The cat’s out of the bag! My publisher’s been cooking up something interesting: a shared literary superhero universe. We need to come up with a cool shorthand like “lit-RPG.” Any ideas?

From the launch website:

Multi-author shared universe novels set for release in fall 2018.

​HARVEST, Ala. (July 23, 2018) – From vampire romance to supernatural ​horror to religious thrillers, Silver Empire has ​brought ​fresh, talented new voices to the front in genre fiction. Now Silver Empire is moving forward with its latest project, a massive foray into the world of superheroes. Heroes Unleashed is a multi-author, shared-universe superhero world launching this fall ​from award nominated and critically acclaimed authors.

​He wanted to be a good man. Instead he became a hero. ​

Imagine Serenity City, a ​beachfront city​ on the east coast. For years, the city has been protected by the Triumvirate – three of the most powerful, and certainly the most famous, heroes in the world. Achilles with his super strength. His wife, The Banshee, master of deception and guile. And their best friend Pendragon in his shining armor. No serious threat lasts long in Serenity City under their watch!

Until the Rampage – the infamous day when Achilles lost his mind, leaving a half-destroyed city and the body of the Banshee in his wake.

Twenty years later, Serenity City is completely changed. Pendragon still reigns as the world’s most famous hero, but he reigns alone. Banshee still lies in her grave, and Achilles rots in solitary confinement. Young Victoria, an up and coming hero, finds herself investigating a new mystery. Why are young and forgotten heroes disappearing off the streets? Why doesn’t anybody else care? And how is it tied in to those infamous events that brought the city’s greatest heroes to ruin?

And when Achilles escapes, it throws a wrench in everything!

But nothing is as it seems in Serenity City: Heroes Fall by ​Morgon Newquist, kicking off Heroes Unleashed this fall.

​Heroes Unleashed: Phase I​ begins with a Kickstarter campaign set to launch this August and includes the first book in each of five series by five outstanding new authors. ​After completion of the ​crowd funding campaign, and after early backers have received their pledge awards, the books will be available on in both ebook and paperback editions. Kickstarter backers will have access to special limited editions ​that will not be available after the crowd funding campaign.

As a fan and writer, the shared universe concept is really awesome. For the fans it’s good, because they can be assured of consistent, periodic releases. That takes a little groundwork on the creative side, but with multiple perspectives, it also can work out well for bouncing off ideas to shape stories. I’ve got a little bit of advantage in that my proposed Heroes Unlimited book is a bit later in the timeline, so my character, Vigilance, gets to come into established plot lines and relationships and . . . react. He’s an anti-hero with zero sense of humor and no patience for shenanigans, so you can imagine how that might go.

At the moment I’m sneaking up on the halfway point on A Place for War. <cue knocking on wood> My current plan is to be done with it by the end of August, finish Come, Seeling Night by the end of the year, then start on Vigilance. 

Oh, yeah, and I’m currently beginning the process of putting together an anthology set in the Z-Day universe. I’ve already got a few cool story pitches from some great writers, so that should be a blast.

I’ve got a stack of research material to write the first Pax prequel book, and was hoping to get to it after I finished up Seeling Night but . . . probably not going to happen until Vigilance is in the can.

On the bright side, I’m still not running out of ideas! The bones of the second Paxton trilogy are already shaping up in my notebook, as well as a few ideas for standalone stories in the universe.

Check out the latest Paxton Locke book, Night’s Black Agents and get on the train early. 😉

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