Monday, March 23, 2015
Bill O'Lannerman didn't know what he was getting into when he started dating a psychic named Lynn Woodslink. Childish, self-centred and kinda nuts, Lynn can read his every thought and move solid objects with her mind. When he broke up with her, she used those powers to put him in a world of pain. Aided by a club of spellcasting gamers, Bill struggles to survive the fury of his girlfriend scorned.
I had the inspiration for this story after watching a turkey turd of a movie called My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson, it was about a guy who dates and then breaks up with a superhero named G-Girl. She uses her powers to take revenge on him, smashing his house, boiling his fish, putting his car into orbit, etc... until he finally apologizes for hurting her feelings. It rubbed me the wrong way - why was he apologizing to her?!?
Sure, it was just a movie, and a comedy to boot (just not a funny one). But it got to me, especially when I read some of the women-written reviews. They seemed to think it was a good thing when Uma’s character repeatedly smashed through the roof of his house. And when she threw a live great white shark at him? You go girl! If only all women everywhere could throw sharks at their exes. Wouldn’t that be great?!?
I didn’t think so, for personal reasons. I once asked a woman out to the movies, on what I assumed was a date. She emailed me back to inquire about showtimes, then added, “but don’t get your hopes up, because I already have a boyfriend!” I was upset - I’d thought I’d been pretty clear I was asking her out, and I thought the “don’t get your hopes up” bit was rather arrogant. I didn’t respond, and two days later I got another email from her. My lack of response had pissed her off, and she let me know it in colourful detail before signing off with “I guess all men really do want just one thing!”
Now I was pissed. I called a mutual friend to bitch about it, and he told me everything would be okay once I apologized to her.
Wait, what? She insulted me, I pointed out, and I have to say sorry to her?!? Yeah, my friend told me. You didn’t respond to her email, and that hurt her feelings.
So when I saw a movie in which a guy had to apologize to the woman who’d thrown a shark at him because he’d hurt her feelings? Yeah, it struck a nerve. I wanted to create a story similar to Super-Ex - a guy breaks up with a girl with superpowers, and she punishes him with those powers - but I wanted to tell it my way. And hopefully made a point or two about the way pop culture views male-female relationships. Apoca-Lynn is the result.
Yes, I’m aware that, oppression-wise, women have been given the short end of the proverbial stick for centuries. Yes, I know the media often portrays women and girls as sex objects with unrealistically thin bodies. I am a feminist, and view sexism as an evil that society should have grown out of by now.
But that doesn’t mean I should have to apologize to someone who hurt/insulted me. I think that holds true for all genders.
Of course, just because it touches upon some serious issues, don’t go thinking that Apoca-Lynn is some deep, message-laden manifesto! There are jokes aplenty, more per square inch of page than Evil & The Cupid War. It’s my favourite genre - far-fetched YA - and I’m in my element. It’s also a 1st person POV, a choice that was easy to make for this story. As with Evil?, it just fits.
I have high hopes for Apoca-Lynn. I’ve already started writing a sequel, Armagge-Dawn. If all goes well, I’ll have that one done and up on Smashwords in a year, maybe a year and a half. For now, enjoy this first Bill O’Lannerman tall tale. Here's the link for pre-sales - may it fill you with mirth. Unless of course you don’t find that sort of thing funny. That would be unfortunate, but don’t expect an apology.