Why We Published: A Method to the Madness, edited by Michell Plested and Jeffrey Hite

There are times we all need a little silliness in our lives, something to take us out of ourselves, our work, the humdrum of the day-to-day. For some of us that escapism involves humour. Sometimes the more ridiculous the better.

It was that very basic concept that sold me on an idea Michell Plested (author of Mik Murdoch: Boy Superhero), and editor/writer Jeffrey Hite pitched to me one Saturday afternoon over a Skype conference.

I’d already seen the kind of work Plested could produce and knew him to be a consummate organizer. Jeffrey Hite was an unknown to me, but based upon Plested’s recommendation I was willing to give Hite consideration.

What these two crazies proposed to me that afternoon wasn’t so much an anthology of short stories, but rather a training manual, a series of essays, written by some of the world’s leading super-villains (at least in the minds of these alter-egos.) It was madcap, ridiculous, quite serious in its methodology, and just plain crazy enough I thought, what the hell? Why not join the fun? This was a completely fresh approach to the whole super-villain theme.

Even better was I wouldn’t have to be involved in the selection process or editing of the anthology. They even had a marketing scheme set-up whereby authors would set up websites or Facebook pages for their alter-egos, would Tweet under their assumed identies, stage kidnappings, take-overs and even broadcast mayhem over YouTube.

So, I gave Plested and Hite enough rope to either hang themselves or create some nifty macrame, and was delighted when a year later they delivered a cleverly-woven tapestry of essays, now known a A Method to the Madness: a guide to the super evil.