• Belly Laughs & Books

    by  • September 27, 2012 • From the Editor

    We’ve been a little quiet this summer, and we apologize. But–have you seen the Cobalt City Double Feature? Because shazam! It’s an awesome two-for-one novella pack, including lots of Cobalt City superheroes written by Erik and Minerva.

    I often edit in coffeeshops, and (true story) I got kicked out of one because I was laughing too hard at Erik Scott de Bie’s “Eye for an Eye,” featuring the redoubtable Stardust and the ravishing Lady Vengeance. If you know me, you know that when I really get laughing, I kind of sound like a performing seal. That’s the laugh I’m talking about. The section that required me to edit in the audience-less safety of my home involves this scene with Stardust out of the mask, in his family/dad persona of Jaccob, with his daughter Chuck:

    “Interesting how fashion is cyclical,” Jaccob said when she came out of the store with two black plastic bags. “Goth was the look when I was young, too.”

    “It’s not a look,” Chuck said. “I’m just wearing my feelings on the outside.”

    “Uh huh.” His phone buzzed. “Hang on a second.”

    He rolled up his sleeve to check his HUD, but the call hadn’t come through there.

    Huh. He had to pick up his phone and check the read-out, which listed a phone number: an old school page. “That’s funny…”

    “Dad, you’re doing that thing again,” Chuck said.

    “What thing?” Jaccob asked.

    “That thing where you have to check every single doohickey you carry around.”

    “I am not.” Jaccob took his hand out of his coat pocket, where he’d been reaching to check his police scanner or music player (he hadn’t decided which to use first).

    Just so you know, there is lots and lots of over-the-top action, superheroes, fighting and villainy. But as you can see, this novella’s also hilarious.

    Later, in another everyone’s-typing-silently coffeeshop, while working on Minerva Zimmerman’s “The Place Between,” there’s this one scene–when you read it you’ll know–involving a roller derby competition. And scattered throughout that scene are references to the roller derby team and individual names. At first, I was just snorting. But then I went into full-fledged giggling. And shortly, I was asked to quiet my performing seal belly laugh again, which was impossible, so I had to leave. I can’t share that scene with you–too many spoilers–but here’s a hint, roller derby stats sheet on a character:

    Cleopatra Thunder

    • Position(s): Coach: Glass-Eyed Roller Dolls, Blocker: Disco Valkyries
    • Height: 5’6″
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: Lightning before the Thunder
    • Injuries Sustained: Bruises, Rink Rash, Broken Ribs, Sprained Shoulder

    Bio: Cleopatra Thunder was born with roller skates on her feet. Perhaps because of this, she was left abandoned in a basket outside a Roller Rink. The rink staff raised her as well as they were able, making a bed between the racks of rental skates. As soon as the young Cleo saw Roller Derby, she knew what she’d been born to do.

    See what I mean? You’d get kicked out too, wouldn’t you? “The Place Between” features a young woman coming to terms with being the avatar of Thor, looking for help in all the mythical places and keeping up with her day job at the roller rink at the same time.

    If you’re inspired, you can pick up this e-book, containing both novellas, at Amazon or via this here website.

    So, anyway–here’s my point: Cobalt City Double Feature is hilarious. It’s also fierce, and there are some truly epic battles that take place. But I take my hat off to Erik and Minerva for being witty wordsmiths who got their editor kicked out of two coffeeshops.

    Agree? Disagree? Got your own laughing story? Let us know in a review or a comment!

    Tags: cobalt city, double feature, erik scott de bie, minerva zimmerman, novellas


    I got my first red pen at the age of nine, editing for a neighbor's grant publications. Little did she know she'd created a professional nitpicker, someone who would later mark up paperbacks and mail them to the publisher with tsk-tsk notes. Making stories better makes me happy.