Yes, MM volume 5 is available on Amazon and at Airship 27’s website. I will have my copies here and ready for sale on E-bay any day now. It’s been a long wait but worth it to finally see my novella “Not That Kind of Girl” in print.
Over three years ago I was challenged to come up with a female, masked avenger type character. She was to have skills, assets and agents to rival the Shadow and be a somewhat larger than life hero. I was immediately intrigued by this idea and it seemed tailor-made for me. I have always loved the masked Pulp heroes with my favorite being the Shadow. Reading (and writing about) masked avengers has been fun and I have had a ball chronicling new adventures for Moon Man, Domino Lady and The Purple Scar but to have my own masked avenger to write about really got my creative side excited.
For weeks I researched and outlined the kind of hero (and stories) I wanted to write and came up with a template and cast of characters that I really felt at home with. From the beginning I decided that the adventures of my new character (I tentatively called her the Shrike) would need to be longer. !5K word stories just wouldn’t be enough. Novella or full length stories would be needed. Because, you see, I had decided that I would borrow a page from Walter Gibson’s style of writing. My hero’s agents would often have big parts to play in the stories. Often they would lead off the adventure with my mysterious hero hovering in the background, observing and manipulating events waiting for the time to intervene in a dramatic fashion. These kind of plots called for longer and more involved stories. On the plus side I got to write about a lot of other fun characters other than just my hero.
I also borrowed another idea for my hero. Anyone who reads my story will immediately notice that “Not that kind of Girl” is not an origin story. Despite it being the first appearance of my hero you will not learn a everything about her nor will you even learn her true identity. By the end of the story you will know a good bit about how the Shrike operates and have some idea of her skills and organization but there will be a lot of questions left unanswered. Who is the Shrike? How did she get to be what she is; and why? By the way, Shrike is not her only name. That’s just one of the names she has picked up along the way. Different characters (and opponents) will often call her different names. I believe heroes like this wouldn’t necessarily name themselves but often just acquire a name or names along the way.
This air of mystery is all intentional. The thing I loved most about the Shadow stories when I was growing up (and still do) is the wonderful air of mystery about the stories. Not just the plot but the mystery of just who and what the Shadow was kept me coming back for more. So if you like “Not That Kind of Girl” (and I hope a lot of people do) you’ll have to read her next adventure for clues as to who and what she is. Oh yes, more stories have already been written and more are on the way. Clues and reveals will be scattered through some (and perhaps) all of the Shrike stories I plan to write. Hey, if it worked for Gibson it ought to work for me . . . right?
As you can tell I’m pretty excited about this new novella. It’s one of my favorite works and I really enjoy writing her adventures. There will be more stories to come. I don’t know exactly where or when they will appear but I’ll find a way to get them into print.
So everyone should run right out and buy a copy of MM volume 5, I think you’ll like it. Oh, and there are a couple of really good stories in this volume along with mine. More reasons to get a copy.
I never get enough feedback on my work and encourage readers to write and let me know what they think. This goers double for “Not That Kind of Girl.” If you like the character or story write and let me know. If you don’t like it write me anyway. I’m gonna write more Shrike (The Arrow? The Archer?) stories and you might as well help make them better with some constructive criticism.
Finally, I hope readers of my story get as much pleasure out of reading it as I did writing it.
Oh . . . one last thing. A genuine No Prize (I have a couple left over from my Marvel fan days) goes out to the first reader who figures out what the Shrike carries at her waist. (Smile)