experience, attitude, enthusiasm, and boundless optimism


Powerless3There’s a great scene in the Steve Martin classic movie The Jerk where he exclaims “The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!” — because, you see, the new edition of the phone book has his name in it, and therefore proves he’s made it. He’s somebody.

Well, I think every author has that “The new phone book’s here!” moment when their debut novel arrives, at long last, in their hands. Heck, agents get it too. Today, for instance, I am sitting here with a shiny, brand spankin’ new copy of Powerless by Matthew Cody, and I couldn’t be happier.

I can’t wait until the book is officially released on October 27th, and I get to share this feeling with the world.

And speaking of sharing things with the world, Powerless got a Kirkus review!

Resembling a Golden Age comic without the pictures, this tale pits a group of small-town children with superpowers—call them “preteen titans”—against a shadowy menace that robs them of those powers on their 13th birthdays. Coming to town with his family to care for his dying grandma, Daniel quickly spots his neighbor Mollie and her friends performing incredible feats. Soon he’s in their confidence, as they demonstrate combinations of super-speed, super-strength, enhanced senses and the ability to turn invisible. All of them can also hear the clock ticking, however. Gifted not with superpowers but a sharp mind and a fondness for Sherlock Holmes stories, Daniel sets out to discover how and why his new friends, like generations of their predecessors, are being robbed of their abilities. Where those abilities come from never enters in, but the obligatory wily supervillain does, leading to a titanic climactic battle. Cody wears his influences on his sleeve, but has some fun with them (one lad’s “power” is a super-stench) and crafts a tribute that, unlike M.T. Anderson’s Whales On Stilts (2005), is more admiring than silly.

I’d debate that “where those abilities come from never enters in,” but by and large, I’m thrilled. I especially love the comparison to M.T. Anderson, a National Book Award-winning author.

So that’s my “The Jerk” moment. What’s your favorite Steve Martin movie?

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