Monday, June 3, 2019

# Guest Posts

The Inspiration Behind Fid's Crusade by David H. Reiss

 The Inspiration Behind Fid's Crusade

By David H. Reiss

I didn’t intend for Fid’s Crusade to be the first book in an ongoing series. I didn’t even intend for it to be a novel!

I’d been working on another (still unfinished) novel and had written myself into a corner; at that point, I hadn’t yet found a tool or method to effectively organize my thoughts for longer projects. At an impasse, I was becoming increasingly frustrated…and thus decided to work on something else for a while: a short story to act as a mental palate cleanser.

I’d been a comic-book geek in my youth, and it has been thrilling to see some of my favorite childhood heroes successfully make the transition to the big (and small) screen.  A bit of superheroic prose seemed as though it would make for a fun diversion.

But I didn’t start with a hero. I started with a villain.

Generally speaking, heroes are reactive. They struggle and sacrifice to stop the villain’s plan…but the true origin for all of that conflict is the villain’s choice. It would be interesting, I thought, to explore the thought processes and motivations behind a supervillain’s actions.

The project was coming along well and I was having fun…but then I made the ‘mistake’ of approaching a new-to-me writers’ group. One member asked what I was currently working on so I explained my project…and was gently told that perhaps I would be more comfortable if I found a different group.

“We’re trying to be REAL authors here,” I was informed in a gentle and earnest voice. “We don’t write comic books.”

Since I’m far too passive-aggressive for my own health, I immediately raced home to re-write my story with the intent to prove that capital-L-Literature wasn’t limited to any one genre. Instead of a relatively light-hearted character piece, I constructed a deep-dive into the mind and heart of the superhero story’s traditional antagonist: a non-linear stream-of consciousness with a style informed by the works of Faulkner and Vonnegut. What I ended up with was chewy and technically well-written…but, unfortunately, squeezed dry of any of the original concept’s joy.

So I tore it apart and re-wrote it. And then I tore the next draft apart and re-wrote it again.

All of this poking and prodding led to the gestation of a larger story.  My passive-aggressive stubbornness slowly faded and subsequent drafts were looser. And while all of this was occurring, I’d stumbled across a piece of software that helped me to orchestrate larger works and to maintain a birds-eye view of my overall plotlines.

Before I knew it, I had finished my debut novel.

About the Author

While growing up, David H. Reiss was that weird kid with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He was the table-top role-playing game geek, the comic-book nerd, the story-teller and dreamer. 
Fortunately, he hasn't changed much.
David is a software engineer by trade and a long-time sci-fi and fantasy devotee by passion, and he lives in Silicon Valley with his partner of twenty-six years. Until recently, he also shared his life with a disturbingly spoiled cat named Freya.
(Farewell, little huntress. You were loved. You are missed.)
David's first book, Fid's Crusade, has just recently been published; this was his first novel-length project, but it certainly won't be his last—he's having far too much fun!

About the Book:

Consumed by grief, rage, and self-loathing, a brilliant inventor rebuilt himself to take on a new identity: the powered-armor-wearing supervillain, Doctor Fid. For twenty violent years, Fid has continued his quest to punish heroes who he considers to be unworthy of their accolades, and the Doctor has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. After a personal tragedy, however, Doctor Fid investigates a crime and uncovers a conspiracy so terrible that even he is taken aback.

Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must risk everything to save the world that he once sought to terrorize. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.

In the end, it may take a villain to save the entire Earth from those entrusted with the Earth’s protection.


"Fid's Crusade by David H. Reiss is one of the most refreshing and lively takes on the superhero genre I've seen in years. His title character's crusade is colorful, compelling, and takes wonderfully unexpected turns, and the novel delivers an impressive emotional punch (to go along with the super-powered ones). It stands easily alongside other character-driven superhero novels like Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible, Carrie Vaughn's After the Golden Age, and Paul Tobin's Prepare to Die!." - Hugo award-winning author Tim Pratt



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