Message From The Author

Author's Message

Facebook is full of wonderful memes. My favorite says, “I’m a writer. What’s your superpower?”

If being able to create our own worlds and the people in them isn’t a superpower, I don’t know what is. Like all good superheroes, we also get to right wrongs, bring the bad guys to justice, and make things turn out satisfactorily in the end.

The idea of superpowers was on my mind when I began writing Birthright. As my novels often do, it started with a ‘what-if’ moment when I imagined a group of aliens called beacons who live among us with superpowers of their own. Not the kind that lets them leap tall buildings, but more subtle abilities that aren’t immediately obvious. Elaine is a watcher who sees events happening over unimaginable distances, even on other planets if she chooses. Garrett, a listener, hears distant sounds. But missing from their team is the messenger needed to link the aliens with their homeworld.

Elaine and Garrett are second-generation beacons who’ve inherited their powers from their parents. In Garrett’s case, his father has convinced himself that his superpowers are drunken delusions, forcing his son to cope with his abilities on his own. We writers have a not-dissimilar challenge. Even if you’re born with storytelling ability, you must learn to control your powers, to become an effective writer. This is an easier and less solitary task with the global writing community only a tweet or a Facebook post away.

One superpower I really value is being able to make my characters fall in love. Birthright may involve what a friend calls “aliens and evil astronauts,” but there are romantic conflicts too, between former police officer turned deputy governor, Shana Akers and Adam Desai, the scientific genius who has challenged her mind and emotions for years. When Shana finds out that a space shuttle about to be launched from her island home may have a secret agenda, she has to work with Adam to deal with the threat. Adam is a truly self-made man. Found adrift at sea as a baby, he knows nothing about his origins until Elaine and Garrett compel him to confront the truth about his past.

Under the writer’s superhero code, I can’t say more without spoilers, but I can promise that I use my powers to provide an uplifting ending. And I can reveal that the beacons will continue their adventures in two related novels now in the works.

One more superpower must be engaged to make a writer’s words come to life. That is, of course, the power to read. Whether it’s on an ebook, smart phone, iPad or printed page doesn’t really matter. I hope you agree with me that reading is the most extraordinary superpower of them all.

- Valerie Parv

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