Looking back and looking ahead

Reviewing 2014 and previewing 2015 – A letter from LHP CEO Ian Thomas Healy

(tl;dr version)

(the long, much more interesting version below:)

Hello, friends!

It’s been an amazing year here at Local Hero Press, LLC, and I have a lot to go over with you, so buckle up!

For starters, we released two novels in the Just Cause Universe in 2014: Jackrabbit and Champion. Both were received very well and came strong out of the gate, which means there’s plenty more superheroes in store for you in the future. Champion represents the finale of what we call the Mustang Sally Trilogy, which chronicles heroine Mustang Sally’s growth from untested rookie to full-fledged superhero. That trilogy consists of Just Cause, The Archmage, and Champion. While you don’t need to read the JCU books in any particular order, as each is a self-contained story, those three definitely form a long story arc.

2014 also saw the release of Making the Cut, a mainstream Young Adult/New Adult title that combines a reality TV show with two girls’ love of cooking and cuisine. If you are in the habit of watching Food Network more than you ought to, or maybe just have a predilection for Chopped!, you may want to check out this one. We guarantee that if nothing else, it will make you hungry.

In the spring of this past year, a ragtag group of rebels superhero fiction authors formed an impromptu Guild called the Pen & Cape Society, dedicated to the promotion of superhero fiction as a genre and cross-promotion of each others’ work. To that end, Local Hero published an anthology of stories by several of those authors called The Good Fight, which showcases some great tales, including an all-new Mustang Sally short story that is a direct tie-in to the next JCU book in the pipeline (more on this soon).

Last but certainly not least, Local Hero grew in another important area. We are pleased to welcome our newest teammate, Managing Editor Alicia Howie. She will be helping take the company in some exciting directions over this coming year, and we couldn’t be happier to have her under our aegis.

Let’s now shift our focus to the coming year, and what kind of things you can expect from Local Hero Press in 2015.

Later this winter, you’ll get the JCU Omnibus, Volume 2, which will contain several new short stories that expand and deepen the Just Cause Universe.

In the spring, you’ll get the seventh (!) book in the immensely popular superhero fiction series The Just Cause Universe, called Castles. Castles represents a major change to the structure and direction of the JCU. Set in early 2009 in the first days of President Barack Obama’s administration, the Parahuman Resources Agency expands Just Cause into several additional teams spread across the country, and none other than Mustang Sally is tasked with the leadership of Just Cause: New York. It’s the first time Just Cause has had a presence in New York City since 2001. Not everyone is happy about the changes in the world of parahumans, and an old foe returns to try to shut down JCNY before Sally barely gets her feet wet in her new leadership role.

In the fall, we’ll return to the prior incarnation of Just Cause established in Day of the Destroyer with a solo Lionheart tale that follows him to Hong Kong in 1980 in an homage to the great martial arts films of the ’70s and ’80s in The Lion and the Five Deadly Serpents.

We already have the next three books in the series planned beyond that, so you can count on more Just Cause Universe stories coming your way at least through the beginning of 2017.

Another Pen & Cape Society anthology is on the way for early spring, called The Good Fight 2: Villains. Additionally, Local Hero Press will be opening to submissions for an all-new anthology of superhero fiction this spring for publication later in the year, so sharpen up your pencils and polish your word processing keys.

We’re looking to have a presence at some regional conventions in 2015. We’ll let you know when and where we will be. There are other projects in the pipeline, but it’s either too early or too much of a secret to tell you about them right now. Stay tuned to this channel!

Ian Thomas Healy, CEO, Local Hero Press, LLC