From Seeds to Superheroes: The Ideas that Created The CASE Files
I started writing The Color of Courage, the first book in The CASE Files trilogy, long before the latest wave of superhero movies and TV shows. Spider-Man was really the only one that had real-world problems back then. I wanted to write about superheroes whose biggest issues weren’t hiding their identities from friends and enemies alike. (And yeah, this was before Iron Man declared himself at a press conference! LOL) The world of entertainment caught up to me long ago, but I think I still managed to maintain some unique elements in this series. 🙂
The Color of Courage started with the catalyst for a breakup. ““If I can feel this way about another woman, it says something about our future, you know? Yours and mine.” That was all I had. A cool idea, but just a tiny one. The breakup had to have greater significance to Daley, my heroine, so she became an empath. Her superpower is seeing emotions. Except she can’t see emotions that relate to her, which makes her life complicated.
With book 2, The Light of Redemption, I had the title first. That meant the heroine’s ability had to be manipulating light. I knew I wanted to set this in a small town, which meant the enemies – and the stakes – were going to be really personal. But having more than a tiny seed of an idea didn’t make the story any easier to write. There was a lot of dormancy between all the watering and fertilizing and midnight brainstorms. 🙂
By the time I got to my new release, The Reflection of Hope, I knew what the story was going to be. CASE (the Citizens Against Superhero Existence) had played a peripheral role in the first two books, and the third book had to take them down. And Evan, who lost his sister in book 1 and played a small but significant role in book 2, had to be the one to do it. That was way more than I had for either of the first two books. But the heroine had to take center stage, and I knew nothing about her.
Once I started writing, though, Ripley was immediately a whole person. I didn’t know her full backstory, not until she started revealing it to others. And a really big part of it, she didn’t even know herself. The journey of discovery was one of the most fun I’ve had, and I think the result is one of my best-written books ever.
Ripley and Evan can’t be together until their emotional journeys are complete, and those are tied tightly with the goal of stopping CASE from destroying all the superheroes in the country. People who mean a great deal to Evan and Ripley. People who deserve to keep living the happiness they achieved in The Color of Courage and The Light of Redemption.
I am so excited to have this final book out in the world, and I hope my readers love it as much as I do!
The Color of Courage
The Light of Redemption
The Reflection of Hope
One thought on “Guest Author: Natalie J. Damschroder”
Thanks so much for having me today!