Thursday, August 15, 2013

[Q&A] Jason Italic (Princess Neon)

[19:04] <+Jason_Italic> Right, so. I'm Jason Italic, mild-mannered writer and secret defender of the galaxy. I recently published a debut novella, Princess Neon, which is what we're here to talk about this fine day.
[19:07] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:07] <~Dan> Thanks, Jason!
[19:07] <+BlasterKyubey210> Princess Neon? Inititally it sounds like a Magical Girl-themed thing
[19:07] <~Dan> Would anyone like to start us off with a question?
[19:07] <+Jason_Italic> It is indeed a magical girl-themed thing.
[19:08] <+Beelzedude> What did you change since the beta-thingy? or would that spoil too much?
[19:09] <+Jason_Italic> Not a whole lot's changed since the initial beta read. Some micro-level editing stuff, but it didn't need any "completely change the third act" macro-level stuff.
[19:09] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:09] <+Beelzedude> groovy.
[19:10] <+Beelzedude> where is the story availible?
[19:12] <+Jason_Italic> Currently only via Amazon, as a digital release. However, it is DRM free so you should be able to convert it very easily, or I'm always happy to work something out if someone needs a different format. (No print version yet, unfortunately. That'll have to wait for an eventual compilation.)
[19:12] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:12] <+GenoFoxx> For those of us new...or having no clue....What is Princess Neon?
[19:13] <+Jason_Italic> A fiction novella.Super short version, a young woman becomes a heavy metal empowered magical girl to save her father.
[19:13] <+Beelzedude> I like the final version of the cover.
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[19:13] <+Jason_Italic> If you want the slightly longer version, check the proper blurb on the product page: (Link:
[19:13] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:14] <~Dan> The story seems to suggest that there's a larger superhero universe in the offing. Any comments on that?
[19:15] <+GenoFoxx> Amethyst:Princess of Gem World ish?
[19:15] <+Jason_Italic> That is definitely part of the plan, with a few other stories in various stages of production set in the same universe. The whole thing's a little bit urban fantasy, a little bit costumed-hero anime, and a little bit of the Marvel films in design. :)
[19:16] <+Jason_Italic> I'm not too familiar with that property, I'm afraid, Geno, but I'm going to say yes anyways.
[19:16] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:18] <~Dan> What inspired you to go with a grittier take on the magic girl theme? (Granted, "gritty" is very relative in this context. :) )
[19:20] <+Jason_Italic> Hm....Hard to say it was any one factor. If I had to point to a few things, though, I'd say it's the sort of vibe that the metal and almost cyberpunkily '80s aesthetic both inspire, mixed with taking my inspiration on the magical girl front from some more... -->
[19:21] <+Jason_Italic> Not /mature/ shows, but some things willing to hit a bit harder than your garden variety stuff.
[19:21] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:22] <~Dan> And what inspired the heavy metal angle?
[19:23] <+Jason_Italic> The simple fact that I listen to far too much of it. :P Plus a semi-recent surge over the last few years of properties pulling from that style and aesthetic for fiction gave me a fairly solid basis to draw from.
[19:23] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:24] <~Dan> What are your plans for future stories? Will it be more of Kimberly?
[19:26] <+Jason_Italic> Kimberly's definitely got more story in her, yeah. There's also other plans I've got cooking up in her universe, as well as some more standalone projects ranging from sci-fi to spy fiction to more traditional fantasy.
[19:26] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:27] <~Dan> Is your aim to assemble these all into a collection?
[19:27] <+Jason_Italic> Some of them, yes. The things in Kimberly's universe will definitely be collected, with a rough plan for the various stories to eventually lead to a big, Avenger's-esque crossover to cap it all off.
[19:28] <+Jason_Italic> The more standalone works, we'll have to see where those end up going.
[19:28] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:28] <+Drakkar> will there be an ~RPG~ involved?
[19:29] <+Jason_Italic> Mm, nothing planned yet. It's a possibility, but not anytime right away, I don't think.
[19:29] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
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[19:30] <+AWOLJoe> (Wait, that's Yal's real name?!)
[19:30] <~Dan> (Howdy, Joe, Wondy!)
[19:30] <+Jason_Italic> (Penname. Sadly I'm not /that/ awesome.)
[19:30] <~Dan> For that matter, why the penname?
[19:32] <+Jason_Italic> In short? Control. My real name's got other people with the same name, it's connected to all sorts of random junk I've built up over the years, there's all this.../Cruft/ attached to my real name.
[19:33] <~Dan> Ah, I see.
[19:33] <+Jason_Italic> Jason Italic's fresh, clean, without old email addresses or childhood fanfic or whatever tied to him.
[19:33] * ~Dan nods
[19:33] <~Dan> Plus, it's a cool name!
[19:33] <+Jason_Italic> That it is. :)
[19:33] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:33] <~Dan> (Not as epic as "Jason Bold", but cool!)
[19:34] <+WonderRat> (Hi, Dan)
[19:34] <~Dan> Does Princess Neon's world have a name?
[19:35] <+Jason_Italic> Do you mean the greater universe of the fiction, or the alternate metal-themed world /within/ that universe?
[19:36] <~Dan> The latter.
[19:37] <+Jason_Italic> Mm, nothing too solid. I've been calling it Neon World in my outlines, but I don't have a name for it in-fiction, no.
[19:37] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:39] <~Dan> And I get the impression that "Neon World" has the sort of crazy-quilt tech and magic level seen in Master of the Universe, for example, albeit with a bit more tech?
[19:41] <+Jason_Italic> Yeah, I'd say that's pretty accurate. It's also a lot more urbanized and glowy than anything in MotU, but the weird mix of tech and magic is definitely somewhat similar.
[19:41] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:42] <+GenoFoxx> the animated or the Dolph Lundgren film?
[19:42] <~Dan> I've never seen the latter.
[19:42] <+GenoFoxx> :O
[19:43] <+Jason_Italic> Neither have I, so we're definitely talking animated here.
[19:43] <~Dan> (And never really wanted to see the former, to be honest. :) )
[19:43] <+GenoFoxx> It's cheestastic
[19:43] <+GenoFoxx> the 2002 version was awesome
[19:43] <+GenoFoxx> stupeed Cartoon Network
[19:44] <+Jason_Italic> Yes, yes it was.
[19:44] <+Jason_Italic> (also, done)
[19:44] <~Dan> Do you plan on concentrating on our world or on Neon World for future stories?
[19:45] <+Jason_Italic> Both. The greater universe is definitely going to be more in our world, or in entirely different worlds, while Kimberly's continuing story will involve more of Neon World and her interaction with it.
[19:45] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:48] <~Dan> Is there a unifying principle behind magc and tech in Neon World? I'm thinking of the rayguns, for example.
[19:49] <+Jason_Italic> Not really, no. The closest thing I would say is that power glows. :P That's really all it comes down to.
[19:50] <+Jason_Italic> Beyond that, just that it wouldn't look out of place on a metal album or in a dark club.
[19:50] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:51] <~Dan> How "traditional" will the superheroes to be introduced be?
[19:52] <+Jason_Italic> Not traditional at all, honestly. While the Neon World stuff doesn't have a principle, the greater fiction universe /does/, at least for the protagonists. Two big things, to be precise.
[19:52] <+Jason_Italic> One, is that magic is transformative. I'll be doing a lot of different things with this, various sorts of homages and things, but nobody gets to just be Clark Kent and still pick up a car.
[19:53] <+Jason_Italic> And two? To be blunt about it....As few white dudes as I can get away with. A big part of this, and my work in general, is trying to pull away from the general tendencies of genre fiction, and especially superheroic fiction, to be the White Dude Power Hour, Starring White Dude.
[19:53] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
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[19:55] <~Dan> So all of the superpowers will be magical in nature?
[19:56] <+Jason_Italic> Mmm....Yes and no. It's like...Well, think Tony Stark. Yes, he's scientifically themed, but the Iron Man suit might as /well/ be magic, for all the realism it contains.
[19:57] <+Jason_Italic> So there will be heroes themed in ways other than magic, but that sort of underlying superhuman capability is going to be an explicit thing.
[19:57] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[19:57] <+GenoFoxx> heh
[19:57] <~Dan> Well, I'd suggest that Iron Man and Thor have vastly different implications for a setting.
[19:58] <~Dan> Let along Iron Man and Sailor Moon. :)
[19:58] <+Jason_Italic> True. But...How to put it...Well, I might as well just spoil another character for a future story. She's only in the rough outline stage, so she doesn't have a proper name, but she does the Iron Man thing and builds herself a suit of armor.
[19:59] <+Jason_Italic> The difference is, it's explicit that she's using magic to make this very impossible thing real. So even though it's got a computer and runs off an engine instead of fairy crystals or whatever, there's still that core of it being started via magic.
[20:00] <+Jason_Italic> Does that make sense?
[20:00] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:00] <+Beelzedude> it does.
[20:00] <~Dan> It does, yes. I'd compare it to "super-tech" in the Wild Cards setting.
[20:01] <~Dan> Insofar as all powers, even seeming technology, are actually really weird psionics.
[20:02] <~Dan> Will there be aliens?
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[20:05] <+Beelzedude> technically, the neon world guys would be aliens. just not space aliens.
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[20:05] <~Dan> Well, yes. But I'm talking space aliens. :)
[20:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, AncientHistory!)
[20:05] <+Jason_Italic> That's actually something I'm still kicking around, to be quite honest. I can tell you Kimberly's story won't involve any space aliens, but future stories, especially after the big events I have cooking up for the future? Hard to say.
[20:05] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:08] <~Dan> Can you say if the story about rockin' out the sun is literally true? I'm wondering about the potential scale of powers.
[20:08] <&Silverlion> (Cool..)
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[20:10] <+Jason_Italic> I like to think so. It's strictly part of their creation myth, mind you, so Kimberly's not about to be squaring off against any celestial bodies. ;)
[20:10] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:12] *** Corinna is now known as Lioness
[20:13] <~Dan> I know this isn't a gaming project, but do you ever think of the setting in RPG terms? And if so, what system(s)?
[20:14] <+Jason_Italic> Hrm...If any system, probably Fate. The individual magic expressions in the greater universe are so unique to each person that I don't think a lot of systems would really handle it.
[20:14] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:15] <~Dan> Do you already have stories in mind for the armored guys written about in the paper?
[20:17] <+Jason_Italic> Yes indeed. One of them's been written, in fact, currently waiting for a small press publisher to slot it into their next cycle for release.
[20:17] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:20] <~Dan> Do you anticipate any issues with a "magic girl" story being taken seriously? Or is it meant to be tongue-in-cheek?
[20:21] <+Jason_Italic> There is a smidgen of tongue-in-cheekness kind of inherent to both sides(heavy metal and magical-girl stuff), but beyond that, if people can't take it seriously that's on their end. I'm just writing stuff I think is cool and hoping others agree, you know?
[20:21] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:21] * ~Dan nods
[20:22] <~Dan> I'm reminded of what Andy Hopp said of his Low Life RPG setting.
[20:22] <~Dan> Insofar as there are silly/comedic elements looking from the outside in, but everything it totally serious within the context of the setting itself.
[20:24] <+Beelzedude> I might just buy the novella to support the creation of more.
[20:24] <~Dan> Does "our" world in the setting have its own history of weirdness?
[20:24] <+Jason_Italic> Yeah, I'd say that about sums it up, Dan. And I'd much appreciate it, Beelze. :)
[20:25] <+Jason_Italic> Yeah, there's definitely some weirdness. Without going too deep into it, really short version, our world was a fantasy world on the brink of collapse, and magic was sealed so utterly that it was forgotten entirely to save said world.
[20:26] * +Cassandra cheers for Yalborap!
[20:26] <+Jason_Italic> Which also meant severing connections to alternative planes, that sort of thing. So the stories, especially the early ones, show various views of how it looks to have this magic coming back.
[20:26] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:27] <~Dan> Is Neon World just one of a number of other dimens- oh, you just answered my question. :)
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[20:27] <~Dan> Would it be too big of a spoiler to give us an idea of what some other dimensions are like?
[20:28] <+Beelzedude> will the magic actually return on earth or will all magic present be extraplanar in origin?
[20:29] <+Jason_Italic> Not all of those planes/dimensions are well defined yet in my head, but there's definitely going to be some classics. A realm of the dead, possibly an entirely mechanical/robotic world, you might even see something inspired by the old pulps. But that's all tentative, of course.
[20:29] <+Beelzedude> meaning: will the seals be broken?
[20:30] <~Dan> I'm totally on board for Pulp World. :)
[20:30] <+Jason_Italic> Magic's definitely returning on Earth, Beelze.
[20:31] <+Jason_Italic> While it's not too explored in Princess Neon specifically, these connections to other planes are actually being made from Earth's side first.
[20:31] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:33] <~Dan> It seems that the setting is pretty explicitly good-vs.-evil. Any thoughts on the subject?
[20:33] <+Beelzedude> yea, the guy in Neon Princess seemed to be coming in from the outside.
[20:34] <+Jason_Italic> Mm, not really super good-vs-evil. While the protagonists are going to be largely good, there's definitely going to be some grey in there, especially on the antagonistic front.
[20:34] <~Dan> Hmm. The Big Bad certainly seemed like the EEEEE-vil overlord type.
[20:35] <+Jason_Italic> There is some of that in Kimberly's story, true, since her stuff is a bit larger-than-life by its very nature. But without giving any spoilers away, the new King has reasons for what he does, and why he thinks they're the best option for Neon World.
[20:35] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:36] * ~Dan nods
[20:38] <~Dan> Do you see the "real" world becoming stranger more in the fantasy sense, or more in the superhero sense?
[20:39] <~Dan> (brb)
[20:39] <+Jason_Italic> Probably more in the superhero sense, if either. There'll definitely be some urban fantasy weirdness, but I'm trying to avoid some of that genre's unpleasant cliches just as much as the superhero ones.
[20:39] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:44] <~Dan> How long do you think the weirdness will be more-or-less secret?
[20:44] <+Jason_Italic> That, I'm afraid, is itself a secret. But I assure you I have very specific plans for that.
[20:45] <~Dan> No worries. :)
[20:45] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:46] <~Dan> Let's see... In the time we have left, is there anything you'd like to mention that we haven't discussed? (And would you like to post a link to the story on Amazon?)
[20:47] <+Jason_Italic> Let's see...First is indeed the link. (Link: You can get the book for less than the price of a latte, and it's a fairly quick little read, on basically any OS or device these days.
[20:48] <+Jason_Italic> It's also DRM-free, so you should be able to convert it easily if you're on a Sony reader or some other device that can't take Kindle files. But basically as long as you're willing to read on a screen, you're set.
[20:49] <+Jason_Italic> And also, if anyone wants to follow my future works, there's a mailing list you can sign up for. It's linked in the end of Princess Neon, or you can just click here: (Link:
[20:50] <+Jason_Italic> Beyond that, the big thing I'd like to ask of folks is, if you like it, review it. Sales are awesome and help pay my bills, but reviews are what /really/ help keep the book visible.
[20:51] <+Jason_Italic> (done)
[20:53] <~Dan> Does anyone else have any questions or comments?
[20:54] <+Catseye> Should be an interesting read. I'll give it a try
[20:54] <+Beelzedude> I got mine answered.
[20:55] <+Beelzedude> I don't know how one goes about this, but you should get the book onto
[20:56] <~Dan> Alrighty then! Jason, thanks so much for coming by to discuss your story. I'll have the link to you momentarily!
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[20:57] <+Jason_Italic> Absolutely. Thanks for having me on for Q&A. :) I won't be here, but my /identical twin/ can answer anything else people come up with, wink wink.
[20:57] <~Dan> Excellent. :)

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