Author: Michelle Levigne
It’s tough growing up a superhero when your powers are half-baked, there’s no training manual, costume, or cool name. Even so, Lanie and her friends must survive on-the-job training as guardians of the magical, mystical, and dangerous little town of Neighborlee.Tweet
Appreciating the Fun and Wonder of Life
Interview by Jenny Fulton
Michelle Levigne is a prolific, award-winning author with several fun degrees in theater, English, film/communication, and writing. In addition to her main genres of fantasy and science fiction, Michelle has also written and published work in the realms of romance, women’s fiction, suspense/cozy mysteries, YA, and middle grade. Her most recent release, Semi-Pseudo-Superheroes, is the 2nd book in the Neighborlee, Ohio series that, along with its sister books, is classified as humorous, contemporary Christian fantasy.
Michelle describes Semi-Pseudo-Superheroes as a “fill-in-the-blanks” inspired story.
“My first book about Lanie, my broken superhero, started several years after she ended up in a wheelchair. The revised version is now Book 4, Living Proof (that no good deed goes unpunished). I realized I needed to go backwards in time to write about how Lanie meets her other guardian friends and how they grow into their duties as guardians of the magical, mystical town of Neithborlee.”
“Did you pull from any personal life experiences as you wrote these books?” I asked.
“Well, not my personal life experiences, but I did pull from my brother’s. Lanie’s warped sense of humor is taken directly from my brother, Dean, who has been in a wheelchair all his life. Dean was a comedian for a while; Lanie is a comedienne. Your viewpoint gets truly warped when you’re going through life at doorknob level and, like Dean says, are “torn between two different role models for handicapped people: Tiny Tim or Igor.” Some weird stuff that happens to Lanie as a gimp happened to Dean. For instance: at one performance, the stage was two feet off the ground with no ramp. Some guys had to pick up Dean’s wheelchair, with him in it, and lift him onto the stage. They dropped him! While the audience was still stunned, he flashed his big Pac-Man grin and said (stealing from Kermit the Frog): “I hope you all appreciate the fact I do my own stunts.”
Rather than being driven by a deep, intentional theme or message, most of the Neighborlee books are, as Michelle says, “written for pure fun, as a romp, as an adventure and exploration.”
“People get silly and snarky and have some fun paybacks against the nasty people around them, but there’s no pervading purpose and lesson. At least, none that I intended to put in. Who knows what God is going to reveal through my fun stories.”
While Michelle doesn’t really think about or plan a theme as she writes, what she believes about life, truth, and the soul shines out through her characters’ reactions to situations and in the way they face crises.
“Lanie has her faith, despite her closest friends being unwilling to believe in God. At one point she even says to the audience that the same things that make her friends doubt (their half-baked superpowers, and all the magical, weird things that happen in Neighborlee) are proof for her, so she has to believe in God.”
“What do you hope readers come away with after reading your book?” I asked.
“Refreshment. Relaxation. Laughter. Escape. And a little stronger belief that magic and wonder still exist in this world. I hope they gain the assurance that no matter what happens, no matter what disasters strike, it’ll work out. It might not work out the way we want, but if we keep focused on making our Father proud of us, we’re going to be fine. For example, Lanie breaks her back saving someone’s life and ends up in a wheelchair, but she should have been paralyzed or died. I also want them to see that it’s okay if the good guys get snarky and want so bad to slap the brats upside the head …”
(Don’t we all wish we could do that sometimes?)
Book Blurb for Semi-Pseudo-Superheroes
High school is rough enough, but the town of Neighborlee, Ohio, has traditions that make it even harder — culminating in Senior Prank Night, when some seniors try to ensure they never walk through graduation. Lanie and her friends even have to cut short their own Senior Prank Nights to protect their classmates. It’s rough being a semi-pseudo-superhero, especially when you don’t even get a costume or a cool name.
Lanie and her friends grow into their duties as guardians. The threats to Neighborlee grow darker as enemies gather from many different directions. Other worlds. Other dimensions. Possibly even the Lost Kids who were stolen years ago. The guardians do whatever it takes to protect their home.
And sometimes the guardians pay the ultimate price.
Other Books and Series by Michelle Levigne:
- The Hunt: 5-book YA fantasy series
- Faxinor: 4 books and growing
- Wildvine: 14 books when all released
- Zygradon: 5-book Arthurian fantasy series
- Guardians of the Time Stream: 4-book series
- The Match Girls: Humorous inspirational romance series starting with A Match (Not) Made in Heaven
- Tabor Heights: 20-book inspirational small-town romance series.
- For Sale: Wedding Dress. Never Used: inspirational romance
- Sarai’s Journey: a 2-book series
- Quarry Hall: 11-book women’s fiction/suspense series
- Killing His Alter-Ego: contemporary romance/suspense, taking place in fandom.
- Crooked Creek: Fun Fables About Critters and Kids: Children’s short stories.
- Do Yourself a Favor: Tips and Quips on the Writing Life: a book of writing advice.
- The Commonwealth Universe: 25 books and growing
- AFV Defender: a 2-book (so far) science fiction adventure series
- Future Magic: a 2-book series
Connect with Michelle
Do you want to learn about upcoming books, book launch parties, inside information, and cover reveals? Go to Michelle’s website or blog to sign up.
You can also find Michelle at:
Look for Michelle’s Goodreads groups:
- Guardians of Neighborlee
- Voyages of the AFV Defender