Author Interview with Jeff Burns on his Kindle Vella series, Super Knocked Up !
Jeff Burns is a web series creator and author, offering insight on how he merges the two writing styles with his comedy Super Knocked Up.
Tell me a little bit about your Kindle Vella.
My Kindle Vella series is called Super Knocked Up. It’s an action/comedy about a super-villain who gets knocked up by a superhero and has to raise the baby with her nemesis. It was originally a live-action web series. A few months ago, I decided to turn it into a Kindle Vella series, which has been a lot of fun.
What would you say inspired Super Knocked Up?
I was taking a six-month screenwriting course through ScreenwritingU and our first assignment was to come up with a high concept idea. We would then take that idea and use it to write a feature-length screenplay throughout the course. I’ve always loved comics and superheroes, so I was playing around with different ideas and trying to come up with a unique take on the genre. As I was going through one of the course assignments and brainstorming, it hit me: what would happen if a super-villain and superhero had a baby together? As soon as I thought of it, I knew that was the idea I wanted to write. So it was my love of superheroes and a cool screenwriting course that led to Super Knocked Up!
Who’s your favorite character(s) in Super Knocked Up? I know it’s hard!
My favorite character is definitely the protagonist – super-villain Jessica James, aka Darkstar. I love that she’s totally kick-ass and acts all tough but inside she really needs what the heroes can offer her: a family. And in the Vella series, I’ve gotten to add some fun irreverent humor for her.
Outside of Jessica, I also love writing the two teen heroes: Mystic Girl and Freeze Pop. They have a fun dynamic as best friends who love to tease each other and also love hugging Jessica, which makes the affection-wary super-villain very uncomfortable.
What’s your writing process like? Especially in taking a web series and converting it into a Kindle Vella?
In most of my writing, I’ll spend time outlining the story and sometimes make detailed notes on certain scenes. For Super Knocked Up, I had a feature-length script I had already written. So I’m basically going through the script and adapting it to prose form and adding things when appropriate. The cool thing about doing it as serialized fiction is that I can get more inside the head of Jessica since I’m writing it in first person. That lets me play a lot more with her character and personality.
What would you say is the hardest challenge you face as a writer, and what steps do you take to overcome it?
One of the toughest things is just trying to balance all my different writing projects. I’m currently writing Super Knocked Up. I was working on a story for the Dragons of a Different Tail anthology that just came out, and I want to turn that story into a book series. I also write geeky, comedic erotica under the pen name Riley Rose. So I’m trying to not take on too much and make sure I have time to work on all these different writing ventures.
What made you want to put Super Knocked Up on Kindle Vella instead of publishing it as an Ebook?
I thought writing it as a Vella series would fit perfectly with how it started as a web series. With the web series, I released Super Knocked Up as short episodes. And Vella is the same way: they’re short, serialized episodes. So it’s basically taking what I did in filmed form and turning into written form. What I love about translating it to Vella is that I can work in everything from my original script that I couldn’t do in the web series. There were some action scenes that were just way too crazy to try to do in a super-low budget web series. But in prose form, I can work all those scenes in and have as much super-powered fun as I want!
You contributed to Dragon’s of a Different Tail that came out this past November. Would you mind sharing a bit about it?
I did! Dragons of a Different Tail: 17 Unusual Dragon Tales came out on November 29. It’s an anthology of unique stories about dragons – totally different takes on the mythic beasts than you’ve seen before.
My story is called Wei Ling and the Water Dragon. It’s about an adventurous young woman who has to try to retrieve her village’s sacred dragon idol and gets help from an unlikely source: an aquatic dragon who shares a special bond with the irreverent and feisty warrior. It’s set in a fantasy world inspired by Imperial China over a thousand years ago. So I got to work in my love of martial arts and fantasy, having kung fu and dragons! What could be better than that?
I’m thrilled Marx Pyle asked me to be part of this anthology, and I’m so impressed by all the super-talented authors who are part of it. I hope everyone gets a chance to check it out!
What’s coming up next for your writing, Kindle Vella or otherwise?
I’m still working on new episodes of Super Knocked Up. I never got to finish the full story as a web series, so I’m excited to complete it as a Vella series and then release it as an eBook and paperback after it’s done.
I also plan to continue my story from the dragon anthology, either as a book or Vella series. I think it’s set up where I can tell a lot more fun adventures with Wei Ling. I had a ton of fun writing the short story and can’t wait to do more.
And I’m constantly writing and releasing new fun erotic stories, so I’ll be working on those as well.
Lastly, where can readers find you online?
They can go to www.supergeekedup.com where they can find both the Super Knocked Up web series and Vella series. I also do a geeky chat and improv comedy show called Super Geeked Up, which airs live every Wednesday at 10pm ET/7pm PT. All the episodes of that are on the website and at www.youtube.com/supergeekedup.
My erotica can be found at www.RileyRoseErotica.com. I have over 25 books up there and a Vella series. I do fun parodies of things like Lara Croft, Knight Rider, and G.I. Joe as well as original stories.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my work and super-thanks to anyone who checks out any of my geeky content!
” I’ve always loved comics and superheroes, so I was playing around with different ideas and trying to come up with a unique take on the genre. As I was going through one of the course assignments and brainstorming, it hit me: what would happen if a super-villain and superhero had a baby together? As soon as I thought of it, I knew that was the idea I wanted to write.”Jeff Burns
CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR!
Website: SuperGeekedUp.com &
YouTube: Super Geeked Up
J.J. Gonzalez is the author of the The Starstrike and a NYC native. When she’s not writing, she enjoys various crafts and time outdoors.