Ian Thomas Healy is visiting my blog today to discuss "JackRabbit" I haven't told him this, but there are a couple of odd coincidences. I have a main character named Ian in one of my books, and I also have a pet rabbit. Not sure what all this means, but on with the interview.
Thanks for being here today, Ian!
Thanks for being here today, Ian!
What inspired you to write Jackrabbit?
Jackrabbit began life as my 2006 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project. I've always liked the idea of rabbits as characters ever since reading Richard Adams' Watership Down. I felt that every superhero universe needs at least one goofball character who's borderline self-aware that he's a character in a story. Jackrabbit is that guy in the Just Cause Universe.
How did you become interested in super heroes?
I’ve loved superheroes as long as I can remember. I think the seminal story that solidified my love for the genre was Mordecai Richler’s Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, which I read dozens of times as a child. There was something about the main character’s older siblings who dressed as superheroes (The Infamous Two!) that struck a chord in me and I recall safety-pinning a towel around my neck and running all over my neighborhood.
What does the Just Cause Universe Involve? How many books are in the series?
The history of the Just Cause Universe stretches back at least as far as World War II. The first known parahumans were a commando unit in the U.S. Army with the codename Project Circus. Part of their history is detailed in a short story attached to the Just Cause: Revised & Expanded Edition. The general history of the JCU is the same as our own, with the addition of some superheroes (and supervillains!). Major historical events occurred in the JCU as they did in our own history. 9/11 was a devastating blow to the superhero team Just Cause, as their headquarters was in one of the Twin Towers.
The four prior books in the JCU deal either with the young superheroine Mustang Sally as she works to grow from a novice to a full-fledged hero (Just Cause R&Eand The Archmage), or with her mother Pony Girl in the 1970s (Day of the Destroyer). They’re tied together through the history of one of the JCU’s villains, known as Destroyer. Deep Six broadens the storytelling universe by introducing the employees and residents of the most secure prison facility in the world, used to contain those convicted criminals for whom a normal prison will not suffice.
Jackrabbit is Book Five in the JCU series. So far I have the next four books planned out with releases scheduled every six months. Book Six, called Champion, will release in October 2014. I have no plans to stop writing this series until I'm tired of it.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
My favorite has to be Jay, of course. He's all about smarting off, frolicking and gamboling (like bunnies do), and occasionally kicking people in the head when required. He's all panache and wisecracks and fun, and yet he still manages to pull off some pretty amazing stuff in the end.
What is the theme of this story?
Anyone can be a hero with the proper motivation and an earnest desire to do good things. Hey, that's awesome. I should write that down...
Is there anything else you would like to share about the book?
Without spoiling too much, at one point Jay offers to write the Leporidean Gospel for Leporidus, the God of Rabbits. I haven't actually written that, but I think we're going to do it at the book release party. It'll have such choice tidbits in it as "Thou shalt not blaspheme, unless thou stubs thy toe or steps on a LEGO, at which point, have at it."
Tell us a little about yourself outside of writing.
I have long luxurious curls that are the envy of women everywhere, and a long luxurious beard that is the envy of all men. I'm a hockey fan both at the NHL and CHL level (Go Avalanche! Go Cutthroats!). I have three kids, two dogs, two cats, and my house is full of loose fur. If I meet you, I will probably forget your name, but I'll remember your face. I have mad forklift skills.
What other projects are you working on?
Right now I'm writing a horror western called Ghost Plain and revising a Young Adult project called The Scene Stealers. After that I will be writing the next Just Cause Universe novel.
Ian Thomas Healy can be found...
Jay is having a pretty bad day at school. His popular cheerleader girlfriend just dumped him and a jock spilled soda all over his brand new Nikes. So when the God of Rabbits recruits him to save the world from an invasion of interstellar cockroaches, it seems like it might be a pretty cool gig.
Unfortunately, in the spectrum of god-like abilities, rabbits rank pretty low, and Jay receives the ability to make snarky wisecracks, jump real high, and . . . that’s about all.
With all other superheroes snapped up by the Cockroach God and his minions running rampant in the extradimensional Gods’ Home, Jay and his newfound ally Bluebird are the only two unlikely heroes left to defend humanity.
We are doomed . . .
Jackrabbit releases in print and ebook versions worldwide from all online retail outlets on April 1, 2014.
Check out the Goodreads Giveaway (runs from Feb. 14 through March 21, 2014, with three signed ARCs as the prizes). Visit Ian's Facebook page for more information.