This summer was a bit of a blur. The afterburners kicked in at the end of June when I got a phone call from the agent of awesome, Laurie McLean. I received an opportunity to write for properties from Valiant Comics as part of Kindle Worlds from Amazon. This would be my first foray into media tie-in’s so I had to bone up on my lore behind several properties: Harbinger, X-O Manowar, and Bloodshot.
As this writing gig centered around comic books, I asked myself “WWBD?” or “What would Batman do?” Well, if Bats needed help, he’d ping Oracle. In Batman’s world, that’s Barbara Gordon.
In mine, it’s Jared Axelrod.
This novella is one or two fruits of my summertime labors from a long “at the feet of a master” session with Jared, purchasing a fistful of comics from my local comic book (and gaming) store, and downloading even more for my iPad. “What’s in a Code Name” found its inspiration from two pages of Harbinger Wars # 2, just after Toyo Harada gets served (and served hard) by a savage attack from Bloodshot. Those two pages sent me back to the beginning of the Harbinger story arc to dig deeper into the Harbinger Institute, assemble my cast of characters, and—as odd as it may sound—better understand and practice school protocols.
“What’s in a Code Name” follows Harbinger Institute’s star student, Daniel Hessler, also known throughout the series by the code name of “Ion.” He has just witnessed fellow Anoisaibushi, Susan Adams, code name “Saturn,” die at the hand of Toyo Harada. Now, with Ion standing over Saturn’s still, lifeless body, we find out that behind every code name for a student, there’s a real person with a real story.
Last week saw the wrap on another editing session of Dawn’s Early Light: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, the third book in The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. This was a full contact editing session as Pip and I were filling in a few blanks from a handful of new scenes added in the previous editing session, and giving the ending an epic workout. I wanted to take it slow this week.
With inspirations like these…
…I don’t think I’ll be slowing down any time soon.
Alongside Delilah S. Dawson’s “Follow Me Boy” based in Valiant’s Shadowman series, “What’s in a Code Name” based in the Harbinger universe is now available from Kindle Worlds. Please, leave me a review on Amazon and let people know about this stand-alone story inspired by the incredible canon from Valiant Comics. And if you want to share your thoughts here or on The Shared Desk’s voicemail line at 703.791.1701, do so. I’d love to know what you think.
Stay tuned, folks. I’ve got more to come this month.