Thanks for the great questions, people!
Senore Swankypants asks: What is your favorite kind of cheese and why?
CC: I like it stinky and blue. ‘Cause I’m French and it tastes good.
Tim O’Shea has two questions: Have you seen an increase in snail mail?
CC: Why yes! I have! Thank you for your postcard! PO Boxes should always have things in them! That said, here it is again: Cecil Castellucci PO Box 29005 LA CA 90029
What’s been the best experience or benefit so far in terms of taking your writing skills to a new medium (and/or along the way of promoting the PLAIN Janes)?
CC: I think that when you take your writing skills to a new medium, you learn how to write differently in your old mediums. I think that writing a graphic novel along side a novel was interesting. It freed me up to use more words than I usually do in my newest novel, BEIGE and allowed me to cut a lot of words out from my graphic novel.
Kevin Melrose asks: When will James star in his own comic?
CC: Oh, how I love James. I could write a whole book about him. He definitely gets a starring role in my heart.
Jeffrey asks: Other than Jim Rugg, who would you most like to work with on your next comic, if there is one?
CC: I hope that I do get to do other comics, and there are many people I’d like to work with but I’m going to name some ladies whose art I admire: Hope Larson, Pia Guerra and Becky Cloonan.
David asks: What’s Jim Rugg working on next?
This is what Jim said when I interviewed him a couple of weeks ago. RUGG: I’m not sure what I can say about upcoming stuff. A lot of what I’m working on hasn’t been announced yet. I just did a short story for the next issue of Meathaus, it features the Afrodisiac (my story, not the whole book) and it’s full-color. I have another Afrodisiac story I’m working on for another anthology (deadlines permitting). I’m doing a short story for Marvel that I’m very excited about. I’m working on a graphic novel for DC. At this very moment, I’m halfway through a short comic strip about Grandmaster Caz and Afrika Bambaataa for VH1.
Prem asks: I’m sure you’ve explained this elsewhere, but how’d you get involved in all this?By “all this” I mean comics–and writing in general. I’m a semi-sort-of-writer, and I love learning about inspirations and such.
CC: Well, the truth is that I knew I wanted to become a storyteller once I saw Darth Vader spinning off at the end of Star Wars, I understood that his story continued and that it was someone’s job to make that story up. I wanted that job. Writing is something that I’ve always done and always wanted to do. When I was about 25, I was sitting in a café and I said to a friend of mine how much I loved Meg from A Wrinkle in Time. How Meg was a mousy girl with scientist parents with a brilliant younger brother and I really related to her because that’s what my life was. I was telling my friend how I always wanted to write for kids, because it’s when I fell in love with reading and stories. Anyway, I still didn’t really think I could be a writer, I wanted to, but it seemed elusive. My friend told me I should write Madeline L’Engle a letter. So I did. And I told her I wanted to write for kids, just like her. She wrote me back and said, “If you want to do it, why don’t you just do it?”
So I did.
Now I tell everyone to just do it. And you are not a semi-sort-of-writer! You are a writer! Bang your chest! Throw your fists in the air! Shout it from a mountain top!
nickmaynard: could you ever see yourself doing anything with capes and/or tights?
CC: I sure could see myself doing that! I would love to get a chance to write a superhero story about a cape wearing and tight sporting type person.
jacob munford says: Cecil – What will it take for the Minx line to survive in the market it is targeting?
CC: I’m no expert at marketing, but my suspicions are that the thing to make a line like Minx survive and thrive is to have plenty of good, diverse, different kinds of stories that girls (and boys) will want to read. From what I’ve seen of the Minx books so far, that’s what they are trying to do. And it’s not just Minx, other children’s publishing companies are starting to put out or are already putting out great graphic novels for young kids and young adults that also have different kinds of stories. The bigger those YA graphic novel sections get in the libraries and in the book stores is what’s going get more kids discovering graphic novels as literature. I don’t need to tell anyone here that with books like Bone, American Born Chinese, Persepolis, Gray Horses, Baby Mouse, The Babysitters Club, to name a very few, that this has already begun. It’s a very exciting time in Young Adult literature! I’m so glad to be a part of it!