Posted on the Squeetus Blog June 18, 2006 02:08 PM PST.
I've had some emails from people who are clearly confused about my upcoming projects, so I thought I'd clarify:
"You're writing a graphic novel?!!"
"Graphic" here doesn't mean "descriptive of violence, sex, etc." but rather "containing pictures." It's a comic book. rapunzel's revenge will be a comic-western-fairy tale-adventure. It's completely PG, maybe even G (there's lots of action, but it's not gratuitious violence). And you're going to love it. You'd be crazy not to. Dean co-wrote it, and he's so clever and funny, and Nathan Hale's illustrations are going to be amazing. Not out until 2008, but I swear it'll be worth the wait.
"So, why not just say "comic book"?"
Traditionally, comic books are 23-page soft bound issues that are part of an ongoing series. A graphic novel is book length and presents a self-contained story. They look a lot the same on the inside--panels with pictures and word balloons. It's such a great medium for storytelling. I love that so many of my readers, who have never read a comic book or graphic novel, will be introduced to this wonderful world of visual books through rapunzel's revenge!
"AND you're writing an adult novel?!!"
K, again, we're probably misreading words here. It's "adult" as in "published by a mainstream publisher, not a children's publisher, with a main character who is of an adult age," NOT "adult" as in "adult video store." Sheesh. (The English language needs some new terms, obviously, 'cause graphic and adult just have too many meanings.) If it were a movie, I'd rate it PG. It's about adults so there are adult situations, but I'd feel comfortable giving it to my grandmother. If you're worried that I'm going to get smutty, know that, in my opinion, it's loads cleaner than prime time TV. (though I guess that sometimes isn't saying much...)
"What, are you selling out?!!"
Wikipedia defines selling out as "the compromising of one's integrity, morality and principles in exchange for money, success or other personal gain. It is commonly associated with attempts to increase mass appeal or acceptability to mainstream society." I'm a little shocked that people ask me this question without seeming to realize what an insult it is. I do not compromise my integrity with what I write. I choose what I write. I do not have the ability to try and write for what I think might sell or what the market wants. I can only respond to the stories and characters that nag me and try and do my best by them. I'm writing an adult novel because the story appealed to me. In all likelihood, my adult novel (because it's my first foray into a new field) will be less successful than my young adult books. I'm not getting rich off it, not trying to break away from YA lit, no one's pressured me to do it. I just had a story to tell, and I've done my best to tell it in the best way possible, one that's true to the story and the characters and to my own sense of the world.
"And what's the title again?"
Officially, the title of the adult book is now and forevermore, austenland. I know supporters of the title ostensibly jane will be sad. It was a tough call for me, but ultimately I felt that austenland better represented the book and made it more accessible to readers. And I had good news this week--my editor read the recent draft and was very happy with it, and we're poised to send it on to copy editing and get the ball rolling! Hooray! This is a book I've been working on for 6 years, so it's wonderful to see it come to fruition.