Despite creating Write Steve Write originally as a place for me to splurge my thoughts, ideas, frustrations (so…many…frustrations), and progression with my book, Temporary, I am fully aware that one thing I haven’t really gone out of the way to do is explain what the book is actually about.
Call it self preservation or, probably more accurately, a petulant, irrational, fear over idea stealers, it’s an element I haven’t really opened up about. I’ve made allusions to certain key elements, including the odd morphic resonance of my main character’s moniker being KO, much like current NXT champion Kevin Owens (this, unlike the amount of calculated references I’ve purposefully put into the book, was an unintentional coincidence), but have mainly detailed the hopefully never ending journey that is my writing, and rewriting, process – loving, and hating in equal measure the words that all add up to a complete manuscript, held together as it is with a DIY, punk rock, attitude, long days, duct tape, and copious amounts of coffee.
Seriously, just hook it into my veins at this point.
But, what is Temporary actually about?
Well, it’s a story about superheroes; it’s an exploration into powers and yet, first and foremost, it’s a story about choice.
Which brings me onto the Bromley Batman.
The Bromley Batman is a regular person like you and me, who has decided to don the proverbial cap and cowl (though he doesn’t actually wear a cape and cowl) in order to combat injustice and crime in and around his area.
Normal people suiting up and becoming real life superheroes isn’t something new, as attested to by the HBO documentary, rather originally titled: Superheroes (I can only guess that the regular guy for naming things at HBO was on holiday), but there’s an amazing cross section within our society consisting of brave (crazy?) men and women, people who are willing to don costumes to help their community simply because they want to do the right thing.
This is a core concept with Temporary, and is one of the initial main motivators for our protagonists Kenny Orton and Gray Matthews. What does it mean to actually suit up and decide to try and help, to attempt to do something to contribute, rather than sitting on the sideline wondering ‘what if’.
With this in mind, you can imagine my surprise when I first stumbled across these recent news articles about a costumed vigilante, calling himself The Shadow, having been initially coined the Bromley Batman by the lazy media (fittingly, the relationship between media and Superheroes is an element that I explore within Temporary) operating in and around South East London, extending his patrols into Central London itself – China Town, specifically, according to this article by the News Shopper, and another by The Standard. Described as “bearded”, he is, by his own guarded words, “younger than 50 and older than 25”, and fights crime with a bandana over his lower face (though don’t ask me how people know he’s get a beard if he’s covering his face…), a la the character where he took his namesake: The Shadow. This guy also apparently holds down a day job whilst shouldering the societal responsibility of helping his fellow citizen, patrolling most nights. And so the question ultimately becomes: why?
I’d love to know more about The Shadow’s reasons behind doing what he’s doing, given the real risks that he faces in doing so. The pull of doing the right thing, of wanting to help and contribute to our society can be a strong one and are all layers I wanted to explore, which is why I took fingers to keyboard (note: not pen to paper) in the first place – a choice I stand by, rather than pulling on the tights myself!
So, Shadow, if you happen to stumble across this somehow, I’d love to hear from you and know more about what’s motivating you and, if not, that’s cool too, I look forward to hopefully hearing more about your endeavours in the future.
I hope you dig the sound of my book, Temporary, and genuinely hope you will Follow Write Steve Write as I continue to rewrite it and, eventually, try to get the damned thing published!
In the mean time: what are your thoughts on real life Superheroes, or are YOU a real life Superhero? I’d love to know! Shout out below and, who knows, it could well end up in my manuscript in some way!