Saturday, March 30, 2013

Giveaway, Interview, & Sneak Peek Excerpt From SIDEKICK THE MISADVENTURES OF THE NEW SCARLET KNIGHT By Pab Sungenis


by Pab Sungenis
Publish date: March 12, 2013 by Month9Books, LLC

Bobby Baines is in high school, which is bad enough. But things go from bad to worse when his hero, Scarlet Knight, dies. Bobby is forced to take up his mantel, becoming the new Scarlet Knight. Only Scarlet Knight never had to deal with eeking out a passing grade in math, keeping his fellow sidekicks in check, or stopping a giant squid from bearing down on his high school and crushing everyone inside. All this while trying to get the girl! It’s going to take a lot more than a cape, sword and fancy watch to fill Scarlet’s Knight’s shoes. After all, Bobby Baines is no super hero, he’s a Sidekick!


Born in the swamps of Southern New Jersey, Pab Sungenis developed a childhood fascination with cartooning and drew a daily strip for his own amusement for two years before realizing he couldn’t draw. He wound up in broadcasting, worked for numerous stations including WSBU, WOND, WMGM, WSKR, WBNJ, WWBZ, and WKTU. He describes his drawing ability as like that of “a mentally challenged rhinoceros on a Ny-Quil bender”, but thanks to the wonders of photo-manipulation and computer image editing, on February 8, 2006 he found himself creating The New Adventures of Queen Victoria, which has appeared ever since, first on, and now in online syndication with Pab Sungenis is available for quotes, signings, video or podcast appearances, and all opportunities relative to SIDEKICK: THE MISADVENTURES OF THE NEW SCARLET KNIGHT.

Check out the cool excerpt!

Excerpt Four

I don’t think I’d ever changed into costume so quickly. Of course, part of that was probably due to where I changed—the construction site porta-john across the street from the school, and the nearest place I could get any degree of privacy. Trust me, that odor was all the inspiration I needed to change clothes as fast as I could and signal for an emergency teleport to wherever I was being summoned. Getting away from that stench was worth the agony of being yanked apart and slammed back together in Professor Smith’s office.
            A few glances around the office, however, and I wished I was back in the porta-john. I’ll spare you the description.
            Paragon and Mister Mystery were already on-site, collecting data. Paragon was using that intensive vision thing of his, trying to spot any microscopic details as to the perpetrator’s identity, while Mystery was doing a medical work-over of what was left of the Professor. I tried to take in as much of the situation as I could, but with the two of them on the job, I would just be in the way. When Clytemnestra and Prism jumped in a moment after I had, they seemed to come to the same conclusion and just stood back. Morgaine followed a couple of minutes after, and, without even bothering to speak with anyone else in the room, set right to casting spells to try and reveal the identity of the murderer or reconstruct the crime a bit. It was the same basic procedure they’d followed a month before at the scene of Uncle Jack’s murder.
            That was when I finally broke the silence in the room. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have asked for details like who found the body, what we knew already, and so on. But those were the furthest things from my mind. “Has anyone told Tommy?”
            Clytemnestra and Prism gasped in horror, not because I’d been so bold as to ask the question, but because neither of them had thought of it first. Mystery answered me. “I sent Shadow to take care of it.” That was a relief. Tommy wasn’t as tight with the Professor (who actually was his uncle) as I had been with Uncle Jack, but I was certain he would be taking it hard and would have been devastated if word of the death had come from a disinterested party, or worse, the six o’clock news.
            “You discovered the body?”
            “Yes,” Mystery said while still not turning his attention away from the job at hand. “He managed to push his panic button, which rang down in Headquarters. I called Paragon and teleported here right away, but as you can see, I was too late.” He pulled out a little digital-voice recorder. “Apparent time of death: 9:32 AM, Mountain Standard Time.” That made it official. By the end of the day, the signature of Dr. Lawrence McBride would grace Professor Seth Smith’s death certificate, the same way it graced Jack Horner’s. A cover story would be worked up, and no one beyond the six of us would ever know what really happened. Assuming we could figure out what had really happened.
            Mystery narrated his findings into the recorder, and Paragon completed his scans. “Lots of DNA scattered around here. I’ve ignored any that looked like it came off us.” It impressed and disturbed me that he had apparently not only scanned all the Justice Federation’s genetic signatures but also committed them to memory. “I imagine the rest belong to his students. Far too many people have been in and out of this room over the past few days to really nail anything down. If one of his students did this, then we might never figure out which one it was.”
            “I seriously doubt any of his students could have pulled this off,” I said, surveying the damage to the body and surrounding room. “Unless one of them is in our league, and we don’t know about them yet.”
            “Is there any kind of marker you’ve seen before? Anything that would point to someone we’ve dealt with in the past?” Clytemnestra always knew which questions to ask. If it weren’t for the strength, agility, and other stuff, her inquisitive mind would have been enough of a super power to put her on the team, as far as I was concerned. “Especially anything that would suggest someone from Mr. Zip’s rogues gallery?”
            “Not really,” Paragon continued. “There’s some microscopic scorching on the carpet that suggests friction burns, but that sort of comes par for the course with a speedster. Zip probably caused them himself sometime in the past.”
            “Do we have a clue how they got in or out?” Prism asked.
            “Not that I see. The door was locked from the inside when I teleported in. Mystery insists he didn’t lock it, so it was either the killer or Seth himself. I can’t figure out how the killer escaped, either. It’s like they vanished.”
            Not something I wanted to hear, but a definite clue. “Any residual smoke in the room?” I asked.
            Paragon looked at me, confused. “A little bit. I thought it might have been tobacco smoke. Is it significant?”
            “Well, it sort of confirms who did this, doesn’t it?”
            This time, everyone stared at me. Even Mystery stopped dictating his notes and observations and turned to look at me.
“Isn’t it obvious? It’s Uncle Jack’s killer.”
            “Jack’s killer?” Prism choked on those two words. “How can you be so sure?”
            “Oh come on, you mean you five haven’t figured out …” Their dumbfounded looks, which were running the risk of turning into angry glares, told me they certainly hadn’t figured out anything. I sighed. “He didn’t tell you, did he?” Then I panicked. “He never told you! He …” I ran across to the desk where the two of us had examined the video the day before.
            The portable hard drive was gone.
            “No.” I threw myself into the Professor’s desk chair so hard I nearly skidded across the room and had to grab the edge of the desk to steady myself. I quickly searched through what would have been the obvious places for him to stash copies of the footage on his computer. They were all empty.
            “NO!” I shouted as I ripped the desk apart, hoping to find he’d stashed the drive somewhere in a drawer to keep it safe. No such luck. I would have smashed the lock off the filing cabinet and searched those drawers if my sword hadn’t been locked up in my ex-principal’s office, halfway across the country. I was thinking about trying it with my bare hands when Prism put her hand on my shoulder.
            “Bobby, what’s going on?”
            “He never told any of you. He didn’t say anything. And now it’s gone. The only evidence I had is gone and none of you …”
            “Bobby, take a deep breath.”
I did as Prism told me and somehow managed to pull myself back together.
“Now, please tell me what you’re talking about,” she said.
            “I don’t know exactly who killed Mr. Zip, but I think I know why.”

Me: So, Pab, what inspired this story?
Pab: You never know what will trigger it. Sometimes it’s a word. Sometimes it’s a scent. In this case, it was an image that popped into my head.
Me: Can you tell us what your journey to publication was like for SIDEKICK THE MISADVENTURES OF THE NEW SCARLET KNIGHT?
Pab: In the fall of 2009 I was gearing up for another stab at National Novel Writing Month, an annual exercise during which participants set out to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I was going through my stack of ideas, trying to decide what I would take a stab at that year, when a completely new thought entered my head unbidden. I pictured a book cover with a classic superhero costume lying on the floor. Behind it, some kind of helmet. In front of it, a pair of high top sneakers.
                I quickly pulled out a fresh sheet of paper and started scribbling the basic outline for a story I called Squire, based on the name I’d planned to give the sidekick of a superhero an old writing buddy and I had come up with a couple of years before when writing a failed TV pilot based on a hero’s home life.
                I started writing, on schedule, on November 1st, 2009. Twenty-eight days later, I had a 68,000 word manuscript in my hands. I’d written my story in (for me) record time.
                I sat down and re-read what I’d written; jotting some notes in the margins for minor modifications I thought would be needed. Overall, I was very happy and had a sneaking suspicion that I had something special.
                Sadly, I was the only one who thought that.
                “Please don't take this rejection as a comment on your writing ability, because it isn't intended to be one….” That was a typical response I received. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to consider your work, but I'm sorry to say that I'm going to pass on reading more.” “You have an intriguing premise, but....”
                I went back and revisited the manuscript. I hacked out scenes. I added new scenes. I killed off more and different characters. I brought others back from the dead. I changed the title. I re-plotted, re-worked, and re-submitted.
                “I'm sure you've heard the ‘agenting is very subjective’ bit before…”
By the time the dust cleared, I’d racked up a total of 112 rejections for the manuscript, more than I’d gotten for anything I’d shopped before, and in a shorter space of time.
                Once again, I’d broken my personal record.
                I’d decided to do something drastic. I went in and hacked out the entire last third of my book. I decided to completely change the ending, add several new scenes, completely change the tone and the theme, and do anything I could to make the book marketable. Before I could get more than about a hundred words out of my now-fried brain, however, I got a message from Georgia McBride at the YALITCHAT website. I’d used their “agent mailbox” service for a couple of the 112 rejections I’d managed to achieve, and she remembered the pitch. She asked if she could read the manuscript. I sent her the most complete one that I had. After all, someone should have the pleasure of reading it. Then I went back to plotting my new ending.
                I got an E-mail with an offer. Not only to buy the book, but to buy a sequel that I hadn’t even considered writing before.
                Just like that, my manuscript went from historic failure to potential success. I had a publisher behind it who believed in it. I had editors who could guide my hand through further changes. I still needed to change the ending, but only to leave a few doors open for a brand new story in a sequel.
                The moral of the story? Persistence pays off. The number of rejections I chalked up didn’t mean anything once the big acceptance came through.
                Sidekick: The Misadventures of the New Scarlet Knight is about to hit bookshelves. I love the cover that the publisher came up with for it, but in my mind, the cover will always be that image that popped into my mind that cold October night.
Me: That's so awesome! Thanks for sharing. I always find it so interesting to hear about the whole journey to publication. Congrats to you!


March 19 – A Book and a Latte
March 20 – Katie’s Books
March 21 – Comic Book Therapy
March 22 – We Do Write
March 23 – Moosubi Reviews
March 25 – The Eater of Books
March 26 – Imaginary Reads
March 28 – Little Lovely Books
March 29 – Passion Find
March 30 – Fantasy Fairy
March 31 – The Book Vortex
April 2 – Jen McConnel

Now for the giveaway. Yay!


Grand prize includes a print copy of SIDEKICK: The Misadventures of the New Scarlet Knight, Kick-Ass DVD, and a Superhero mask set. Grand prize is open to US residents only.

Five ebook copies of SIDEKICK: The Misadventures of the New Scarlet Knight will also be given away, open internationally.

Goodreads SIDEKICK: The Misadventures of the New Scarlet Knight:

Pab Sungenis Website:
Pab Sungenis Facebook:
Pab Sungenis Twitter:
Pag Sungenis' New Adventures of Queen Victoria Website:

Goodreads Month9Books:
Month9Books Blogger Central:
Month9Books Facebook:
Month9Books Twitter:
Month9Books Publishing Website:  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment