QSFer Asta Idonea has a new MM superhero book out: Super for You, Bad for Me.
Life—and love—doesn’t follow a script.
Struggling actor Oswell Outterridge thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he’s chosen to play a scene opposite his idol, Kane Teague, in a superhero movie. However, things take an unexpected turn when the slime he accidentally ingests gives him telekinetic powers. Then Kane asks him out, against all expectation, and it seems that life couldn’t get any better—aside from the little matter of keeping his identity secret from his celebrity boyfriend.
Oswell goes from a nobody with little social life and few prospects for the future to dating the man of his dreams and using his superhuman abilities to defend innocents. Everything is perfect, and it seems he’s finally achieved a happily ever after worthy of the silver screen. But when a supervillain arrives, determined to defeat Oswell and win Kane’s affections, everything falls apart. In the ensuing conflict, Kane gets caught in the crossfire, and Oswell faces his toughest fight yet. Can he remain the hero he’s always imagined himself, or will a dark desire for vengeance change him forever?
I’M SUPPOSED to begin by introducing myself, but that seems a strange task when everyone already knows me, by one name or another—something for which I’ve longed almost my entire life, though certainly not in the way it came about. Which name? Which reputation? I guess that depends on your point of view. Nevertheless, whatever you may think you know about me from the news and social media, I promise you, it isn’t the whole truth. When anyone with a smartphone and an online profile can pen their own headlines, the facts soon become skewed. That’s why I’m here, writing my tale. It’s my one chance to set the record straight. At least, that’s what they all tell me.
Good and evil. Black and white. Hell, even yin and yang. It’s never as clear-cut as it might first appear, and so much depends upon your point of view. Inside every hero is a villain, trying to claw his way out. Within every villain, a hero waits to burst free. There’s often a damned fine line between the two, and the catalyst can be anything, from the sublime to the ridiculous. For Dr. Jekyll—he of literary fame—it was a potion. For me, it was a man. Still, I mustn’t get ahead of myself. If I’m going to tell this right, I need to start at the beginning.
Don’t worry, there’s no need to go back too far. I won’t force you to sit through my birth, my early childhood, or my adolescence. The first is too slimy—or at least I assume so, having no memories of the moment—the next was free from all but the most mundane of playground traumas and all too forgettable, and as for the latter…. Well, who wants to live through puberty a second time? No, for this tale we need only rewind the clock twelve short months. Just goes to show you, a lot can happen in the space of a year. The passage of time may work its changes, but sometimes everything you thought you knew can turn on its head in the blink of an eye.
Let’s set the scene, shall we?
Establishing shot: a flat-pack city built in the middle of a large backlot. At an initial glance, it’s realistic, sure, but look closer and you’ll realize that the lived-in grunge is the result of hours of careful painting, rather than natural erosion by the elements. The bricks aren’t real bricks, and the glass isn’t real glass. A strong gust of wind could send the buildings crashing down. Don’t worry, though; they’ll fix any lingering telltale signs of fakery in postproduction.
The medium shot takes us to the main street. Individual pedestrians are visible now, each costumed and made up like… well, like themselves. It’s a modern-era setting, but wearing one’s own clothes is a big no-no. The colors of this fake casual wear are skillfully coordinated to create the perfect mundane blend of blues and browns. I heard someone say these tones are supposed to reflect the hero’s emotions at this point in the tale. I don’t know if that’s true, but I can say one thing for certain: reality has no place on the screen.
Time to zoom in for the close-up; don’t you agree?
Picture me, Oswell Outterridge, twenty-eight years old, an up-and-coming actor on the set of my latest blockbuster. Well, maybe not my blockbuster exactly. If I’m going to do this, I suppose I ought to be truthful in all matters. Thing is, I was only a professional extra in the movie I’m describing, same as the last six flicks in which I’d “starred.” My top performances up until this point in my humble narrative involved sitting in cafes sipping coffee or wandering dazed through the carnage after an explosion, and at the start, this one looked set to be no different. You see, all my expensive dramatic training notwithstanding, my face is a background face—nondescript, average, and utterly forgettable. I flatter myself that I’m a tolerable actor, maybe even a good one, with, as I’ve always liked to believe, the potential for greatness in time. Sadly, that means nothing these days unless paired with majestic mien and fabulous figure. If I don’t point myself out to you during the two seconds when you can glimpse my profile or the top of my head in a crowd shot, you’ll watch the films in which I’ve appeared and never truly see me. I’m an ant among ants, a speck among specks. Story of my life, really, until last year….
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.