Author John David Anderson

Interviewing John David (he prefers “Dave”) Anderson was fun – I read his novel, STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR prior to meeting him, and I really enjoyed it! It is a fun read, and for an official review, I had my 13 year old son read it, he loved it, and is waiting for a sequel! (Dave, ahem! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!)

Dave’s books can be found on Amazon.com!

KR: I see a trend in SIDEKICKED and with Standard Hero Behavior that the main character thinks of himself as an unlikely hero – (is this the case with MINION, too? I haven’t read it yet) How do you see these characters? Let’s start with Mason is SHB.

JDA: Heroism is often a function of circumstance rather than superpower. I think all of my novels question what it means to be heroic, though some, like STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR, are more tongue-in-cheek about it. I think that’s why I enjoy superhero stories–because they allow us to explore the contrasts between the human and superhuman, to see (and relate to) the potential flaws in even our most idyllic figures. Mason Quayle finds himself in a situation that requires him to be heroic and struggles to rise to the occasion. Andrew Bean has the makings of a hero–the code, the costume, the powers–but just wearing a mask isn’t enough. SIDEKICKED is full of heroes with ulterior motives, and I think, its this question of motive that makes the exploration of heroism so interesting. My latest novel, MINION, actually explores it from the other side–questioning whether someone clearly planted on the wrong side of the law can still be considered heroic–and, again, I think it comes down to a question of motivation and world view. What do you have that’s worth fighting for?

KR: What elements from the universe you use as the setting for MINION and SIDEKICKED that you wish existed on Earth?

JDA: The moments I like best in those novels are the mundane ones, actually. Drew cheating on a math test. Conversations on the bleachers behind the school. Meeting a girl at the mall. To be honest, I’m glad we don’t live in Metropolis or Gotham or any place where capes and masterminds take to the skies to duke it out. If we did, I would undoubtedly be one of the bystanders, probably the guy who gets stepped on by a giant robot.

That said, it is a lot of fun creating a universe where the ordinary and extraordinary have so much interplay. You see the latest Marvel blockbuster, and for the most part, it’s nonstop, popcorn-munching action. Not always a lot of quiet moments. I like my universe to be more balanced. Quiet, with the occasional supernova thrown in to shake things up.

KR: In MINION and SIDEKICKED you have contrasting narrators: Drew is a hero, albeit a flawed one. Michael is a villain, though equally reluctant, it seems, to embrace that identity. Which character do you identify more with?

JDA: I’m a do-gooder at heart. For all of his flaws and trust issues, Drew is an upstanding character. He faces familiar coming-of-age obstacles–identity issues, daddy issues, girl problems, escaped henchmen trying to knock his head off–but as I was writing his story there was never a doubt in mind that he would (try to) do the right thing at the end. Michael, on the other hand–I had no idea what he was going to do. The act of writing the novel was an act of exploration, attempting to pinpoint his motives, watching him evolve, to create a values system that works somewhat outside of society’s norm. So I guess I’m more like Drew, but there’s a part of me that finds Michael a lot more compelling.

KR: What’s next? A return to the world of superheroes?

JDA: A return to the world of fantasy, actually. Stuttering mages. Barbarians that faint at the sight of blood. Goblin turncoats. And a protagonist who is short a finger but finds its easier to pick pockets that way. Look for The Dungeoneers next summer (2015).

Scott and Aunna Fadness, Soon to be the First Mayor of Fishers, and First Time Parents

First Family PhotoIt is refreshing to interview a politician and sense that “I could be friends with these people”, as is the case with Scott and Aunna. They are warm, inviting, fun, and shockingly normal. Let’s hope the office of Mayor does not jade them!

A funny story that was shared that didn’t make the article: Like any couple expecting their first child, there is a lot of preparation. One Saturday, Aunna was away for the day and Scott decided he would be useful and paint the baby’s room. (Let me stop here and add that Scott knows everything about how to run a farm, having grown up on one. Once he enters a home, however, the expertise abruptly ends at the threshold.) They had the paint, it just needed to be applied to the walls. Scott had watched the professional painters change the wall color in several other rooms in their home, so how hard could it be, right? Scott went to the Do-It Center to pick up the needed accoutrements and went to work. When Aunna got home he told her to go look in the baby’s room. She ascended the stairs with trepidation  Reaching the doorway of their baby’s room, she stood there and cried. For there was not only paint on the walls, but also on the carpet, ceiling, and trim. Before she came back downstairs, Aunna placed a desperate 911 call their painter to COME AND FIX IT!

First Family 5

Every couple has a story like this one, where boundaries are set, rules are created, and limitations discovered. One of my favorite stories of my husband’s household handiness is a plumbing episode from our condo in Broad Ripple. We had a drip in the master shower that was slowly getting worse and making me crazy. It had progressed to the point that I had to close the bathroom door at night. After insisting that he could fix it, and after dropping hints that I should just call a plumber, he finally took the initiative to tackle it, on Thanksgiving Day…

I was very pregnant with child #2, and our oldest was 3.5 years old. The shower was a standup, stall shower that I could barely fit into being 8 months pregnant. As he popped off the nob, it unexpectedly burst forth, pinning him against the opposing wall, shooting out cold water at his chest like a fire hydrant. His arms and legs are spastically moving all around as he is screaming. I enter the bathroom to see what is going on and started laughing to the point of tears. It was the funniest visual and situational comedic event I have ever seen that wasn’t on a movie screen. Our daughter enters and starts crying because she thinks I am crying, due to the tears of laughter streaming down my face.

By 2pm on Thanksgiving Day, every plumber in central Indiana is relaxing on a La-Z-Boy in a tryptophan-induced coma drinking beer. Being forced to shut off the water main for our entire building until the next day did not win us any points with our neighbors. Lesson learned: call a professional!

View the Geist article here:

Kara Kavensky

Kara Kavensky