Hello lovely forum friends!
Thank you so much for your GREAT questions! I wish I could answer every single one, but I also have to write Book Eleven (BOOK ELEVEN EEEEE I WANT TO TELL YOU EVERYTHING!) – so we’ve picked out a few, and I’m really sorry to everyone else who sent wonderful questions I wasn’t able to get to!
Diving right in!:
What can you tell us about the Lost Continent and the new tribes?
Hmmmm, that depends on how much I can sneak past my editor! ;-) Let’s see . . . I can tell you I’ve seen sketches of the new tribes and they are SO BEAUTIFUL my heart exploded; Joy Ang is the queen of ALL THE THINGS. I can’t wait for you to see them! I also did lots of research for these dragons, which I’m excited to tell you about one day so you can all have the same nightmares I gave myself. (The dragons aren’t nightmarish, mostly, but the research was!) :)
Certain things about the tribal structures are the same—the Lost Continent tribes also have queens, for instance—but certain things are very different, and a lot of that is because of how the last two thousand years of their history has gone. Much like Pyrrhia at the beginning of Book One, Pantala (yes, that’s the name of the Lost Continent, spelled that way) is in kind of a bad situation . . . but then, that’s why we have dragon heroes, right? (And dragons who don’t want to be heroes, but have to be anyway!)
Also, the new dragons are ACK! *smothered by editor, dragged off trying to pantomime secrets...*
Were there any major difficulties in converting a written novel to graphic novel format, and if so, what were they?
Oh, such a good question! I mostly got to avoid the difficulties because we had a wonderful graphic novel author, Barry Deutsch, do the initial adaptation for me—so he’s the one who had to take my PAGES AND PAGES of deep inner rambling and convert it into “Panel 2: Clay makes a heartbroken face.” (Actually, most of it was probably “Clay makes a confused face!” Awww, Clay.)
And he also had to condense my dialogue into sentences that can fit in bubbles. You may have noticed I love writing characters who talk a LOT, so I’m sure that was a challenge for him, too! (And he hasn’t even gotten to Kinkajou yet! Ha ha oh dear!) So I really appreciated it—thank you, Barry!
And then I got Barry’s script and revised it a bit (adding back in a bunch of dialogue, because as the author of course I think it’s all ESSENTIAL) . . . and then I got the art pages and had to cut it all down again to, yes, fit in the bubbles. :)
Another challenge is that I think there are things one can write about which suddenly seem a lot more gruesome once they’re illustrated . . . so I kept making notes like “Ack, I know I wrote this, but must we have THIS much decapitation?” So I hope we managed to find the right balance between exciting action-packed dragon battles but not too much gore. (There might be a bit less scavenger eating in the graphic novels—fair warning!)
Anything you can tell us about Clearsight?
You will find out more about what happened to Clearsight after the end of Darkstalker! Book Eleven will begin with a prologue from her POV, with her arriving on the lost continent—and then chapter one will jump forward to a time more or less concurrent with the other books. But you’ll still be hearing about her . . . she definitely had an effect on the tribes she met.
Which character was easiest to write? Which character was hardest to write?
I found Clay really easy to write because I just adore him, and affable/kind-hearted/loyal/hungry all the time is exactly my kind of hero. I also found Clearsight surprisingly easy to write, because being that worried and imagining a million different futures is a little bit like being a writer in the middle of a story (or a mom in the middle of parenting!).
Turtle was definitely one of the hardest, as I’ve said before, because I’d deliberately made him enigmatic in Book Six, so I hadn’t quite figured him out all the way before starting Book Nine—and he’s not exactly a typical hero! (Although I think he definitely has the heart of one!)
What are some suggestions for building new characters?
I like to ask myself a lot of questions about each character, especially about what made them the way they are now. Often the answers are connected to what their parents and siblings were like—although I think not every dragon would react the same way to having a mom like Cobra or Coral, or a family like Winter’s. But knowing something about their background and memories helps the character feel more like a story than a snapshot, to me.
Who is Scarlet's husband and is he still alive?? Scarlet's wedding was mentioned in beginning of DoD, and we MUST know who would marry her!
Scarlet’s husband is definitely dead, which seems like an inevitable consequence of marrying her, don’t you think? :) (Although I’m not sure he had any choice in the matter!) Maybe I’ll write more about them one day. . . .
Have dragons invented chocolate, either on Pantala or Pyrrhia?
I’m going to say yes, because what kind of world would it be without chocolate?
Will Qibli and Moon be the main characters in the next arc? Or will it be a dragon from the new continent?
Book Eleven will focus on a dragon from the lost continent and introduce you to that world, and then I’ll gradually bring in characters from the first ten books, so hopefully we’ll get to see most of them again one way or another! And to answer another, related question that came up a few times: I promise you have not seen the last of Umber and Sora!
Ummm apparently someone at the release party was able to hold the graphic novel and read it...so it's ready?! Why is it taking months to be released then?
Ha ha, this is a great question! Especially because we have discovered that it takes SO LONG to make a graphic novel—there are so many more people involved, and so much detail work! But you did hear right: what I brought to the release party is called a blad, which is basically a sample of the first twenty pages of the graphic novel. These are used to show people like booksellers (and me!) what the final book will look like (shiny and colorful and full of adorable Clay faces!). But it’s not the full book, only about twenty pages of it. Everyone’s working really hard on it, though, so it won’t be much longer! :)
Will the humans/scavengers ever play a role again?
Yes! I shouldn’t say more than that . . . but yes, I’m very interested in how the humans live in this world, and how they might interact with the dragons.
Who’s your favorite minor character?
Probably Cliff—he was so much fun to write!
OK, I’d better stop there—sorry again if I missed your question! There were so many good ones! Also, can I just say, your theme song suggestions for all the characters are AMAZING! They’re making me so so happy; you guys are so thoughtful and fascinating.
I hope you’re all having wonderful back-to-school days! We took the kids shopping for school supplies and my husband had to wrestle me out of the notebook aisle because ooooooooo soooo many pretty notebooks I neeeeds them...you fellow writers out there know what I mean!
Thank you all again!
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