So the party I threw at WisCon started out purely as a retrospective celebration of Tales of MU. By the time it came around, though, I was thinking more of the future than the past, and it coincided with the time where I was ready to launch my new project, Secret Sisterhood of Superheroes.
I set the first part of the prologue to go live during the party, and then I read it aloud. It’s now available to read, along with the other three parts of the short “Issue 0” prologue that ran through the end of May. The first part deals with the divergence points of history in this universe, where a star fell and changed the shape of the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States, creating new land that became the cities of Star Harbor and Calvary Crossing, in the state of Hamilton.
When I was writing stories in this universe before, I always said that Star Harbor was in the great state of *cough*mumble*cough*. I kept its exact location vague for two reasons. One was the DC comic book trope of adding imaginary cities in unspecified locations. The other was that, as a Midwesterner, I didn’t really know the eastern seaboard well enough to locate the story in a particular place.
I’ve been living in the mid-Atlantic region full time for a few years now, following even more years of splitting my time between them, though, and I have a much better feel for the geography and political psychology of the region… good enough that I felt confident anchoring the story in (or at least adjacent to) a real place.
After my reading, someone told me I had done a great job of capturing the region in my description, which was really validating as I am a fairly recent transplant.
I also received high marks for the references to Alexander Hamilton. It might seem a little like a slow take on the popular zeitgeist, but Alexander Hamilton and (to a lesser extent, Aaron Burr) have always loomed large in the secret history of the Star Harbor superhero universe. I think the closest I ever came to referencing it was a mention of a portrait of Hamilton in the lobby of a certain shadowy government agency. The rise of Hamilton as a pop culture phenomenon is part of what convinced me it’s time to go back to this story verse, and also to bring the alternate history element out into the forefront.
The other thing about the reading is: it went really well. I have never given a reading before that went well, at least from my point of view. I’ve always had severe stage fright-like anxiety when I try: shaky legs, shaky voice, desperately trying to control my pace from a panicky gallop, etc. The fear even tends to creep in when I try to record myself reading something.
This time? Nothing. None of that. I’m sure it’s no one thing but a confluence of reasons that reached a critical tipping point, but I just… hit my stride. Found my voice. Was in my element. It went well. It went so well that I’m planning on doing an actual official programmed reading next year.
Anyway. Issue 0, short as it is, is now live. The first chapter of Issue 1 goes up later tonight, and Issue 1 will continue to run throughout the month with new updates about every other day.