SIDEKICK – BLOG TOUR STOP
It was clear that I had no real skills or abilities when it came to crime fighting, but I had gumption. And wasn’t gumption worth more than anything else? Why would reality TV lie? – Sidekick
- Title: Sidekick
- Author: Auralee Wallace
- ISBN: 9780857991591
- Series: Sidekick (Book #1)
- Published: June 1st 2014 by Escape Publishing
- Format: eARC
- Genre: Fantasy/Superhero
- Word Count: 73,818
- Source: Tour Operator
Heroes meets Kick-Ass in this brilliant and hilarious debut about a girl who just wants to save the world…
Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.
Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder. Suddenly, Bremy has a new goal: apprentice to a superhero, and start her own crime-fighting career.
Ryder has no need for a sidekick, but it turns out the city needs Bremy’s help. Atticus St James is planning the crime of the century, and Bremy may be the only one able to get close enough to her father to stop him.
Now all she needs to do is figure out this superhero thing in less than a month, keep her identity secret from the man who could very well be The One, and save the city from total annihilation.
Well, no one ever said being a superhero would be easy…
This is not my typical blog tour stop as it is the first time that I have hosted one of my closest friends. As I prepared this post I thought to myself now to really do this thing properly we really should have videoed it…
Indulge me for a moment and visualize this in lieu of an actual video feed, now imagine Auralee and I in matching plaid pyjamas with wine, lots of wine and all our our respective children put in bed, while having this discussion. I know it’s a fantasy but it’s a beautiful one isn’t it?
PD: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
More than anything, I really hope that readers simply enjoy Sidekick. I think there are messages in the book – the power of resiliency, the importance of discovering one’s own personal moral code, the significance of being an active player in life (especially for young women) – but, my main wish is to impart the fun I had in creating Bremy’s world.
PD: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Come to think of it, something has been bothering me. While I was writing Sidekick, I took every opportunity I could to squeeze out some humour. One of the ways I tried to do this is through the exploration of stereotypes – every character, at first glance, is a stereotype to some extent. I would consciously build up the expectations of that stereotype only to spin them around and violate them, hopefully, when the reader least expects it…and hilarity, again hopefully, ensues. Bremy’s landlord, for example, is a Russian mobster, but I like to think he has a heart of gold even if he is always threatening to cut off her fingers.
Granted, this type of humour isn’t for everyone, and, for the author, it is fraught with danger. The potential to offend lurks around every paragraph. That being said, I am not a fan of some of the alternatives. One would be to make all of my characters just like me in terms of race, gender and socio-economic class. That’s just silly and certainly doesn’t reflect the reality of my life…or anybody’s life. Another alternative would be to write every character who is of a minority or disenfranchised status as a paragon of humanity. I also think this is silly…and damaging. I’m much more of a tackle-issues-head-on kind of gal.
Here’s where I messed up a little. In Sidekick, I wrote a stereotyped Maitre d’ who is gay. His appearance is brief, and I always intended to flesh him out as a person later on, but that didn’t end up happening until I started writing the sequel. So there he is in Sidekick all stereotyped up and left hanging. This doesn’t sit well with me, but hopefully readers will follow through to the sequel to get a little more insight into his character.
PD: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
I will admit that I am a wannabe computer geek, so I did do some research on hacking. Hopefully, I used the lingo correctly. As they say, any errors are mine and mine alone.
PD: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I can’t imagine not writing, so I am grateful for any opportunity that gives me a platform to show my work.
PD: Which writers inspire you?
Ooh, another tough one. Different writers have inspired me at different times. In my teenage years, I was all about Stephen King – big shocker there…a teenager loving Stephen King. I still worship the ground he walks on, but my interests have broadened. In my twenties, Laurell K. Hamilton dominated my reading list along with a number of dead English authors like Dickens and the Brontë sisters. Now I would say my interests are too broad to narrow down. Recently I have enjoyed books by Sherry Thomas, Beth Revis and Jonathan Janz.
PD: What have you written?
Sidekick is my first published manuscript. It has placed a finalist in three RWA competitions: the Virginia Fool for Love Contest, The TARA and The Catherine.
PD: What are you working on at the minute?
Currently, I am working on the sequel to Sidekick, which I’m very excited about. I find writing Bremy’s character feels a little like having Lucille Ball for a best friend. I never know what she is going to do next.
PD: What’s it about?
Sidekick was about Bremy proving herself worthy to be Dark Ryder’s apprentice. But now that Bremy’s got the job, she’s about to find out that keeping it is a whole other issue.
PD: What genre are your books?
That has been a hard thing for me to pin down. Obviously, the main genre is “superhero,” but that’s not a concrete area in regards to commercial women’s fiction. Sidekick could be classified as a kind of urban fantasy with romantic elements.
I like to play with genre, but the enduring strain throughout all of my writing is the humour. I can’t seem to write anything that takes itself too seriously.
PD: What draws you to this genre?
I’m not sure I have ever met a genre I didn’t like. For me, genres are a little like having my own Holodeck on the Starship Enterprise. My imagination is captured by all sorts of stories.
PD: How much research do you do?
I wouldn’t call what I do research. It’s more that I pay close attention to things that I like. When I’m reading, if a book moves me emotionally, I like to dissect all of its elements to try to learn how I can recreate a similar experience in my own writing.
PD: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I usually outline the beginning of a new book in quite a bit of detail. Then once I have a solid foundation and an idea of where I want to end up, I get going. I relate a great deal to E.L. Doctorow’s description of the writing process:
“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ― E.L. Doctorow, Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews
PD: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think it has taken me a long time to accept my comedic voice. Like millions of others, I would like to write like H.P. Lovecreaft, John Irving, or Amy Tan (I could go on and on), but that’s just not who I am. I have tried to write horror, but I end up horrifying myself. I have tried to write literature, but I usually end up sad. I have tried to write straight romance, but all the eye rolling I do at my own words, gives me a headache. I love reading books in all of those areas, but I can’t write ‘em. I’m not saying I will never end up in a place where I’d give another voice I try, but for the time being, I’m quite happy where I am.
PD: Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I think it does. I have a friend who has bought books solely on the basis of a pretty hair-style.
Note: That friend was me, I was so moved by the cover of The Edge of Reason that I just had to buy it. Seriously who can beat a well executed French braid?
PD: What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Doing a number of RWA contests before publishing my book has really taught me that I am not going to please everyone. My personal philosophy is to welcome criticism and ignore bashing.
PD: What do you think of “trailers” for books?
I love them. Some are certainly better than others, but I always enjoy taking a peek. I don’t have the skills to create one for myself just yet, but it’s on my To Do List.
PD: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I always love connecting with readers!
- WEBSITE: auraleewallace.com
- FACEBOOK: Auralee Wallace Author
- TWITTER: @AuraleeWallace
- GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8119821.Auralee_Wallace
Auralee Wallace has played many roles in her life, including college professor, balloon seller, and collections agent. She is now living her dream of writing humorous women’s fiction. When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children (and psychiatric nurse to two rescue cats) isn’t writing or playing soccer, she can be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard.
Five ebook copies of Sidekick