Tag Archive | nuts & bolts of writing for publication

How to Name a Superhero + Contest!

One of the hazards of writing superhero romances I would never have imagined ahead of time is the naming of superheroes. It is a pain in the neck trying to come up with superhero names, particularly for characters who don’t have a particular outstanding power or ability. And then when I do, I have to do a reasonably thorough web search to see if the name has already been used for a superhero, because the last thing I want to do is tread on somebody else’s intellectual property.

Also, it’s dull as dirt.

Superhero–or supervillain–names often start with the character’s powers. Dynama and Singularity were both named this way, “dynama” adapted from “dynamo” and “dynamic” because her powers have to do with motion, while a “singularity” exerts the gravitic pull at the center of a black hole. Other characters are named for striking characteristics, physical or otherwise. In the X-Men, a fuzzy blue character is known as Beast, while in the Batman animated series, Harlequin is so named because it’s the costume she wears. And sometimes, a character acquires a name based on a real name or actions they’ve become known for. Professor X of the X-Men teaches, and his last name is Xavier.

With all these different options, you wouldn’t think character naming could be so difficult. And yet, in the Superheroes Union novella in progress, I have a character without a good superhero name. On the plus side, this gives me in a fantastic excuse for a contest. *g*


Suggest a superhero/supervillain name for the character described below. Enter as many names as you like. The best entry–whether I use it in the story or not–will win a Superheroes Union T-shirt or tote bag, a copy of The Superheroes Union: Dynama, and a copy of the next Superheroes Union novella (as long as you remind me when it comes out. The memory isn’t what it used to be). Runners-up will also get a copy of Dynama or a small prize.

Character Description

A man in his early 20s. 5’7″, dark hair, brown eyes, Asian-American. No costume yet–he most often wears a long black coat. He is stronger and tougher than you’d expect for his size and musculature, but he doesn’t actually have what you’d think of as super strength. He’s trained in hand-to-hand combat. He spends a lot of time free-climbing buildings or observing from on top of them. He can leap extraordinary distances and survive spectacular falls. His balance is exceptional. He has a sense of impending danger that lets him react to harmful situations a split second before they happen.

And if I really have to leave him with the placeholder superhero name “the Hallelujah Kid,” he’s going to be really pissed. 😉

Leave your suggestions in the comments, and feel free to spread the word!


The Superheroes Union: Dynama – back cover copy

Got the finalized version of the back cover copy today and had to share with y’all! 34,000 words, priced at $3.99

What if your evil ex really was evil?

TJ Gutierrez used to be a superhero. But after the birth of her twins seven years ago, she hung up the yellow spandex. Until the day her archenemy and ex-husband, Singularity, breaks out of prison. When it becomes clear he’s after the kids, she’s forced to call the nanny helpline—and once again become…Dynama!

Annmarie Smith doesn’t have a superpower. She saves the world by keeping kids safe while their parents fight evil. She temporarily moves in with TJ, and the way the magnetic mama puts family first captures Annmarie’s respect, and maybe her heart—even though she knows better than to fall for a superhero. Still, it’s hard to resist their wicked chemistry. Kapow!

But they can only hide from the world for so long. When Singularity’s quest for custody puts the kids’ lives in danger, can the two women conquer the evil villain and save TJ’s family—all before their first date?

First Signs of a Cover!

The bad news is, I’m not allowed to share yet. The good news is, Carina Press sent me a draft of the cover art for The Superheroes Union: Dynama, and it’s looking awesome. It sounds like there are going to be a few minor tweaks and probably a color shift, but all of that should only make it better. We’re looking at an end of August release, woohoo!

And just in case I needed reasons to be even more excited, the outline of the second novella (which was originally supposed to be the third–sometimes the characters have strong feelings about these things) is really flowing. I’m hoping that between finishing that and working around my editing work, I’ll be able to start the actual writing this week. *happy dance*

Anne R. Allen explains Amazon review’s in a nutshell

Amazon Reader Reviews: 12 Things Everybody and His Grandmother Needs to Know

Important safety tip if you are a writer or know a writer. Also useful for anyone who regularly reviews books on Amazon.com–I don’t know if the same holds true for barnesandnoble.com or not, but it seems likely. I’m all for not accidentally screwing anybody.