Ms. Black Speaks!

Behold, my interview with the fantastically awesome Holly Black, author of the Wordcandy Featured Book pick Ironside:

1. Can you give us any news on your upcoming story The White Cat? Does it have anything to do with the fairy tale of the same name?
It won’t be out for a few years since I just sold it now, and I only have three chapters. But I am really excited that it’s not about faeries. It’s my first non-faerie book! I’m excited to try something different. It’s based on a fairy tale that I loved when I was a kid, but it’s going to be contemporary dark fantasy—grifters, private schools, curse magic, and a cat in a dress.

2. I know you’re working on a graphic novel trilogy. How does this new format alter your writing style?

I love comics so I was excited to give writing one a try. My graphic novels are called The Good Neighbors. Are you familiar with Ted Naifeh? He’s the artist I’m working with—he’s done Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things and a book called How Loathesome. It was really hard figuring it out comic scripting as a format, but interesting. The best thing about writing comics is, I usually get very bogged down providing lots of description, but that’s Ted’s problem now! I just have to be like, “Here, make this pretty,” or “There’s some people, make them look weird,” and it’s up to him.

But it’s really hard to convey mood with dialogue. You have to streamline it. And the plotting feels a little bit different,. Another great thing is although you can do flashbacks in books, they’re really hard to justify, but in a graphic novel, they’re fine! So in this first book, there are a lot of flashbacks. I went a little crazy with my new abilities—you know, the joy of the flashback.

3. Your YA novels (Tithe, Valiant, Ironside) feature some pretty hardcore teen behavior. Did you take a lot of flack for that?
I get some. I’ve made it a rule that when I am writing about experiences, the non-faerie parts have to have happened to me or somebody I know. When I started writing these books, I was writing about a part of New Jersey and a community that I knew well—one that I felt like I hadn’t seen a lot of in books. Although I think this is probably less true today, in earlier fantasy, kids were often very wealthy or very poor. And even when they were middle class, they were still what I called upper class. I wanted to write about people I know, and the Jersey shore, and the way it was to be a teenager there. And that means, you know, dealing with a lot of issues. These are things I know kids are dealing with, so I try to portray those experiences as honestly as I can.
Posted by: Julianka


09 Oct, 2007 04:57 AM @ version 0

GAH! So lucky! Holly Black's books are awesome!!!!!!

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