Monday, June 27, 2011

Interview with Jack Blank

We're really excited to have Jack Blank with us today from Matt Myklusch's The Accidental Hero & The Secret War. If you haven't already picked up the Accidental Hero, than you're really missing out on meeting this amazing young hero. I highly recommend picking it up before it's sequel, The Secret War is released on August 9th, 2011. Here's a little bit about The Secret War:

Picking up a year after the events of Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation, Jack and his fellow students are now well into their School of Thought training and are "sidekicking" for official, card-carrying super heroes. But, even though Jack feels more at home in the Imagine Nation, he's still hiding secrets from his friends Skerren and Allegra, both about his shocking connection to their enemy Revile and about his "Top Secret" school assignment, which involves investigating the RÜstov computer virus that affects the Mechas.

Jack is busy trying to find out how far the RÜstov sleeper virus has spread, working to find a cure, and striving to avoid the dire future that Revile warned him about. Meanwhile, Jonas Smart is working just as hard to discover what Jack is hiding from everyone. When a rogue Secreteer--the protectors of secrets of inhabitants of the Imagine Nation--starts selling secrets to the highest bidder, Smart is ready and waiting.

Jack knows that if Smart finds out the truth about him and Revile, he's as good as dead. When Jack discovers that the Secreteer causing all this trouble also has information about his father, the distractions really start piling up. If Jack is going to help prevent a second RÜstov invasion, keep Smart from discovering his secrets, and find out what a shadowy, half-mad Secreteer knows about his long-lost father, he'll need to learn to trust his friends, and to find the true path toward becoming a hero himself (quoted from Simon & Schuster's site).

Thank you for being with us today Jack. We've really enjoyed reading about your adventures in The Accidental Hero and The Secret War. What is one thing you like to do when you're not busy trying to save the world?
I'll guess I'll have to let you know when I find out! That's pretty much all I do these days. Right now, I'm in a superhero training program called the School of Thought, and when I'm not in class, I'm the sidekick for my friend Blue. He used to be a supercop. Now, he's a superhero. He says the main difference between the two is that no one tells him what to do anymore, which I think is funny. Blue's not the kind of guy you tell what to do. At all. And, when I'm not at school or fighting bad guys with Blue, I have another project I'm working on. A real save-the-world type of project. I've been on it a year now. I thought I was almost done, but I hit a snag recently. It's hard to get around it too, 'cause I can't ask for help. I can't tell anyone what I'm doing. I've probably said too much already.

What superhero do you most admire and why?
That's easy. Legend. I never met him, but he was the Imagine Nation's biggest hero. The absolute biggest. He died before I got here, sacrificing himself to save the Imagine Nation - and pretty much everybody else - from a group of aliens called the Rustov. It was a huge battle and he made the difference in it. My friend Jazen used to say, "Being a hero is all about getting up in the morning and trying to make a difference in the world. That's it." Legend did that even tough he knew it would cost him his life. I guess that's what made him the hero he was.

What have learned about yourself since you first came to Imagine Nation?
Too much... and not enough! Let's see... where do I even start? First of all, I wasn't born in New Jersey like I always thought I was. I was born in the Imagine Nation, a place filled with superheroes, supervillains, aliens, robots, ninjas, and more. You name it, it's there. I found out I have superpowers too, which I have to admit is pretty cool. I control machines. It's not all good news for me though. I still don't know who my parents are or what my real last name is. And, I found out I'm infected with an virus from those same aliens, the Rustov. Yeah, that was a great moment for me, finding that out. Turns out there's a cybernetic parasite inside my body trying to take me over, and there's no way to get it out. There's no cure. If that wasn't bad enough, I even found out that one day I'm supposed to-- Hmm... you know what? Nevermind. Next question, please.

What do you most admire about Stendeval?
Stendeval is just the greatest human being I've ever met. At least, I think he's human... he is 500 years old. Really, he's superhuman, but not just because of his age or his powers. Nearly everybody in the Imagine Nation has powers. What makes Stendeval special is what he's done with his. The life he's led, the wisdom he's picked up, and the lives he's touched. Mine especially. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. The faith he had in me back when nobody had any... I still don't know where that came from. The size of Stendeval's heart and his courage to stand up for what he believes in is what I admire most about him?

If you could have any super power (other than the one you have) what would you want to be able to do and why?
It's funny, I used to wish for different powers all the time before I came to the Imagine Nation. Back when I was reading my comic books at St. Barnaby's Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost I wanted to be able to fly, shoot lasers from my eyes, and a million other things. That all changed once I actually got powers of my own. Now, I just want to figure out how to use my powers the best I can. My powers are complicated. I can talk to machines and ask them to do what I want, but I can control any machine if I know how it works. That's why I have to study computer science, mechanics, and engineering all the time-- so I can figure out how everything around me works. For me, knowledge really is power.

Now we have a few quick questions to ask you in our speed round:

Favorite food?
Butter-battered FlopFlips with Kazellian Floovberries, but the Floovberries are pretty rare. They're tough to get.

Would you rather watch a sports game or read a book?
I wouldn't mind taking a break to catch a ballgame once in a while. Yankees baseball is one of the few things I miss about life in the "Real World."

Ball cap or no ball cap?
I used to have a sweet Yankees cap, but that got stolen by this guy Rex Staples who was kind of the bully at my old school. Haven't had a chance to get a new one, so I guess no ball cap.

Play video games or watch a movie?
Movie. With my machine powers, video games are way too easy to beat now.

Sleep in or stay up late?
I don't have much time to sleep and the bad guys don't go to be early, so I'm all about staying up late.

Math or Science?
Science... and engineering, too. The more l learn about that stuff, the more machines I can control.

Thank you Jack!
Thank you!

Thank you to Matt Myklusch and Jack Blank for the interview!
You can read my 5 star review and enter to win an ARC of The Secret War here.

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