A post by speculative fiction writer Samantha Bryant:
Have you ever noticed that superheroes always seem to get their start as teenagers?
Peter Parker was a high school student when that spider bit him and gave him the ability to climb walls and sling webs.
The pupils at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters are, well, youngsters.
Even Superman and Batman have their genesis at an early age.
A few of these heroes get to age and mature, but a good many are eternally seventeen, hopped up on hormones and teenage angst and drama. Especially the female ones. They’re all something-girl, too.
Only Wonder Woman gets to be a woman, and that comes at the cost of star-spangled underwear. (Not with my thighs!)
I’ve always loved a good superhero story, but the older I got the more that focus on youth bothered me. Where were the grown women heroes? The ones who married, divorced, had children, and worked at jobs? I couldn’t find many of them, and eventually had to write them for myself.
The idea for this book came, like many of my best ideas do, from a rambling conversation with my husband. (Ladies, if you marry, I highly recommend finding a partner who’s a good conversationalist. It improves life.)
As we were talking about superheroes one summer night, as geeky folk like us do, I commented that if hormones caused superpowers, menopausal women would be the most powerful people on the planet. We both laughed and he said, “Write that down!”
And I did. The result was Going Through the Change, a menopausal superhero novel. It’s coming out from Curiosity Quills Press in April 2015. In it, four women dealing with menopause at varying stages of their lives, find that The Change comes with some very surprising changes indeed.
Writing this book was such cathartic fun! I took every worry I had, every horror story my women friends and family members had told me, and turned them into comic book scenarios.
Hot flashes became the ability to wield fire.
Scaly, dry, itchy skin, became indestructible armored flesh.
A little unwanted hair became . . .well, I don’t want to give away too much.
The book is funny, but does not make fun of the characters or their issues. I’ve always thought that comic books were wonderful places to explore the heart’s truths without getting bogged down in the dull day-to-day routine that is real life. Giving real women comic book problems gave me a great opportunity to explore their issues of shifting identity, life disappointment, family relationships, ageism, and body image while having a good time.
Plus, action scenes are fun to write! Hopefully they’ll be fun to read, too. Check it out in April!
Samantha Bryant is a writer, mother, and middle school Spanish teacher, so she knows a thing or two about being a superhero. Her secret superpower is finding lost things. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with her family and dog.
Check out her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/samanthadunawaybryant
Here she is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mirymom1
And Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SamanthaDunawayBryant/posts
To read her blog, click here: http://samanthabryant.com
Top Photo: Samantha poses with LEGO Batman at GenCon, a giant gaming convention she attended last summer.
Bottom Photo: Samantha wearing her trademark converse sneakers–the only thing her feet like.