Monday, October 28, 2013


Category: MG
Word count: 40,000

In Tim and the Caped Avenger, an imaginative boy tells thrilling superhero stories to his little brother, stories that help them cope with the loss of their father, MIA in Afghanistan. When Captain Spencer is found, alive but badly injured, Tim vows to complete a book of Caped Avenger stories for his dad’s return. To fight his own tendency to procrastinate, overcome barriers, and conquer “storyteller’s block,” Tim adopts a mantra: “What would the Caped Avenger do?”

Q1: In your MC's voice, what costumed character do you most relate to and why?
The Caped Avenger is my favorite superhero, and not just because I made him up. He has all these magical capes he uses to fight bad guys, like the Cape of Silence and the Cape of Invisibility and the Cape of Flight, and he's strong and brave, and he looks like my dad.

Q2: As an author, what makes your manuscript a tasty treat (unique/marketable)?
Since there will always be wars, there will always be kids with family members serving far from home, kids who need funny, high-energy books about kids like themselves who find innovative ways to cope, to carry on, and to rejoice when the separation is over. 

First 250:

Boris the Bomber chuckled over his evil design to destroy Washington, D.C. Little did he know that the Caped Avenger would soon foil his plan to blow up…

“Tim Spencer!”

Tim yanked himself back from the bomber’s lair to his fifth-grade classroom.

His teacher stood beside him with arms folded. He frowned. “Tim, you were daydreaming again. I asked about your favorite fictional character. Do you have one?”

“The Caped Avenger,” Tim blurted out. He clamped his hand over his mouth, as if he could stuff the words back in. His superhero was too private to talk about at school.

“The Caped Avenger?” Mr. Callen raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Tell us about him.”

Tim glanced around. Everyone stared at him, waiting. Someone tap-tapped a pencil as if counting seconds. Matt’s round face wore his “I know something you don’t know” grin.

Tim’s words tumbled out. “The Caped Avenger fights evil. Like the time Boris the Bomber threatened to blow up the Capitol with his humongous hidden laser gun.”

“Sounds serious,” his teacher said.  “What did the Caped Avenger do?”

“He hovered in his Cape of Flight and attached a special mirror to the Capitol dome. The mirror reflected the laser back at the bad guy,” Tim said. “He sizzled away in smoke.” 

Matt called, “I’d like to see that book.”  His eyes gleamed.

“Everyone would like to see it,” Mr. Callen said. “Bring it in tomorrow, Tim.”

Oh, no. A shiver went down Tim’s back. He knew why Matt had grinned.


  1. Air Force brat here;) My dad was in the gulf war when I was in those MG years so this really reached out to me as one I want to share with my boys. And big brother being kind to little brother with a story? We need role models like this too.