Co-author of the new graphic novel series, Cemetery Girl (out now), with Charlaine Harris.
There were lots of people involved in Cemetery Girl, how did you go about pulling it all together?
CG: That’s always the case on a comic book or graphic novel. It’s a wonderfully collaborative medium in which no end product can be artistically successful unless all of those contributing are giving their all.
What was the best thing about collaborating with Charlaine Harris?
CG: Charlaine is a fantastic writer with a great sense of humor. She’s also gracious and patient, which sure doesn’t hurt when I’m behind on delivering my next bits of the script. I’ve been a fan since I cracked the first Sookie novel years ago, and I was honored when she asked me to collaborate on this project with her. Figuring out Calexa’s story and world together has been such a pleasure.
Calexa doesn’t have much choice in the matter, but cemeteries still seem a bit draw to teens, why do you think this is?
CG: Speaking from experience, cemeteries call to teenagers because they’re private, quiet places, whether you’re going there for a walk, to make out with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or to drink alcohol somewhere nobody will catch you. Not that I’m recommending teenagers drink alcohol…but it’s been known to happen on occasion.
Does the artwork start to shape the story or is the writing set in stone?
CG: I think that from the beginning Charlaine and I were writing certain elements into the story to take advantage of some of Don’s strengths. He’s wonderful at pulling emotion out of facial expressions, especially on female characters, and his detail on the cemetery is something we foresaw when we chose him for the project. We considered dozens of artists, but Don rose to the top of our list early on and stayed there.
If readers are new to graphic novels, how would you sway them to give them a go?
CG: Just think of it as a movie where you have to turn the pages. It’s the best of both worlds. So many of the great reviews we’ve had have come from first timers, which makes me very happy.
Are we allowed any hints to the future of Calexa?
CG: Unexpected good fortune, lots of bad luck, death and taxes, loss and grief, and the answers to all of her–and readers’–questions…answers she may wish she had never gotten.
Calexa’s fond of mint chocolate cookies, what’s your favourite snack?
CG: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream. I was in London in the fall and I dragged my friends to Leicester Square to get some!
Is there anything you’ve discovered online recently that you’d like to share?
CG: A quote from the Dalai Lama, who said, “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds.”
Where can you be found online?
A big thanks to Christopher for taking the time to answer my questions. The first instalment of Cemetery Girl is available now (from Jo Fletcher Books in the UK). I found the story faced paced, with loads of expression in the drawings and an enjoyable way to pass an evening. Calexa’s an interesting character and I can’t wait to see how it develops. As an episodic graphic novel (does that make it a comic?) I found it a bit on the short side and wanted more. But that will be dealt with in future instalments.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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