Updated: Sep 23
I love connecting with other authors and meeting new books. Today, let's do both! I'm so excited to share an interview with Dear Henchman authors, Hope Bolinger and Alyssa Roat. (Be sure to scroll all the way to find book details and more!)
What Is Dear Henchman About?
Henchmen and sidekicks aren’t supposed to fall in love. Or save the world. They’re
supposed to brew coffee, take pics of their hero/villain for social media, and stay in the
background. That was sidekick-slash-frat boy Kevin and henchwoman-slash-tech genius Himari’s plan, until a taxidermy-collecting villain robs Kevin’s hero of his powers and leaves Himari’s villain wounded. Now it’s up to the sidekicks and henchies to save the world.
Without powers, they’ll go up against the Shadow Assassins (a deadly organization that
can’t work a PowerPoint to save their lives), road trips-slash-kidnappings, and strange
initiation rituals that may or may not involve singing campfire songs. Himari and Kevin will battle the odds, their insecurities, and their weird affinity for Mexican food as they discover if they have just what it takes to save the world from a nuclear
Do You Have a Favorite Character?
Hope: Definitely. Hands down for this book, it goes to Liam. He’s probably crazy,
collects taxidermy, and makes sure that his captees are well-hydrated and get to eat
french toast. He’s the weirdest person I’ve ever written, and I want to marry him.
Alyssa: Hate to be a copycat, but Liam. Hope did a brilliant job, and I laughed the entire
time we were writing.
What Was the Best Part about Writing Dear Henchman?
Hope: I couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t think my diaphragm has ever hurt this much. I still
can’t go through the galleys or ARCs without cracking up and sending Alyssa some of
my favorite lines.
Alyssa: There’s usually a point when writing a book where you just want to chuck your
laptop across the room. That didn’t happen for Henchman. We just had the time of our
lives, and I loved getting surprised by every new wacky thing the characters did.
What Was the Hardest Part about Writing Dear Henchman?
Hope: Well SOMEONE *glares at Alyssa* decided she wanted to beat our record from
the last book. In our last book, Dear Hero, we wrote the first draft in 9 days. So
SOMEONE decided, “Let’s do it in 8.” We did. And we had a ton of fun. But man, oh
man, the one day where we wrote 10,000 words straight without meal breaks … that
one was a lot.
Alyssa: Whaaaaat, who could that be? Writing wise, I think the hardest part for me was
the romance thread. The adventure is so wild and fast-paced, making time for love to
blossom was important.
Was It Harder to Write a Sequel?
Hope: Yes and no. I think, because we had a familiarity with the world, that we didn’t
have to start from scratch. With that said, the more books you have, the more potential
you have for plot gaps or errors. We had to check ourselves a lot to make sure we didn’t
run into any contradictions.
Alyssa: I absolutely loved getting to write more with some of our favorite characters. It
felt like writing fan-fic sometimes, but of our own work! We did have a lot more of a high-
concept plot this time, though, so there was a lot more effort that went into world
What Are You Hoping Readers Take Away from This?
Hope: Besides laughs, we wanted to show a bit of burnout and social media fatigue.
There’s so much pressure on Gen Z to have their lives figured out by the time they
leave high school, and we wanted to show what that looks like for young superheroes.
About how they feel the pressure to be super influencers instead of actually saving
people. But we really didn’t set out to write some great moral message, or whatever. We
just want readers to have fun, laugh a lot, and fall in love with the characters.
Alyssa: I’ve written books with more serious tones and messages (including some
coming out in the next few years with Hope), but for this series, it’s really all about
having fun. As an adult, sometimes I feel burnt out by the grittiness of YA and New
Adult, and I just want to read something funny. Why should middle grade have all the
fun? Of course, there’s plenty of action, angst, and heart-to-hearts, but I’m hoping
people just have a good time reading.
What Do You Do When You’re Not Writing?
Hope: HAHAHA you mean besides crying and having existential crises? I like to do
some runway modeling, go on hikes, dress up in public for no reason, and do theater.
Oh and playing handbells. They’re the hottest instrument since the lyre.
Alyssa: Try to entertain my insane cat, Kookoo, who thinks he belongs on the keyboard
and has made it his life mission to drink my coffee when I leave it unattended for two
seconds. I’ve decided to attribute any and all typos to his mad dashes across my desk.
Other than that, when I’m not writing, I’m working full time in the publishing industry as
an agent, editor, freelancer, and publicist, reading for fun, playing party games and D&D
over Zoom, and re-organizing my bookshelves for the ten thousandth time.
Click the above image to add Dear Hero to your Goodreads or grab a copy. Dear Henchman releases May 4th! Keep scrolling to learn more about the authors and be sure to connect with them to stay in the loop for this coming release and all their books!
Hope Bolinger is an editor at
Crosswalk.com, literary agent at C.Y.L.E.,
and a graduate of Taylor University's
professional writing program. More than
1,000 of her works have been featured in
various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy released its first two installments with IlluminateYA, and the final one, Vision, releases in August of 2021. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in October of 2021.
Alyssa Roat has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry as an agent, editor, writer, and marketer. She is the publicity manager at Mountain Brook Ink, an associate literary agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, an editor with Sherpa Editing Services, and a freelance writer with 200+ bylines in local, national, and international publications.
Alyssa is the co-author with Hope Bolinger of the YA superhero chat fiction romance Dear Hero and the sequel, Dear Henchman. Her solo debut, Wraithwood, releases July 2021.