Author Interview: James Mascia
Q: Is High School Heroes your first novel?
A: It is my first traditionally published novel. I had self-published a couple of novels years ago that are no longer on the market. I can honestly say that High School Heroes was probably the first novel I took seriously. Before this I had pretty much wrote for fun and for myself and if I published the novel then great, if not, no big deal. While writing High School Heroes was absolutely fun, I also wrote it with the intention of getting it published. So, after I was done, I edited it extensively, then I hired an editor to find and fix the thing I missed. Only then did I start sending it out to publishers.
Q: Tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for your book.
A: I was at a comic book convention and talking to someone about how there weren't really any prose novels about superheroes. So, I decided I was going to write one. I've always liked comic books and stories about superheroes, so it was only natural that I create my own and write a story about them. So, I set out with a couple of short stories, which I got published in a magazine called A Thousand Faces. But, even with those few short stories, I knew there was a bigger tale to tell, so I decided to write the novel.
Since High School Heroes was published, the market has been flooded with super-hero themed books. So, while I definitely didn't write the first superhero novel, I'd like to say I was a bit ahead of the game.
Q: You’ve already published Volumes 2 and 3 in the series. How many books do you have planned for the series?
A: I have 5 volumes planned. Part 4, called Hero's Burden, is with my publisher now and should be out late 2013. Part 5 (which doesn't have a title as of yet), is what I am currently working on. I end the story-arc started in Book 1 in Part 5. Now, that's not to say another story arc can't pop up (they always seem to in comic books), but after I'm done with 5, I will be moving on to other projects.
Q: I notice you chose a small press to publish your work. Why did you decide to go that route instead of contacting a traditional publisher?
A: First, I just want to say that there is nothing wrong with a small press publisher. However, I want to dissuade you from thinking that a small press isn't a traditional publisher, because it is. What you're referring to is the big publishers, like Scholastic, Hyperion and such.
In that case, I would like to say that when I sent out my query letters, I sent to the big publishers as well as the small publishers. The small press publisher just happened to come to me first and offered me a great deal for my books. So I went with them. When I'm ready to do another series, I will follow the process again, and I will send to the big and the small alike.
Q: Do you have a website where readers can find out more about your books?
A: My books can be found on Amazon.com, BN.com, iTunes, and information on myself and my books can be found at www.islandofdren.com