Second draft is officially finished. This is the round where basically I go in and make sure the plot makes sense before turning it over to a hard edit. It's always a pleasant surprise when the story turns out to be complete on the first full read-through, because my writing style is sort of never-hit-the-breaks, write to the end and then go back and re-examine the story.
We've got a full arc. This is both more action-packed than the first book but also a little bit smaller scale--it's a very personal adventure for the Indestructibles and what they face in a world where they've become a known commodity. They've all had a lot of growing up to do.
Next step will be the copyediting phase, but if all goes according to plan it should be available before Rhode Island ComicCon, which is my ideal goal.
It really doesn't get much better than watching Michael Rooker climb into a bucket and do the Groot dance behind David Bautista on stage. Does it?
The website BC Refugees invited me to write a guest post on YA superhero novels, which I was excited to write up. You can find the column here. This actually came about through a question from BC Refugees (after receiving a press release on the book) asking if we'd be at Baltimore ComicCon, which was a great way to start the dialogue.
A little preview:
"And I think I got lucky with my content as well. There is something inherently not childish but rather all ages about superhero stories, and our society and culture have finally realized that. For a long time, adults were shamed for loving superhero stories. They’re stories for kids, we were told. Grow up. But just because something is accessible to young readers (whether they are four-color Archie comics,Watchmen, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower) doesn’t make it exclusively so. While we get more and more restrictive with the categories we put books into, I think readers—and let’s face it, the readers are the most important part of the equation here—have figured out that the most important thing is to read what brings you enjoyment."
Still hammering away at the sequel's edits to make that fall deadline, but in the interim... This panel. This panel brings me so much joy. I think I'm just going to start saying "I know what I said, Quill" to anyone with whom I'm having a cantankerous conversation from now on.
But I wrote the penultimate chapter tonight, and am wheeling into the epilogues and stingers next. First draft, of course, so there's a lot of editing and rewriting to do, but once that first draft is on the page things tend to move quickly after that.
This will be, in many ways, Jane's book. There are big character moments for all of the major heroes, but Jane, because of how things ended in Book 1, needs to grow up even faster than the others, and it shows in Book 2.
That being said, Emily may or may not get a musical number in the sequel. And writing that musical number may or may not have been the most entertaining evening of my entire year.
Sterling Arts and Cosplay photoshopped the now infamous creepy raccoon standing on its hind legs staring through a glass door to look like Rocket Raccoon in his Guardians of the Galaxy prison garb. And I cannot stop laughing at it.
Artist and friend Colin Carlton created this globe from a deconstructed copy of the book, weaving in elements for each of the heroes inside. It became a real eye-catcher at Boston ComicCon this past weekend, so it looks like this piece of art will be coming with me to all future cons...
Even if it proves the book is not, in fact, indestructible.
I'm not usually one to gnash my teeth over the passing of a celebrity, but, for personal reasons, tragedies involving depression and suicide always hit all the way to the bone for me. It's been a week in which we've seen thousands of people dump buckets of water over their heads to raise awareness for one horrible illness; today another illness took the life of someone who had every avenue of prevention available to him and the demons still won.
I just made a donation to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. I'm not saying this to make myself feel better or to guilt anyone into doing the same. I'm just saying there's a lot of people out there quietly fighting their own demons who could use a hand, and numerous organizations who are trying like hell to help fight a lot of mental illnesses in a country that does not do anywhere near enough to help those who need it. This happens every day to people great and small.
It was amazing to everyone to who stopped by. For the readers who came to the table to let me know you'd read the book--thank you for the encouragement. It means so much. And to everyone who took a chance on a new book by a new author, I hope you enjoy the story and I'd love to hear from you as well. And for those of you who stopped by to talk about breaking into writing, I'm always happy to talk shop with other writers. So glad you came by to visit.
I have to say thank you to the artists who were in the neighboring booths all weekend, because they made a very new and very nervous rookie attendee feel very much a part of the community. I have worked in a lot of different creative industries, and I've never seen something quite like the warmth and openness of the veteran writers and artists I met this weekend.
On that note, my eyes are actually blurring as I write this, so I'm going to go crash for the night... and get my butt back into gear finishing up the first draft of the sequel. If all goes according to plan, Indestructibles Book 2 will have a first draft within the next week or so. Then comes the rewrites and edits phase...
So I'm not going to lie--I was terrified for the first few hours at Boston ComicCon today. I've been to a few conventions in my day, but this was the first time I was on the OTHER side of the table, and let me tell you, I was a little worried nobody would want to talk to me and I'd be sitting there with a pile of books for eight hours.
So not the case. Every new reader who stopped by to talk with me today: THANK YOU. I have to put that in all caps because I can't actually hug people through the internet. THANK YOU for taking a chance on the book. I hope each and every one of you enjoys it, and I hope I get to hear from some of you about your thoughts as well. Words can't express how much it means to a first time author.
And another huge THANK YOU to the neighboring artists who were warm and welcoming to the rookie writer--I don't think I can adequately say how much it helped me that you just said hello and asked about my work.
It's one in the morning and I have to be back in for Day 2, when I hope I'll meet even more incredible people... if you're there, come say hello at booth D426. I'd love to meet you.
Matthew Phillion is the writer of "The Indestructibles," part-time actor, occasional filmmaker. Currently on the lam in Salem with his trusty dog, Watson.