Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight and my first author spotlight on 2017! Today I have Samantha Bryant returning with her book, Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel, and a great guest post about growing up!
Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her secret superpower is finding lost things. When she’s not writing or teaching, Samantha enjoys time with her family, watching old movies, baking, reading, and going places. Her favorite gift is tickets (to just about anything).
She’s the author of Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel and the sequel sequel Change of Life, both available through Curiosity Quills Press. The three-quel will be out in summer 2017. You can find her on Twitter @mirymom1 or at her blog/website.
Connect with the Author
About the Book
Half women’s fiction, half action-adventure story, Going Through the Change is a new take on superheroes. The series dares to ask the question: what if the people with powers were grown women with careers, relationships, responsibilities, and families?
Keep reading for a guest post by the author:
Not a Girl Anymore
By Samantha Bryant
I’m not as young as I used to be. I guess it was bound to happen. It was either that or living fast, dying young, and leaving a beautiful corpse. Or vampirism, I suppose. I’m not really up for that—I like sunlight too much, and the “dying young” train has already zoomed past anyway, leaving me standing at the Middle Age station.
I don’t sit around mourning my youth all the time though. The only thing I really miss is the physical energy: the way I could stay up all night and survive the next day on coffee alone, or sleep in the back of my truck and still be able to turn my head in the morning.
There was a lot that didn’t suit me about being a girl: the uncertainty of it all. Top of the list was being underestimated. People assuming I couldn’t do something for myself or that I wouldn’t be interested. People thinking I was there as decoration or entertainment only. Being a woman means that if someone tries that, I call them on it. I speak up.
Like Bonnie Raitt, “I’ve been around the world/I’m a woman, not a girl!” And I’m so glad. I enjoy it.
Except when I read, watch TV or go to the movies. There, too many women heroes are eternally twenty-two, underdressed, unattached, childless, and only out for adventure. They’re so not me anymore. There have been some wonderful older women characters, but they are the exception in a world where the rule is young, svelte, and beautiful.
I live for characters like Judi Dench’s M, Helen Mirren’s Victoria, and Ming-Na Wen’s Agent May or The Calvary. Women with history and experience, treachery and expertise. I’ve been thrilled to see more of these women showing up on the imaginary hero landscape. Now, I want more women like that who also have people they love in their lives. There are plenty of loner heroes, not so many heroes with a family. At least we have Helen Parr, even if she still lets people call her girl.
Toni Morrison said, “If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” So, I did.
Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel is my attempt to show the heroism of grown women. Besides dealing with the sudden onset of superpowers, my characters are also facing conflicts in the rest of their lives: relationships, work, families, society. The main characters range in age from thirty-two to sixty-seven. One is a mother to young children, two to grown children. One is a grandmother. Two are horrified at the very prospect of children. They are diverse in other ways, too: attitudes towards love, money, careers, and race.
Writing this book was a delight, so much so that I’ve already written several more short stories, two novellas, a sequel and a three-quel for the characters (several of which are due out in the next year!). Superhero fiction has been a great venue for exploring what it means to be a female hero. I love speculative fiction for its ability to take on issues without feeling like you’re doing anything more than playing. Ideally, I want a fun story that leaves the reader thinking. I hope that’s what I’ve written: a thinking woman’s heroes.
As I say when I sign copies, “We are all of us heroes!” (some of us are just a little more literal about it).