Dear Henchman: author interview

I hope hearing about H.L. Burke’s new book on Sunday got you hyped for superheroes. Today’s feature is another Superhero genre offering.

I corresponded with the authors of the book Dear hero, and their upcoming release Dear Henchman. Continue reading to learn all about their new book and a little about their writing process.

Every Hero needs a sidekick.
Dear Henchman.
Every Villain needs a Henchman

Interview with Hope and Alyssa:

What Is Dear Henchman About?

Henchmen and sidekicks aren’t supposed to fall in love. Or save the world. They’re supposed to brew coffee, take pics of their hero/villain for social media, and stay in the background.

That was sidekick-slash-frat boy Kevin and henchwoman-slash-tech genius Himari’s plan, until a taxidermy-collecting villain robs Kevin’s hero of his powers and leaves Himari’s villain wounded. Now it’s up to the sidekicks and henchies to save the world.

Without powers, they’ll go up against the Shadow Assassins (a deadly organization that can’t work a PowerPoint to save their lives), road trips-slash-kidnappings, and strange initiation rituals that may or may not involve singing campfire songs.

Himari and Kevin will battle the odds, their insecurities, and their weird affinity for Mexican food as they discover if they have just what it takes to save the world from a nuclear disaster.

Do You Have a Favorite Character?

Hope: Definitely. Hands down for this book, it goes to Liam. He’s probably crazy, collects taxidermy, and makes sure that his captees are well-hydrated and get to eat french toast. He’s the weirdest person I’ve ever written, and I want to marry him.

Alyssa: Hate to be a copycat, but Liam. Hope did a brilliant job, and I laughed the entire time we were writing.

What Was the Best Part about Writing Dear Henchman?

Hope: I couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t think my diaphragm has ever hurt this much. I still can’t go through the galleys or ARCs without cracking up and sending Alyssa some of my favorite lines.

Alyssa: There’s usually a point when writing a book where you just want to chuck your laptop across the room. That didn’t happen for Henchman. We just had the time of our lives, and I loved getting surprised by every new wacky thing the characters did.

What Was the Hardest Part about Writing Dear Henchman?

Hope: Well SOMEONE *glares at Alyssa* decided she wanted to beat our record from the last book. In our last book, Dear Hero, we wrote the first draft in 9 days. So SOMEONE decided, “Let’s do it in 8.” We did. And we had a ton of fun. But man, oh man, the one day where we wrote 10,000 words straight without meal breaks … that one was a lot.

Alyssa: Whaaaaat, who could that be? Writing wise, I think the hardest part for me was the romance thread. The adventure is so wild and fast-paced, making time for love to blossom was important.

Was It Harder to Write a Sequel?

Hope: Yes and no. I think, because we had a familiarity with the world, that we didn’t have to start from scratch. With that said, the more books you have, the more potential you have for plot gaps or errors. We had to check ourselves a lot to make sure we didn’t run into any contradictions.

Alyssa: I absolutely loved getting to write more with some of our favorite characters. It felt like writing fan-fic sometimes, but of our own work! We did have a lot more of a high-concept plot this time, though, so there was a lot more effort that went into world building.

What Are You Hoping Readers Take Away from This?

Hope: Besides laughs, we wanted to show a bit of burnout and social media fatigue. There’s so much pressure on Gen Z to have their lives figured out by the time they leave high school, and we wanted to show what that looks like for young superheroes. About how they feel the pressure to be super influencers instead of actually saving people. But we really didn’t set out to write some great moral message, or whatever. We just want readers to have fun, laugh a lot, and fall in love with the characters.

Alyssa: I’ve written books with more serious tones and messages (including some coming out in the next few years with Hope), but for this series, it’s really all about having fun. As an adult, sometimes I feel burnt out by the grittiness of YA and New Adult, and I just want to read something funny. Why should middle grade have all the fun? Of course, there’s plenty of action, angst, and heart-to-hearts, but I’m hoping people just have a good time reading.

What Do You Do When You’re Not Writing?

Hope: HAHAHA you mean besides crying and having existential crises? I like to do some runway modeling, go on hikes, dress up in public for no reason, and do theater. Oh and playing handbells. They’re the hottest instrument since the lyre.

Alyssa: Try to entertain my insane cat, Kookoo, who thinks he belongs on the keyboard and has made it his life mission to drink my coffee when I leave it unattended for two seconds. I’ve decided to attribute any and all typos to his mad dashes across my desk. Other than that, when I’m not writing, I’m working full time in the publishing industry as an agent, editor, freelancer, and publicist, reading for fun, playing party games and D&D over Zoom, and re-organizing my bookshelves for the ten thousandth time.

The Release date for Dear Henchman is May 4th, and should be available for preorder right now at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Henchman-Hero-Book-ebook/dp/B09224CXZ8/

Or buy the ebook, directly from the publisher (right now, no waiting) here: https://intensepublications.com/shop/ols/products/dear-henchmen-ebook

Add it to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57688955-dear-henchman

Every Hero needs a villain.
Dear Hero.
Every Villain needs a hero.

Find book one, Dear Hero at the following links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54691019-dear-hero

https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Hero-Hope-Bolinger-ebook/dp/B08G55SWLX/ (As of this writing the paper back was on sale for almost the same price as the ebook.)

Also available from the publisher: https://intensepublications.com/shop/ols/products/dear-hero-ebook

About the authors:

Hope Bolinger is an editor at Crosswalk.com, literary agent at C.Y.L.E., and a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 1,000 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy released its first two installments with IlluminateYA, and the final one, Vision, releases in August of 2021. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in October of 2021. Find out more about her at her website.

Hope author links:

Website: https://www.hopebolinger.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hopebolinger/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HopeBolinger

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hopebolinger/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hopebolinger/

Alyssa Roat has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry as an agent, editor, writer, and marketer. She is the publicity manager at Mountain Brook Ink, an associate literary agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, an editor with Sherpa Editing Services, and a freelance writer with 200+ bylines in local, national, and international publications.

Alyssa is the co-author with Hope Bolinger of the YA superhero chat fiction romance Dear Hero and the sequel, Dear Henchman. Her solo debut, the YA contemporary fantasy Wraithwood, releases July 2021. Her name is a pun, which means you can learn more about her at alyssawrote.com or on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as @alyssawrote.

Alyssa author links:

Website: https://alyssawrote.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alyssawrote

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alyssawrote

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alyssawrote/

Newsletter: https://alyssawrote.com/newsletter/

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