All the 2017 In the Spotlight features have been filled. If you are interested in being featured in 2018, please sign up here to be notified when the reservations are open!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with Magen Cubed
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Magen! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
@magencubed is a novelist, essayist, and occasional critic hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, who writes superhero, horror, and romance fiction.
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
While I’ve been consistently writing flash fiction and short stories for about fifteen years, I started publishing around 2010. I was featured in several small press and indie horror anthologies, and also had a short story adapted for a short horror comic by Texas-based artist John David Brown. In 2012, I decided to try my hand at novels. My first completed horror novel was published in 2013 by Post Mortem Press, a small press I’d previously worked with on several projects. I was fairly lucky, in that respect, to find a publisher for my first book as quickly as I did.
I think the best thing about getting to this point has been the people that I’ve met along the way. I’ve met some great people in both the prose fiction and comics world, and have made some amazing friendships. If I had to pick the thing I like the least, I think it would be the growing pains as I’ve figured out how to establish my online presence/platform. There’s a lot of bad advice out there for writers trying to find their voice online, and a lot of expectations from readers and other writers, as well. It took me a while to wade through the chatter to find what works best for me, to engage with readers earnestly, and to promote myself without being disingenuous. I like to think I’m on the right track, and have carved out a niche for myself and my readers.
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
My latest release The Crashers is a sci-fi/fantasy superhero fiction romp that draws on my years spent reading and reviewing comics. It’s my love letter to superhero stories. The story follows happens when a group of survivors of a domestic terrorist attack discover they’ve come out of the incident with powers. Unlike in the comics, powers don’t do much to change their everyday problems – like bad marriages, PTSD, and poverty – as they try to save themselves and the city they call home.
I hope fans of Second Run Reviews consider this book because it has a little bit of everything. It’s a superhero book without the capes and spandex, a mystery with plenty of twists, and a tightly-wound character drama about people thrown into impossible circumstances. There’s superpowers, apocalyptic visions, mystery, humor, romance, and a lot of heart. I wrote The Crashers out of my love for superheroes, but it really is a story meant to celebrate the best part of the comics I enjoy while still being accessible to people just looking for a good sci-fi/fantasy book.
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
I like to read a lot of genres, from horror, to sci-fi/fantasy, to romance, as well as comics and graphic novels. My tastes are pretty all over the place, which can be both a good and bad thing. The three books I always come back to over and over when I recommend books is Idoru by William Gibson, Stiches by David Small, and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Striefvater. These are three books that have really stuck with me over the years, and people have always enjoyed when I lent them.
What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
My current (and longest-running) obsession is the Thomas Harris book, film, and television universe. Manhunter is one of my favorite movies, Hannibal is my favorite show, and Will Graham is basically my favorite character of all time. I don’t get involved in a lot of online fandoms or communities anymore, but Hannibal fandom specifically has been my home for the last few years.
What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t?
I wished you would have asked me about some of my essays and critical writing. It’s something that I’ve focused on over the years, in tandem with prose fiction. I’ve written critical analysis of comic books and pop culture since about 2012, and have bylines on Comic Booked, ComiConverse, and most recently Women Write About Comics. I enjoy writing critical analyses of comics, film, TV, and just general online pop culture stuff.
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
While not particularly wise, my parting words are to just remain curious as a creator, and to always be on the look-out for new, interesting art. Everybody tells writers to read, but all art is important to creating work of your own. See a movie, watch a show, play a video game, walk around an art gallery looking at stuff you don’t understand. Just stay curious.
Thanks for being In the Spotlight, Magen. You should consider attending ICON in the fall. I would love to meet you in person. Please comeback soon and tell us about any new projects you might be working on!
Synopsis: At 9:17 AM, a subway train crashed in East Brighton City. That was when everything changed.
Five survivors emerge from the accident: former detective Kyle Jeong; single mother Norah Aroyan; Afghanistan veteran Adam Harlow; the genius Clara Reyes; and the dying Bridger Levi. These five strangers walk away from the crash unscathed, only to realize the event has left each of them with strange new powers. As their city falls into chaos around them, they find themselves drawn into a story far more dangerous than they ever knew – and it will change their lives forever.
Death, undeath, superpowers, and apocalyptic visions. Welcome to East Brighton City – hope you survive.