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Meet author, publisher and chief bottle washer of Local Hero Press and his books #superhero #yalit

Hello! I’m Ian Thomas Healy, author of the long-running Just Cause Universe series of original superhero novels. I’m also the publisher, CEO, head chef and chief bottle washer of Local Hero Press, a Denver-based micropress. I also have awesome hair and am fortunate enough to work in a day job that allows me to look like the Last Hippie. When I don’t have my nose firmly to the grindstone of capitalism, I like exploring a wide variety of genres, often-but not always-using superheroes as the lens.

When I’m at cons, pushing books on prospective buyers with all the moxie of a street-corner dealer, I often get asked if I really wrote all those books. The answer is yes; it keeps me off the pole—because otherwise you know I’d be right back on it. I hear dad-bods are hot this year.

The Just Cause Universe alone is 25 books and counting, and I’m working on #26. All the books in the series are standalone by design. It’s scary to approach a new series when you really like the cover for book 14, but don’t want to read 13 books ahead of it first. I figure that anything I can do to make an epic accessible is a benefit to all. You want to read book 14, you go right ahead. I promise you won’t be lost if you haven’t read the rest of them.

Another question I get asked a lot is some variation of “where do you get your ideas?” or “how did you write so many books?” or “can I have your number?” Well, maybe not that last one. The answer is simple. One word at a time. If you have a story (or two, or fifty) in your soul aching to be let out to breathe, it takes a special kind of terrible person to squash that down and not birth those babies into the world. I’m not a writer, I’m a midwife.

Why superheroes? You might as well ask “why male models?” And if you get that reference, you’re starting to understand me. I’ve been obsessed with superheroes and the tropes surrounding them since I was old enough to draw masks on the little thumbprint characters I made with my dad’s ink pad. I keep thinking I should branch out, and explore stuff that is perhaps more commercially viable. And I have—the breadth of my genres is pretty, well broad. But in the end, I keep coming back to these legendary heroes populating my own personal Hall of Justice, because they’re what I love the best.

Come on over for a visit with Mustang Sally, La Capitána, Jackrabbit, and the rest of the gang!

Title: Just Cause

Author: Ian Thomas Healy

Genre: Superhero

Publisher: Local Hero Press

Book Blurb:


Mustang Sally has some speedy shoes to fill. This young superhero has waited her whole life to join Just Cause – the premiere team of American heroes. Now she’s hoping her super-speed will earn a spot on the same team to which her parents and grandparents belonged. A chance encounter with the villain who killed her father changes everything.


“Fill us in, Lieutenant,” said Spark to a short, stocky woman who wore a helmet and armored vest.

“It’s a giant robot thing,” said the officer. “It entered the main exhibition hall and began firing off tear gas canisters. Cleared the place out pretty fast.”

Sally looked around and noticed many people in the crowd were coughing, with red faces and streaming eyes. Her breath mask would give her some protection from gas but it didn’t have a self-contained air supply, so she’d get a dose of whatever it was too.

“Do you know what it’s after?”

“What it’s after? Not at the moment. Security converged on it but it’s carrying some pretty heavy weaponry and they couldn’t get close to it.” The lieutenant pushed her helmet back and wiped sweat from her brow even in the freezing temperature. “We’ve got four officers unaccounted for, and there may be civilians stranded inside. Goddamn, but I’m glad you’re here.”

A whine of feedback and a thrum of distortion filled the air as Stratocaster and Juliet materialized out of the sound and appeared right next to Sally.

“Not late, are we?” Stratocaster flashed a tight grin at Spark.

“What, did you stop for a latte and biscotti?” Spark snorted in derision.

Stratocaster patted his vest pocket. “I saved you a couple. You want one with almonds or white chocolate?”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Title: Jackrabbit

Author: Ian Thomas Healy

Genre: Superhero

Publisher: Local Hero Press

Book Blurb:


When the God of Rabbits recruits him to save the world from an invasion of interstellar cockroaches, it seems like it might be a pretty cool gig. Unfortunately, in the spectrum of god-like abilities, rabbits rank pretty low, and Jay received the ability to make snarky wisecracks, jump real high, and… that’s about all. Can Jackrabbit and the Bluebird Herald successfully defend humanity?


The General shook her hand. “Jackrabbit and Bluebird,” he said, motioning to the two heroes behind him.

“She’s Bluebird, I’m Jackrabbit,” said Jay. “In case the costumes didn’t give it away.”

“Pleasure to meet you both,” said Dr. Tenenbaum. “Call me Trixie.”

Kasey giggled. “Trixie? Seriously?”

The doctor smiled. “It’s really Patricia, but I hate that name. So the two of you brought me this fascinating little beastie?”

Jay nodded. “What can you tell us about it?”

“Well, it certainly looks like a Gromphadorhina portentosa, but I’d say the similarities are only chitin-deep. That’s a little entomologist humor.”

“Very little,” said Jay. “But thanks for making the effort. Maybe with a better-informed audience?”

Dr. Tenenbaum wasn’t offended at all. “Tell me, Mr. Jackrabbit… how do you get a foot that large into your mouth?” She winked at him.

“With lots of butter and a crowbar,” he said.

Kasey jabbed her elbow into his ribs. “Tell us more about the bug.”

Dr. Tenenbaum took them over to the lab table where the insect in question had been immobilized under the giant imaging scanner. “Well, it’s still a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, but it has some fascinating differences. For example… it has a brain.”

“Just between you and me, so do I,” said Jay to General Gershwin. “I just don’t like to brag about it. It makes me feel like I’m showing off.”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Title: The Neighborhood Watch

Author: Ian Thomas Healy

Genre: Superhero

Publisher: Local Hero Press

Book Blurb:


It's not easy being a twelve-year-old superhero, but the five kids of the Neighborhood Watch are doing the best they can. With a rival team vying for attention in their hometown and a supervillain on the loose, they'll have to go the extra mile to achieve true greatness.


“We got to stop them,” said Breezy.

“Stop them from doing what?” asked Wheels.

“Whatever they gonna do next.”

“We don’t know what they’re going to do next,” said Wheels. “But we can start working on that. And maybe if we get lucky with our surveillance records, we can catch something crucial the police might have missed.”

“I don’t think they were ever looking at the Culture Club as suspects,” said Annalisa. “And why would they? They’re superheroes. They’re famous.”

“They’re locally famous,” said Wheels. “Stopping the bank robbery got them more national fame. It’s what they want. What we need to do is follow them. Stay close. Catch them in a mistake.” She looked at Annalisa. “You’re going to have to go undercover.”

Annalisa blinked in surprise. “What do you mean?”

“They still think you’re in their group, right?”

“As far as I know, yeah.”

“Then until they kick you out, you should keep hanging around them. Either they’ll have to kick you to the curb because they don’t want you to find out the truth, or they’ll have to bring you into the secret. Either way, we’ll have a better idea of what they’re going to do next.”

“That would keep me closer to Carson,” said Annalisa. “I’d be more likely to catch him in a mistake too. See him use his powers and then we’d know for sure.”

“But what do we do then? Call the cops? They’re not going to believe a bunch of kids, even if we do have parahuman powers,” said Hothead.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Title: Horde

Author: Ian Thomas Healy

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Local Hero Press

Book Blurb:

Orc brothers Paug and Milph are tired of polishing their helmets in their underground kingdom, so they leave in search of fame, fortune, and Pleasures of the Flesh. When they find a treasure map and learn a Human hero is seeking the same magical item, the race is on. They head into the wilderness with their companions, a barbarian, a gambler, and a thief, where death hides behind every tree.


Paug Blumpkin was smart for an Orc, which for many people might be like saying he was smart for a tree, or smart for a lump of clay, because Orcs—like politicians—have never been thought of as a particularly intelligent race. Their skills laid along different lines, namely those involving wholesale slaughter, retail slaughter, torture, barbarism, and bureaucracy. Paug was cut from a different cloth, though. For one thing, he could read, a skill most Orcs valued about as much as Halflings did calisthenics. For another, he had big dreams. Whereas most of the piggish, green-skinned louts were content to eat their slop, swing their swords, and polish their helmets regularly, Paug could often be found walking through the quiet parts of the caves, muttering to himself. Thinking, if you can believe such a thing.

His father, Blump, didn’t approve. “It’s unnatural,” he would shout. “Why’s he got to be such a bedamned smart ass? What does he think he is, an Elf?” And Blump would spit goo onto the floor, because Elves were the sworn enemies of Orcs. Come to think of it, so were Dwarves, Halflings, and Men, and probably some races that have long since passed into legend.

Paug’s brother Milph would shrug and say, “I don’t know, Da’,” which was the one thing that made Blump proud. Milph was a good Orc. He would never be caught thinking. The chubby youngster was as dumb as a proverbial box of hair, which meant he would likely be commanding a regiment for the Horde when he was older.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Title: The Scene Stealers

Author: Ian Thomas Healy

Genre: Mainstream YA

Publisher: Local Hero Press

Book Blurb:

STEAL BIG OR GO HOME. The Crew: Olivia, the Director; Anjanae, the Artist; Pancho, the Techie; Kennedy, the Actress; Jerome, the Money Man; Vajra, the Thug. The Target: A painting of Anjanae’s deceased mother, stolen from her and presented for sale by a professional artist. The Job: Steal it back and don’t get caught, because high school is hard enough without facing hard time.


All the lights in the auditorium went out, plunging the stage into darkness. There was a crash as somebody fell over something and yelled “Ow! Son of a bitch!”

A disembodied voice came over the auditorium sound system. “Sorry, sorry. Give me a second here.”

Olivia grimaced in the darkness. “He’s going to be the death of me,” she said to Anjanae, and then she raised her voice. “I’m going to die right here, you guys. A promising directorial career cut tragically short in high school because Punch Vallejo can’t stop playing with the lights.”

“Uh, sorry,” called the disembodied voice from somewhere above and behind her. Pancho Vallejo was the theater department’s resident tech nerd. He was brilliant, socially awkward, and belonged in the theater like few people Olivia had ever met. Unlike most nerds, he was hopeless when it came to academics, barely passing most of his classes. He had a gift for the technical aspects of lighting and sound, and she was pretty sure he’d make a career out of it given the chance. She might not give him that chance, though, because it was the third time in an hour that he’d managed to shut everything down.

She turned on her microphone again. “Punch, we’re trying to rehearse, here.”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

Author Biography:

Ian Thomas Healy dabbles in many different genres. He’s a multiple participant and winner of National Novel Writing Month. He created the popular ongoing superhero series, the Just Cause Universe, and is also the creator of the Writing Better Action Through Cinematic Techniques workshop, which helps writers to improve their action scenes.

When not writing, which is rare, he enjoys watching hockey, reading comic books (and serious books, too), and living in the great state of Colorado, which he shares with his wife, children, house-pets, and approximately five million other people.

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