DCC Spotlight: Our Interview with Amalie Howard

Amalie-HeaderAt this year’s Denver Comic Con we once again had the pleasure of meeting with the awesomely amazing Amalie Howard. She’s award-winning, she’s hysterical and she creates some of the most dynamic and diverse YA protagonists appearing on your reading lists today. During Saturday’s Con session, I got to sit down with her for a little while and ask her all my most burning literary questions. Once I stopped fangirling at her, that is. Below is our interview, edited lightly for clarity, grammar and possibly to make me look less like a squeeeeeing lunatic. It is also from notes, not a recording, so there is some paraphrasing.

Amalie, I’m so excited to be meeting with you again this year and thank you so much for making the time. How are you enjoying DCC 2016?

There is so much energy and enthusiasm this year! And I love seeing all the young people, especially the girls showing their geek colors! It’s great seeing so many families here too!

That makes me wonder: If you ever see someone cosplay as one of your characters at a Con, will that be the moment where you go “Well, I’ve arrived!”? Also, how cool would it be to see someone cosplay from your books?

It would be so awesome, I would love to see that! I mean, come on, that would be amazing. Recognition is great, but validation from fans is the most rewarding.

How awesome would it be to have your books adapted for film or even a series? Is that something you’re hoping for?

Absolutely! There have been discussions about both TV and movie options, but nothing concrete yet. You know, a lot of YA has tanked because the market is getting overwhelmed with repetitive ideas, but I think we can find an audience.

Oh my god, Riven Chronicles would be amazing as a series. I can see it on Netflix or something, it’s got that vibe.

Yeah, that would be really fun. It’s got big fights and sexy romance. And everyone loves to hate the bad guys! You need a good villain.

At this point we went on a rather lengthy tangent about good villains and why we love them, culminating in the conclusion that well written villains are just the best. Sadly, I failed at writing it down because we were talking a million miles an hour. We also pulled a few passersby into our conversation, and at that point, I completely failed at being an interviewer and slid right over the line into just being a fan and a nerd. I apologize to our readers for this failure, next time I will bring a recorder!

So, what’s next for you?

I’m co-writing a historical romance series for adults with Angie Morgan.

[Cue incoherent squealing] Oh my god, seriously?

Yes. It’s set in the Regency period, and the first book comes out on November 21st.

What’s it called?

My Rogue, My Ruin

That is so awesome. I really can’t wait to see what you do with that setting and writing for an adult audience! How did it happen?

Angie and I are in the same YA critique group. It started as just a fun project, to do something a little bit different and it went really well and we sold it! It’s actually a trilogy and the rest of the books will be out in 2017.

Do they have titles yet?

Yes. Book 2 is called My Darling, My Disaster. And Book 3 is My Hellion, My Heart. So they will be out in 2017 and it’s really fun to explore a different setting and writing for an adult audience.

I love the Regency setting. I’m so all about this!

Yes, it’s going to be a fun read for sure! And how awesome is that last title, My Hellion, My Heart? I love it so much.

Me too, so much. Villains and bad guys, yes!

Exactly.

What else new do you have coming up?

Dark Goddess, sequel to Alpha Goddess is out in June 2017.

Oh good! I am really excited for that! Last question: What’s it like to be so awesome?

[Amalie just laughs and refuses to divulge her secrets.]

You can find all of Amalie’s books at her website, and all of her books are available for purchase through Amazon and booksellers everywhere! She’s been an IPPY Silver Medalist, an Amazon #1 bestseller and her work has been recognized for its excellence by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and VOYA. She lives in Colorado with her family and is a secret ninja Jedi Master. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook where she is pithy and hilarious. I promise you won’t be disappointed! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go devour Alpha Goddess again.

Want to read more about Sisters in Geek’s Comic Con Adventures? Go here! And also here!

 

Imagine Going to Hogwarts in Gotham!

Becky-Cloonan-Interview

Becky Cloonan is a comic book writer and artist. She co-writes Gotham Academy with Brenden Fletcher and artist Karl Kerschl. Volume one collecting comics 1-6 was recently released in paperback and kindle.

Sisters In Geek: Everyone should be reading Gotham Academy. It’s character-driven, mystery-solving fun with loot. You’ve listed Harry Potter as an influence. I’d add early Harry Potter when they still talked about every flavor jellybeans, and had fun adventures. Please give us your best sales pitch, in case we have some holdouts.

Gotham-Academy-Icon2Becky Cloonan: Imagine going to Hogwarts in Gotham! I think like so many people I was left with a big Potter shaped hole in my heart when the series ended, and I wouldn’t go as far as to say Gotham Academy will fill that hole, but that series is certainly one of our touchtones. As is Batman the Animated Series, Nancy Drew mysteries, even Scooby-Doo. The book is a lot of fun, and perfect for new comic readers and long-time Batman fans alike! It really is our love letter to Gotham, folded up into a little square: Gotham City, do you like us? Y/N.

SIG: I feel that you, Brenden, and Karl have somehow won the comic book lottery. How great is it to be doing something completely NEW in the batman universe?

Becky-Cloonan4Becky Cloonan: Oh, it’s the best!! DC has been so supportive of this book too! It’s really hard to get people excited about new characters sometimes, but I’m very happy that people respond and love the kids of Gotham Academy just as much as we do. It’s also really exciting to be adding to Batman history! We are all huge fans so the book is a ton of fun, but the responsibility of making it the best we can is not lost on us!

SIG: Maps is a young girl who gleefully talks about lessons learned during role-playing campaigns, and how she needs to loot everything.  Are you ever worried about Maps being so cute that she’ll steal every scene?

maps3Becky Cloonan: Wait, you mean she doesn’t steal every scene? We’ll just have to make her cuter! Haha Maps is one of my favorite characters. She is an absolute delight to write, because she is so comfortable with herself. She knows exactly who she is and makes no apologies for it! And she likes RPG’s, so yeah. I definitely relate to her on a lot of levels.

SIG: You had a career in comics already as an artist. What made you take on writing too? Are you showing off?

Becky-Cloonan2Becky Cloonan:  *Puts on sunglasses* Actually, I’ve always written– but I think most of my more well-known books have been with writers. I’ve been lucky to work with some of the best in the business too. This is the first comic I’m writing for somebody else to draw, and working with Karl Kerschl has been just incredible. We lucked out!

SIG: Olive and team have already found a lot of secrets at Gotham Academy. I’m hoping it is a big place? Lots more secrets, and lots more comic book issues?

MapsBecky Cloonan: This is Gotham! Of course there are lots more secrets. We’ll need a lot of issues to uncover all of them, so keep your flashlight and compass at the ready.

SIG: You’ve collaborated on great comics, and created your own. What has been your biggest revelation on how to imagine and create great work?

Becky-Cloonan3Becky Cloonan: Every comic is different. They start differently, they end differently, and each process is unique to that book. I never want to repeat myself either, so I think it’s important to give enough thought and time for each new comic to develop properly. Sometimes you have a great idea, but the timing isn’t quite right— just put it on the back burner to simmer. Maybe one day you’ll get to it, maybe one day you won’t! It’s important not to be too precious about ideas, because tomorrow you will always have another one!

Check out Becky’s website! She has award winning stand-alone comics, a hilarious about page, and a lot of comic collections and series you should start.

Buy Gotham Academy Volume 1 at Amazon or check out our review if you still aren’t convinced.

Art by Becky Cloonan and Karl Kerschl

 

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