New release! The Silver Stranger has arrived!

It’s taken longer than I had initially wanted, but at long last, The Silver Stranger is available on Amazon.

The main lesson here is that writing a sequel is harder than writing the first in a series (and that already has plenty of its own challenges). Just think of all the superhero movie sequels that were kind of a letdown after a great first installment. I have a lot more sympathy for those situations now.

I went back and forth between two entirely different approaches to The Flying Woman‘s sequel. In the road not taken, I was focusing more on Miranda’s training to become the best superhero she could be, and this involved plunging her into a totally different fantasy world. This concept resulted in some scenes I really liked, but ultimately, it felt like too much of a bait-and-switch with the genre, and I struggled with deciding how much world-building to give this one-off fantasy world.

Ultimately, I decided to return to my original idea, The Silver Stranger, the core concept of which takes me all the way back to college.

When I was at William & Mary, I wrote a full-length play called Super! in which a young woman named Alyssa moves to a city full of superhumans. After acquiring telepathic powers, she discovers that three people close to her are prominent superheroes who work together as the Terrific Trio. Alyssa infiltrates the group in an effort to convince them to stop acting like cartoon characters and to just be people.

The play was a mix of comedy and drama. The scenes of the characters’ secret identities would take a more grounded tone while the superheroes would act like they belonged in a Superfriends cartoon.

Of course, what works on the stage doesn’t necessarily work in prose, and vice versa. A whole lot has changed from that original story I developed when I was only 20. Part of it is just that I’m quite a bit beyond 20 now, but making a superhero novel work has a different set of considerations than a superhero play does.

I could probably slip right back into college mode and write an essay comparing Super! to The Silver Stranger. But suffice it to say, the latter is not an adaptation of the former; it’s more like a descendant of the former — and one I spent a lot of time writing and rewriting to make sure I got it right.

And here’s the story that it developed into:

Alyssa Henson hates that super-powers have become real.

She had once dreamed of exploring outer space but kept her feet on the ground and settled for a more conventional life. And now, people are soaring overhead, outracing sound, transforming into photons, and so much more.

It’s unnatural. It’s weird. It’s dangerous. And it needs to stop.

The villainous Doctor Hades agrees. When Alyssa acquires power of her own, she joins forces with the Terrific Trio’s archenemy to erase all superhuman abilities—even those of her heroic best friend—in order to save the world.

In this exciting sequel to The Flying Woman, a new vigilante emerges as The Silver Stranger, a mysterious mind-reader who would rather spy on the thoughts of others than examine her own.

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Check it out on Amazon!