue. My mother has often told me that, when I was born, she had trouble finding me the kinds of pretty, girly baby things she’d always wanted to buy because the trend at the time was very much toward unisex clothing. Throughout my young childhood, as the feminist movement swept the country, the message was that girls could do and be anything, and the image of the tomboy girl became very popular.
Well, not so much in my house. I was very much raised with definite gender expectations, and I embraced them. I was supported in my interest in dolls and also in my non-interest in sports. And I definitely got the message that reading and collecting comic books was a “boy hobby.” Not that I was forbidden from these things. I just wasn’t exposed to them or encouraged in that direction.
And that’s fine. What I had were Saturday morning cartoons. In the late 70s and early 80s, Saturday morning rocked. To this day I find myself more drawn to DC characters like Wonder Woman and Superman than I do to Marvel characters like Spider Man and The Hulk, because the Super Friends were just that good. Also on TV we had the live-action Wonder Woman series and Batman in re-runs. We had the localized for Americans but still awesome, Japanese Battle of the Planets (G-Force). Later we had He-Man after school and got X-Men on the Saturday morning line-up, and there was Voltron.
Me being me, every one of these shows captured my romantic interest. Watching the Super Friends, it was easy to forget all about Steve Trevor and Lois Lane, and to wonder if Wonder Woman and Superman secretly liked each other. On the live action Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor obviously had feelings for the super heroine, but why couldn’t he recognize Diana Prince? And if he couldn’t fall in love with her, did he really deserve either of them? And if they would EVER put them in a clinch, would I even care?
Appearing a few years after Wonder Woman ended, He-Man brought me back to that appreciation for the hardship involved in dual-identity as Prince Adam played the fool to keep his powers a secret from his family and from Teela who so often fought at his side. Sometimes it seemed as though she could kind of get into Adam, but how could he ever compete with a figure like He-Man? During this same time, the Superman movies were coming out and then coming to television, and Superman was having these same problems in his relationship with Lois Lane.
And then came Buffy. She may not have worn a mask or a cape, but the character of the Vampire Slayer was everything a superhero was supposed to be. She had the whole “With great power comes great responsibility,” (famous Spider-Man line) thing goin’ on. The first season, especially, was very much about trying to hide and downplay the secret Slayer identity thing, and the show was very much about Buffy trying to balance her duty with her life. Unlike the characters of my youth who were nearly pure in their sense of duty and self-sacrifice, here was a girl who railed against it, who would throw the occasional tantrum about how unfair it was, how she never asked for this, how she didn’t want it. How she was scared. And that made Buffy the realest and most affecting superhero character I had ever experienced.

And there was romance! Not the tease of never gonna happen like Steve Trevor, but beaus who were actually nearly her equals in some ways, who were part of her world, and who were affected and changed for the better just by being involved with her. Let’s just all take a moment to sigh. … And yet poor Buffy, for all she had going for her, still couldn’t get it right. Because a Slayer is always alone. Just like Wonder Woman, just like Batman, just like The Hulk, and the whole long list of love ’em and leave ’em or watch it end tragically superheroes.

I just felt like…damn, you know? There has got to be a way to have this kind of awesome in fiction, but to make it turn out better. There has got to be a way to structure a series such that happy endings are possible. I cannot be the only one who wants to see this happen. That’s when it started to take root in my head that someday I would write that.
These days, when I go shopping for my daughter, I’ll pick up a few things from the girls’ department. We love our Disney Princesses and Hello Kitty. But I usually still have to go across the aisle to the boys’ side for superhero gear. It’s surprising to me. The screenwriters seem to be trying to play to both genders, seem to be trying to craft better roles for women. Yet when it comes to marketing and licensing, I’m not expecting to see Marvel’s Avengers lined up around the bottom of a skirt with a matching Iron Man hairbow any time soon. It’s still up to parents to think outside the box.

But when those girls get old enough to read my books, I want them to be interested in the kinds of characters I loved as child. Characters who are noble and good, who are sometimes scared but do it anyway. I like the idea of being a small part of getting Team Girl into the superhero league.

About the author:

I’m just a girl who wants superhero romance! Is that so much to ask? Why must it always be a tragedy? Why does Angel walk away? Why does Spike—what did happen to Spike? Why did Wonder Woman go back home after the end of season 1 and WWII, then come back, work with Steve Trevor’s grandson, and still not hook up? Seriously! And let’s not even talk about Superman Returns, ok? Let’s. Just. Not.
The Talent Chronicles series began with my desire for more superheroes! More romance! More Superhero!Romance. I’ve just released the second novel in the series, Heroes ’Til Curfew. Check with your favorite retailer, or visit my website for more information.
You can catch up with Susan at her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.
PS. Hush Money is only 0.99$ at Amazon, it looks like it’s time to start reading this series 😉

Susan has offered an ebook copy of her latest release Heroes ‘Til Curfew, book #2 in the Talent Chronicles to one lucky commenter!
(If the winner hasn’t read Hush Money, Book #1 in the series, Susan generously offered to include that one as well in the prize pack!)

All you have to do is leave a comment or question for Susan or answer this question:
Who is your favourite superhero or what is your favourite superpower?
 (You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).
This giveaway is open worldwide!
Giveaway ends on 17 September and we will announce the winner on Sunday.
Good luck!

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • Kait Nolan September 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

    No need to enter me in the giveaway, I have both, but I wanted to get the ball rolling with a comment. Favorite super hero…I have such a soft spot for Wolverine. Possibly it's Hugh Jackman, but I loved his character even in those awesome Saturday morning cartoons. Rough around the edges and so totally FIERCE. Sigh. Just works for me.

  • Victoria September 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I have not read these books. They sound good.
    My favorite super hero was always Wolverine but if you consider Thor a super hero I'd pick him.


  • Amber Stults September 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

    When I was little I loved Wonder Woman. Those bullet deflecting bracelets were awesome. Next up was Storm since controlling the weather was handy.

    If I had my own super power it would be teleportation. I always underestimate how long it will take me to go places! 🙂

    amber at amberstults dot com

  • lauralynnelliott September 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I don't need to be entered in the giveaway since I've read both of these books. I just want to stress the awesomeness of both of them! 🙂

  • erin September 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    WOW! I love this concept! Thanks for introducing me to a new author who sounds fantastic! I grew up watching Buffy and the X-men cartoons. So… Buffy if she counts and for some reason as a 12 y.o. I loved Jubilee from the X-men (probably b/c I'm korean and she was the only Asian character)As a tomboy, I looooved GI Joe, Transformers, He-man, X-men.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Amber T September 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I love this post!! Maybe because I am also a child of the 70's and a mom of toddler girls, but I can completely relate. I had the same thoughts about He-Man! Loved watching my SuperFriends as a kid and my daughters proudly wear their superhero shirts (as well as some Hello Kitty). Plus I always wanted Ice Man and Firestarter (from one of the Spiderman cartoons) to get together. Anyway, Susan Bischoff, you are awesome. LOVE your books. Just flew through Heroes 'Til Curfew and loved it. The second book was so good, easily as good as the first, if not better! Going back and re-reading them both. Can't wait for Book #3!

  • Susan Bischoff September 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    @Amber T- OMG Ice Man and Firestarter!!! :high-five:

  • Jen B. September 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    This is a really tough question because I love super heroes. I watched every episode of Buffy. Awesome! Lois and Clark. Yippee! Spiderman. Don't even get me started! I will admit to having a soft spot for Wolverine. Wow and Wow! I could probably come up with a lot more examples but I am too exhausted tonight! Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Tore September 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I always loved Superman and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  • Na September 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Superheroes are so cool! A superhero power that I really like is superstrength, very handy in beating the bad guys.

    cambonified [at] yahoo [dot] com

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