Blaze Takes Over: 6 Pieces Of Advice For New Superheroes

Hey, peeps! Blaze here! So today is the last day to submit your creations for the IDIA Fan Creations Contest, so make sure and fill out the submission form before midnight tonight! We’ve received some awesome submissions, and I think C.B. is dreading picking a winner, with so many amazing creations to choose from.

So, in my last post, I talked about the life of a superhero, and in the comments, Sarah suggested that I give my advice for just-starting-out heroes. I thought that was an absolutely brilliant idea. So I present you with my amazing advice for new superheroes!

Blaze’s 6 Pieces of Advice For New Superheroes

  1. Listen to Data. (This is the one piece of advice Data approved of.) Always listen to what Data says. She’s been doing this all longer than you have, so she knows what she’s talking about. Plus, reading people leads to a pretty big knowledge base, which means she’s much smarter than you. If you disobey her, you’ll figure this tip out the hard way. (I’m looking at you, Jazz!)
  2. Explore your abilities. Not only is it fun to explore your powers, it can also come in handy when you’re on a mission. If you’ve tested your powers to see how far you can go, or different ways you can use your abilities, then you’ll be able to find more ways to use them on missions. That’s how I figured out that I could teleport, after all! That was a very weird day. Side note: Apologies to that Australian person I accidentally teleported behind. That was my bad. I had no clue what I was doing. Sorry. 
  3. Meet new people. People with powers come from all over the world, from very different backgrounds, and unique powers. Step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. I got to meet an elderly man from China who could speak with animals, and he introduced me to his pet panda. Plus, he taught me Chinese! It’s fun to meet new people and learn their histories. But also make sure not to be too invasive with your questioning. Everyone else wants to keep their secret identities under wraps, too.
  4. Bring food with you. I guess you should probably bring money too, in case of emergency, but food is more important, am I right? Seriously though, you don’t always know how long you’ll be at HQ or if you be able to go get food. I can teleport, but if you can’t, definitely bring food.
  5. Explore IDIA. It’s good to know the layout of HQ, so that you’re prepared for emergencies. Just be careful where you explore, because there are a few off-limits areas, and you could get in very big trouble. There are also a few really dangerous areas, too… so maybe you should explore with a lot of caution.
  6. Have fun. IDIA is a place where you can spend time with other superheroes, and you can be yourself and use your powers. Have some fun with that! Sneak up on other heroes, pull pranks, try to find Anvil’s secret stash of homemade candy… Have fun with your powers and your new superpowered friends! And if you actually try to find Anvil’s candy stash, watch out for booby traps and lots of pointy objects.

And those are my six tips for new superheroes! Did you guys like these? I’ve had fun taking over the blog, so maybe I can convince C.B. to let me present the winner of the IDIA Fan Creations Contest. Don’t forget that today is the last day to submit. Got any questions to ask me? Comment below!

Blaze out! 😎

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Blaze Takes Over: The Life Of A Superhero

Hi, peoples! It’s Blaze here. So for some odd reason, C.B. agreed that I could kidnap her blog for the last week of the Fan Creations Contest. Speaking of which, there are only three days left to submit your creations! You can also go check out some of the awesome fanart you guys have submitted, including some very nice portraits of myself.

So I was trying to figure out what to do with the blog now that I’ve taken it over, and since C.B. said I couldn’t post a snippet from Lightporter (something about spoilers and editing and blah blah blah), I decided to look around for some suggestions, and Hazel West suggested that I talk about the life of a superhero, something that I’m definitely an expert on.

I guess this post is going to be introspective, which I am usually not. So I’ll just dive right in.

One of the top concerns for superheroes is this: who knows that we have powers? For myself, none of my family knows that I have powers, and the people who do know that I have powers don’t know my true identity. To put it more simply, my two identities, superhero and normal, are completely separate. Except for Data, that is. She is the only person in the world who knows who I am when I’m not Blaze.

And since that’s quite uncomfortable territory to talk about, I’m going to move on now.

I have it easier than most superheroes. My power is easier to hide, considering I can turn invisible or make illusions of myself doing other things. Teleportation is also handy for getting out of tight spots, although I have to be careful not to use any of my powers when I’m not acting as Blaze. The nice thing about having my personas completely separated is that it’s easier to just… become a different person when I put my mask on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still me. I’m just a more outgoing and heroic version of me, and I’m more willing to do things I wouldn’t normally do. I feel like this is true for a lot of superheroes, and supervillains, to an extent.

Being a superhero has given me opportunities to do a lot of cool things. I mean, come on, I have teleportation. I’ve traveled all over the world, eaten so many different foods, and made friends in tons of countries (and a few enemies, thanks to some unfortunate accidents). I’ve actually learned bits and pieces of a few different languages as well.

But the best part about being a superhero is working with other superheroes and saving people. That’s the whole point, right? If I don’t use my powers for good, then what’s the purpose of them? Other than going out to buy food whenever I feel like it, that is. Saving people is what being a superhero is truly about.

I feel like that’s enough musing for now. I’m going to try and keep control of the blog for as long as I can, so comment down below and let me know what you think I should post about! Did you like this post? Got any questions to ask me about the superhero life?

Blaze out! 😎

Cover Reveal: Reintegration by Ashley Bogner

Hi, everyone! I’m so excited to be bringing you the cover reveal for Ashley Bogner’s debut novel, called Reintegration! It’s a Christian dystopian releasing August 18, 2017, and I’m super excited to read it. Here’s the back cover copy for the book:

A perfect citizen. A captured rebel. One decision could destroy them both…

As a Regulator, seventeen-year-old Katherine Holliday’s duty is to protect the people of the Federation from a group of violent rebels who have exiled themselves to the mysterious wilderness. When one of these rebels is captured within the Federation, the government leaders propose an alternative to execution, a procedure they call Reintegration. The procedure involves erasing the rebel’s memory and attempting to make him a member of society. The rebel, a young man named Matthew, is not the violent criminal Katherine expects, and she can’t help but befriend him. A few weeks after Matthew’s Reintegration, Katherine realizes the procedure failed and she is now presented with a choice no one else can help her make. Can she warn her superiors that Reintegration failed, which could mean death for Matthew? Or will she defy everything she knows to help him escape—and risk her own execution?

And now, without further ado, the cover!

Ashley Bogner

When Ashley Bogner was in third grade, she decided she would be a published author when she grew up. Ashley is a homeschool graduate and has lived in seven different states. She completed a year of Bible college and in the fall will begin pursuing a degree in Communication Studies. After college, her plan is to work in the Christian publishing industry. When not writing, she can be found baking, posting book reviews on her blog, and watching her favorite movies over and over to the point of memorization. See her blog here.

What do you think of the cover? Do you think you’ll read the book? Comment below with your thoughts! (Also, don’t forget to check out the live Q&A I’m doing this week!)

Live Q&A Post And A Short Writing Update

Hullo, friends! Since July is halfway over (whaaat????) and we only have about two weeks left for the fan art contest (and we have a few new submissions, too!). I have a cover reveal scheduled for tomorrow, but for this week, I thought it would be fun to do a live Q&A with you guys! A while back, I made some post idea suggestions, and many of you liked the idea of a live Q&A post, where you guys post questions in the comments, and I answer them! You can ask me about anything from writing to reading and books, or my own books or anything (within reason, of course). I’ll be answering those questions throughout this week, so ask away!

And while you’re coming up with questions for me, I have one for you! What writing-related topics would you like to see me post about? Comment below with your questions for me and what writing posts you’d like to see me do!

And a short writing update: I may have mentioned once or twice that I’m working on a superhero retelling of Snow White for the Rooglewood Press Contest, and I’m super excited about it! I just hit 10,000 words, which means I’m at least halfway done. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m excited to see where it goes (and let you guys read it, too!).

Now, enough about my writing! Unless you want to ask questions about it, that is. 🙂 Post your questions below, and I’ll be sure to answer them as soon as I can! And don’t forget to suggest some writing-related posts, too! Thanks, friends!

Inside IDIA: The History of IDIA

Before I get started on this post, I just want to remind everyone that the IDIA Fan Creations Contest is open for submissions! You can see the entries I’ve already received on the new IDIA Fan Art page. Go check them out! They’re so cool, and they may give you inspiration for your own creations. 🙂 Now, on to the post!

Hullo, friends! Remember that poll where I asked all of you what you wanted to see me post? Well, one of the top things was an Inside IDIA series, where I talk about various Easter eggs, characters, and behind the scenes info for the series. I decided that the best place to start this would be with a history of how I came up with the idea for IDIA. So let’s begin, shall we?

I may have talked about the origins of IDIA a few times, but mostly just in vague mentions, never in detail. I was rereading some old stories and realized that the tale of IDIA is one worth telling.

The first thing I came up with was the name: The International Defense and Intelligence Agency. To begin with, it had absolutely nothing to do with superheroes. I actually first used it as a normal spy-type government agency in a sci-fi novella I wrote, partially for a creative writing class. I was honestly really proud of coming up with an acronym that made a (sort-of) real word and sounded official. I finished the book and even used a few characters in one of my Tales From The Writer’s Desk, but I ended up deciding that sci-fi wasn’t my thing and left that novella on my computer to gather virtual dust. (I actually went back and read that story, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Although if I ever decide to publish it, I’ll have to rename that spy agency…)

A year or two later, I came up with the idea (he-he) for Twinepathy, and I was looking for a name for the organization of superheroes. Somehow, IDIA came to mind again, and I decided to give the organization a revamping. Lo and behold, the IDIA you know today was born! I had a ton of help from beta readers smoothing out the organization. The various ranks in IDIA (alphas, betas, deltas, gammas, and omegas) weren’t added in until a later draft of the story, and helped make IDIA more structured and official. So thanks to beta readers and creative writing class, we have the IDIA you know today!

What do you think of how IDIA came about? Have any similar stories? What did you think of this post? Comment below with your thoughts!

It’s Twinepathy’s Birthday!!!! (Cake, Characters, and the IDIA Fan Creations Contest)

Hullo, everyone! I’m so thrilled to tell you that today is Twinepathy’s 1st birthday! It’s been exactly one year since I published the book, and I can’t believe it’s been out so long! So enjoy today’s celebration post, and the launch of the IDIA Fan Creations Contest!

It had been a long week, and all I wanted to do was sleep. My desk had somehow filled with hundreds of papers, and I was afraid that if I moved one, the whole pile would come crashing down. Benedict had tried to keep up with it all, but even he couldn’t keep it all in line.

I glanced at the time on my laptop. Only a minute until midnight. If I’d had my wish, I would’ve been in bed several hours ago, but I had yet to finish the section I’d planned out for today. Maybe I shouldn’t use sleep as a reward for writing, but it seems to work. I sigh as the clock hits midnight.

“SURPRISE!!!!!”

The scream in my ear makes me jump out of my chair, but I trip over my own foot and send the hundreds of papers on my desk flying into the air. Blaze appears next to me, grinning. “Hey, you brought confetti, Bri!”

“Blaze!” I half yell, half moan as I flop into my chair. “How in the world am I going to take care of all these papers?”

He shrugs. “Maybe you should put a speedster in book 3. You’re plotting that, so there’s room there.”

I tug on my ponytail. “Blaze, why are you here?”

Blaze slaps his forehead. “Ah, I forgot to bring in the others. I’ll go get them.” He pauses. “Wait, you really don’t remember? It’s our birthday!”

Honestly, I did forget. With all of the editing and other craziness going on, I hadn’t thought about Twinepathy at all. How in the world had it already been a year since it had been published? “Yeah, I kind of forgot,” I admit.

“How could you forget, Bri?” Blaze laughs, but then he sobers. “But if you don’t have anything planned, what are we going to do to make it special? I just planned for cake.”

An idea flashes into my head, and I grin. “I know just what to do. Let’s let the fans take over!”

Blaze scratches his head. “What do you mean?”

I stand up, pacing. “Let’s have a fan contest! You can host it, Blaze. They can make fanart or fanfiction and win prizes…”

He grins. “I like that idea. When do we start.”

I point at my computer. “Right now!”

Well, hello, wonderful fan people! I’m Blaze, and I’m going to be hosting the first ever IDIA Fan Creations Contest! I mean, I’m the obvious choice, right? To start off, I’ll tell you that anywhere you see words in this color, it’s C.B. speaking. She’s also supervising me for unknown reasons, and insists that this has to start out organized.

Here’s how the contest will work! We’ll be open for submission (any kind) up until July 31st. After that, C.B. will spend a day or two (or as many as needed, since the beginning of August is going to be crazy for me) gathering everything together, and then all of you will be able to vote on who wins! One first place winner will be chosen, and everyone who participates will receive a short story featuring Denver and me! And just so you know, that was my idea. You’re welcome. Below is a basic summary C.B. put together, and you can comment below if you have any questions! You can also ask for me to answer them, specifically, and we’ll hope C.B. lets me.

Oh, and before I go, there are these cool things going on right now called the Silmarillion Awards, and I got nominated for the Most Epic Hero Award. So if you wouldn’t mind going over there and seconding that… After you finish this post, of course. Blaze out!

Contest Rules & Guidelines

  1. This contest is open to an IDIA-themed creation! Fanfiction, drawings, digital art (that includes quote pictures), costumes, pictures of the book, fanmade covers or book trailers… pretty much anything! If you want to know if something counts, just comment below and ask me. 🙂
  2. The number of submissions is unlimited! You are welcome to submit as many different creations as you want.
  3. Please keep all submissions clean! No cussing, inappropriate romance, etc. When in doubt, leave it out or ask!
  4. You must submit your creation by July 31st. I’ll do my best to post reminders in between now and then, but I am human. 🙂
  5. Submit your creation using the form below. If you are not posting your creation online anywhere, just put “None” in the link section, and I’ll send you a reply email asking for your submission. Also, make sure and check whether or not you want your artwork to be displayed on a special fan creations page!
  6. First place will win either a signed paperback copy of Twinepathy or a $10 Amazon gift card if they already have the book. (Note: Prizes may change, and more categories may be added depending on the number of submissions received.)

I’m super excited about this, guys! Are you? Do you have any ideas yet? Any questions? Comment below and chat with Blaze!