I am thrilled to share some questions and answers with author Max Brunner! His novel Superfail was released just last month. I’ve already gotten my copy and I know my sons are going to LOVE it!!! They eat up anything with humor and superheroes. This book is especially great for helping kids get into reading. There are so many kids would struggle with liking to read. Sometimes the right book can help them realize how fun reading can be. And if that isn’t exciting enough Max was kind enough to giveaway a singed copy that would also include a hand drawn piece of art from Dustin McKay!!!
***Scroll to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway***
What is Superfail about?
Superfail is about a group of kids with Defective super powers. Marshall Preston can shoot lasers out of his eyes like Superman, which would be a great power if he wasn’t cross-eyed! Marshall teams up with a kid who can run at super speed but can’t stop, another with a radioactive peanut allergy that turns him into a swollen Hulk, and a telepath who reads everyone’s thoughts out loud. When Marshall uncovers a plot to destroy one of the greatest superhero teams of all time, he and his less-than-super friends set out to prove that just because you’re defective doesn’t mean you can’t be a hero.
When did you first get into comics?
I have loved superheroes before I was too young to even read a comic book. Superman was the first superhero I loved. Later I learned about the Incredible Hulk, Spider-man, the Flash, and the very best character: Batman. I wanted to learn about these amazing characters, so I started reading comic books. We didn’t have any superhero movies when I was little, so if I wanted to follow Batman on his adventures, I had to read the comics.
What is your favorite comic book series? Your favorite Superhero?
My favorite superhero is Batman, so naturally the Batman books are my favorite. Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One is absolutely incredible and really the basis of the modern take on Batman.
At what age did you begin seriously writing? Have you always known that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve know since I was quite young that I loved stories and reading. I wrote my first comic book with my cousin when I was 11 and played with writing here and there, but I didn’t really get involved in writing until I picked up my first professional gig as Lead Writer at a local comic publisher when I was 17.
Is this your first published book?
Superfail is my first published novel. Many people think it is a graphic novel/comic book, but it’s actually part novel and part comic book, a format that works great for those who struggle with reading. I like to say Superfail is the book that emerged when I tossed a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and some comic books into a vat of radioactive goo. I also wrote a comic book series many, many years ago for a small company called DavidWorld Press.
What advice would you give to kids who wanted to become a writer someday?
Write. It might seem obvious or trite, but it’s the truth. The only way to get better is by doing. The more stories you write, the more you hone your craft and the more chances you give yourself of creating something that someone might want to publish. The other piece of advice is to do it because you love it, not because you want to make money at it. In this day and age, you are more likely to become a professional baseball or basketball player than to make it as a full-time author.
What gave you the idea of having superheroes with such quirky flaws?
I always knew I wanted to do a project revolving around superheroes, or at least people with super powers. I thought it would be such a great idea to have a something similar to the TV show The Office, but with superheroes as the stars. Superman and Batman are great, but they aren’t funny. And I’ve never found characters with corny/useless super powers to be funny at all, so I needed to find a way to give characters great powers with some sort of counter. Once the idea came to me for someone with who can fly who suffers from motion sickness, I knew I had something.
Then finding Disney Illustrator Dustin Mackay to do the art, the deal was sealed. Seriously, this book is worth getting for the illustrations alone. He’s got art on almost every page!
What is your favorite thing about Marshall Preston?
I see a lot of the human condition in him. Visible or not, everyone has flaws and we all suffer from self-doubt because of those flaws. I love that his journey can help kids to know that even though they might feel “defective” at times, that adversity can become a strength if we allow it.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
It’s kind of cheating, but the power to do anything. I’m really glad I don’t have that power though because I’m sure I would end up ruining my life.
Besides reading comics what else do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read novels as well, although I have to do it sparingly. Once I start I can’t really do anything else until I’m finished so I have to plan when I’m going to start the next book. I also love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, writing (obviously), and spending time with my wife and new son Samuel.
What was your favorite book as a child?
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’d tell you how many times I’ve read it, but I lost count a while ago.
Will there be any future adventures for Marshall Preston?
That is going to depend on how well the book is received. If you want to see more of Marshall Preston and his Defective friends, the best thing you can do is leave a review on Amazon, even if you bought the book elsewhere (its available at Barnes & Noble as well), you can review the product on Amazon. Here is a link to Superfail on Amazon.
To keep up with Max be sure to follow him on Twitter or check out illustrator Dustin McKay on Instagram. If you are looking for more ways to encourage reading check out my Raising Readers post for tips. And for more great releases visit Running Press.
Grab your copy today! And if you are lucky enough to win your own signed copy just pass along your amazon copy to a friend or donate it to a school library. And be sure to leave a review on Amazon.
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