Nico Rosso is visiting the virtual offices today to chat about Ironheart, which is part of the Holding Out for a Hero. This superhero anthology is super fun, so if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend giving it a chance. To make it easy for you to get a copy, Nico brought along a digital copy for one of you to win!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Nico Rosso] I’m a romance writer married to another romance writer (Zoë Archer), and I’m happy to talk writing or whiskey or whatever else inspires.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Ironheart?
[Nico Rosso] Ironheart is the story of two superheroes, Vince “The Anvil” and Kara “SnapDragon” in a desperate fight. Yes, there is a super villain, but Vince and Kara’s real battle is for a second chance at romance. They had a brief fling that she cut off. Now she’s back, but for the right reasons?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Nico Rosso] I knew I wanted to explore the difference between a bad-boy hero and a newer heroine starting to learn what it is to fight crime with super powers. Vince needed to be a little rough around the edges, so the idea of a man who is harder than iron seemed natural. Giving Kara her powers from cosmic energy took her literally and figuratively off the earth, so at first, she would be less grounded and searching for herself.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Vince?
[Nico Rosso] Tough. Principled. Rough.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Kara had a theme song, what would it be?
[Nico Rosso] Fire Woman by The Cult. It has some lilting melodies, like she flies on her power wings, and the song also rocks hard, the way she fights when it’s all on the line.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Vince is never without.
[Nico Rosso] The Red Line, a small earpiece phone that connects all the members of the Heroes Guild.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Kara’s bedroom?
[Nico Rosso] A nightlight. Her cosmic energy glows red, so she can easily light up a room.
-A handgun. Even without her powers she’s a formidable fighter. With her power scales around her and linked together in a lashing whip, she is a living weapon.
-Plane tickets. She can gather her energy scales into wings and fly wherever she wants to go.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Vince’s greatest regret?
[Nico Rosso] Even though it was from circumstances out of his control, I think he will always be haunted by the fact that his parents didn’t live to see him saving the world.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Nico Rosso] I like to pull ideas from all kinds of sources, from observing people out on a date, to ancient myths, to fine art and photography. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so I try to keep my eyes open as much as I can.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Nico Rosso] I need inspiration, a hook or some way in to the piece I’m writing. It could be emotional, a interesting plot twist, or just a unique way of describing the environment.
-I guess I don’t need quiet, but I like it. I’ll often listen to music on headphones in order to keep the noise of the outside world out of my head.
-I need to eat. Usually I’ll write until I get hungry, break to eat, then write again.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Nico Rosso] Honestly, the last book I read that really floored me was my wife’s second Nemesis, Unlimited book Dangerous Seduction. I’m really lucky that I get to read her work months before it hits the shelves.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Nico Rosso] Because I grew up deep in movie culture, I came to reading late (except for reading comic books). I remember nearing the end of my college years and really being taken by the novel Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Nico Rosso] Usually, when I’m not writing, I like to be doing something physical or with my hands. Cooking or woodworking or hiking or photography.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Nico Rosso] I can be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nico_Rosso
-My Website: http://nicorosso.com
[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!
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About the book:
Scarlett Fever, by Christine Bell and Ella Dane
After five years in training, it’s finally time for Scarlett Fever and her fellow superheroes to leave the United Superhero Academy and test their powers out in the real world. There’s only one problem. She’s been assigned to partner with arrogant, by the book, and irritatingly hot, Blade of Justice.
Blade’s whole life has gone according to plan, and he’s more than ready to move on to the big time, protecting a metropolis of his own. But his perfectly ordered life is derailed when he’s teamed up with the fiery maverick, Scarlett Fever.
Sparks fly the moment they arrive in Plunketville, Oklahoma, as they each set out to force the other to request a transfer. They soon discover there’s more going on in this single stop-sign town than blowing up mailboxes and cow tipping. If Scarlett can get Blade to listen to his gut, and he can teach her to use her head, they just might have a fighting chance.
Ironheart, by Nico Rosso
Vince might be hard as steel, but he’s not invincible. Not when iron touches him, especially in the hands of an evil minion. Not when Kara ran away after a whirlwind affair, just when he thought he might be falling in love. And definitely not when she returns, looking for his help.
The archvillain TechHead is coming for Kara and her superhero teammates, and he’s determined to use their combined power to create the ultimate weapon. But Kara can’t fight him alone. She needs Vince’s brutal skill, though being with him means she risks losing her beloved secret identity, leaving her nowhere else to hide.
When TechHead makes a play to capture Kara, Vince has more to lose than just his heart. But he will do anything for the woman he loves, even if it means putting his heart on the line again.
Playing With Fire, by Tamara Morgan
Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket—even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhu¬man abilities. Fiona’s powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won’t be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant… and she’s hurt enough people already. Including herself.
But when the man behind her conversion returns to black¬mail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona’s M.O.
Ian is convinced Fiona’s dangerous, convinced she’s Fire¬ball, and convinced he’ll damn himself if he doesn’t resist a heat that’s always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame—but Ian has his own secrets.
And he’ll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.
From the Ashes, by Adrien-Luc Sanders
Sociopath. Killer. Deviant. Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called that and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded count¬less crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire.
Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford–antisocial graduate research¬er, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.
One kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges ev¬erything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. But when his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of hu¬mans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile deeper, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean–or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?