Are you available for presentations and workshops?
I am. Since first being published in 2012, I’ve conducted writing workshops for Melbourne Writers Festival, Writers Victoria and the Carey Celebrates Literature Festival, among others. I’ve given talks and held Q&A sessions at the Somerset Celebration of Literature Festival on the Gold Coast, been a panellist for both Ballarat Writers Festival and the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and have conducted numerous school tours as part of Australia’s annual Book Week. I’ve also appeared on Kids’ WB on the Nine Network, where I demonstrated my dodgy supersonic scream powers.
I have programmes available for both workshops and presentations with Q&A, though I’m always happy to adapt these to fill a specific curriculum need.
Where do you get your ideas from?
Everybody has ideas every day. They can come to you when you’re stuck in traffic, or waiting in line, or riding the train. The only difference between an author and everyone else is that an author writes those ideas down, fuses them together, fleshes them out, and makes them into a story. If you’re uncertain of how to come up with an idea of your own, I’d ask you what kind of things you daydream about when you’re bored, or trying to get sleep. After all, imagining what life would be like as a superhero is what got me started writing Vanguard Prime.
Who’s your favourite superhero?
Well, I’m biased towards the members of Vanguard Prime. But if I’m going to go for the non-egocentric answer, I’d have to say either Spider-Man or Batman, though Wonder Woman would come in at a close third.
What superpower would you want?
Most people say either invisibility or the ability to fly, but I always thought shape-shifting would be the best one, especially if you could turn into both animals and other people. That way, you could become next-to-invisible by becoming something as tiny as a flea. You could fly by becoming a bird. And you wouldn’t have to watch what you ate because you could just change your shape!
But then I was at a party where this question was asked and somebody said teleportation. Imagine being able to travel around the world, wherever and whenever you wanted, and still be home in time for dinner.
…I may be overthinking this.
Do you believe there will be superhumans in the future?
Grant Morrison, one of my favourite comic book writers, has said he very much believes that we’re destined to evolve into something akin to superhumans, and I’d have to say I’m optimistic about the prospect of that. When you consider all the technological advances that are happening at ever greater rates, it’s only a matter of time…right?
Something that I point to as proof of that would be the iPhone. Once upon a time, a device like that would have been a piece of science fiction; something you would have only seen in the hands of Batman or James Bond or the Captain of the USS Enterprise. Now they’re a part of everyday life. What advances will we see in the next fifty years, or even the next ten for that matter?
My wife found it hysterical the day I turned to her and said, super-earnestly, “It’s an exciting time to be alive”. There are less cheesy ways of phrasing it but I really believe that. We’re at the dawn of a new era for humanity. I can’t wait to see what the future brings.
Do you play video games? Do you have a favourite?
I’m not a hardcore gamer but I own a PS3 and a modest collection of games for it. I know I sound a bit superhero-obsessed, but Batman: Arkham City would have to be one of my all-time favourite games. I also love Skyrim, the Uncharted games, and the Final Fantasy series.
What are some of your favourite comics? What would you recommend?
This may take some time. In no particular order;
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, because of course. Alan Moore’s Watchmen, also because of course.
Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men and Warren Ellis’s Planetary, both with John Cassaday providing amazing artwork.
Scott Snyder’s Batman – particularly the Court of Owls storyline.
Christopher J Priest’s Black Panther. In my mind, still the definitive take on the character.
Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. Technically manga but who’s going to fault me?
Kurt Busiek’s run on Avengers with George Perez and Thunderbolts with Mark Bagley (as well as Fabian Nicieza’s run on Thunderbolts).
The early part of Brian Michael Bendis’s run on Ultimate Spider-Man with Mark Bagley (I’m sensing a pattern here). Amazing Spider-Man #400, even with all the Clone Saga nonsense that was going on at the time. And the Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut! two-parter from The Amazing Spider-Man by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr is a classic, hands down.
Finally, Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, Seven Soldiers of Victory, Infinite Crisis, JLA and Batman Inc. I could list just about everything Morrison’s written, but I decided to limit myself. It was difficult.
If you’re curious about any of these titles but you can’t afford to go on a comic book spending spree, I highly recommend checking out the comics/graphic novel section of your local library. In fact, that’s where I’ve been doing a lot of my comics reading lately and, because of that, I’ve been introduced to some amazing stuff.
That said, quite a few of the titles on this list aren’t appropriate for younger readers, so check with your parent/guardian or a librarian first.
Marvel or DC?
Can’t we all just get along?
Okay, okay. Real answer? Marvel when I was a kid. DC now that I’m older. Marvel’s better with its live-action movies but the animated DC movies and TV shows are fantastic.