Richard Mead Storm Born Volume 1 and 2 Interview
Storm Born are a graphic novel series from the author of Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead.
In the novel Storm Born, first in the popular Dark Swan urban fantasy series, Richelle Mead-New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Vampire Academy and the Georgia Kincaid Series-introduced fans of paranormal romance to Eugenie Markham, a freelance shaman who battles the ghosts and fey that sneak into our world from the Otherworld.
Richard Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time. Her adult series are published by Kensington Books. The Georgina Kincaid Series (Succubus Blues, Succubus on Top, Succubus Dreams, and Succubus Heat), Dark Swan Series (Storm Born and Thorn Queen) and YA series, Vampire Academy, (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, and Spirit Bound).
Storm Born Volume 1 and 2
Sea Lion Books
Author: Richard Mead
Interview with Richard Mead
Question: Graphic novelisations are some of the coolest methods of widening your fan-base, but how hard was it for you to hand over your creations and trusting that the scripter and artist properly capture the right "feel" as they rev it up a bit visually?
Richard Mead: It really wasn't as difficult as it might seem. A huge part of this was simply the fact that I made sure I trusted and felt good about the publisher before signing. I had good references from other authors and had seen their past work, so I had total confidence in them when I turned over thereins. It also helped that there was no question before we started in on this project that I would have input every step of the way on art and words. So, that alleviated a lot of concern because I was always able to weigh in if I didn't feel something was working. But honestly, the team is so great, I rarely had to offer much at all! They really captured everything well.
Question: Eugenie goes through a rather horrific event. Will the graphic novels be glossing over some of the more "adult" material like that, or will they be geared for more mature audiences?
Richard Mead: The graphic novels will definitely stay true to the books' content, including the more mature and troubling material. Certain things may not be explicitly shown. For example, a lot of the nude scenes are done in a way where the characters are in profile or shadowed. There's no question, however, about what's going on, and there'll be no censoring of the story itself. Keeping the integrity of the original series is very important to all of us.
Question: When does each "episode" come out?
Richard Mead: Storm Born will be told in eight issues. The first comes out in May, and a new one will follow each month. Once four of them are out, they'll be available as a bound set, and then the final four will follow in the same monthly pattern with a complete bound set at the end.
Question: Is Eugenie what you pictured her to be like in the graphic novels?
Richard Mead: Well, I don't envision her in comic form when I'm writing, but if I did, this is pretty much what she'd look like! It helps that I was consulted on art all along the way. Even before they beganscripting and drawing for the story, the artist and the rest of the team were working on having the character designs set and perfected. I was able to offer input and changes right from those early stages, so Eugenie's look was exactly where I wanted it to be before the "real" work even started.
Question: How excited are you to have your work done in this media?
Richard Mead: Very! My goal as a writer is to tell the most complex and rich story I can. Having that story adapted into another medium adds another dimension and allows readers to see things they might have missed in the novel. It's a wonderful opportunity for both me and the readers.
Question: How much content of the original book is left out?
Richard Mead: I can't really come up with a number or percentage. I can say that all the main plot points and beats are there. The things that get left out in an adaptation like this tend to be the asides and small side stories that are used to enrich the world and characters. Space simply won't allow us to keep every detail, but the nice trade-off is that the visuals end up expanding the characters and world in other ways. So, we still end up with a really wonderful, really rich story.
Question: Does the visual aspect of the graphic novel form provide a sort of filmic feel to your original material?
Richard Mead: Absolutely. A lot of the scenes in the novels play out very cinematically in my head while writing, and while there are certainly ways to convey that same drama and emotional intensity with words, the art is able to capture different aspects of it and bring us even closer to what I envisioned. (Wow! Was that all one sentence?).
Richard Mead: answer
Question: Do you feel as though the medium visually represents the world of the novel as you see it?
Richard Mead: Again, you have to keep in mind that I don't see the story in comic visuals when I'm writing, and nothing-not even my own words!-will ever be a 100% direct download of my head. But like I was saying with Eugenie's look, if I was going to picture things in a comic art style, this is pretty much spot on what it'd be like. My input played a role in this at times, but the team working on the art and design is so talented that they were able to carefully read the original books and pull out the components and visuals that were exactly needed to represent the world. It's been kind of amazing.
Question: How much input were you allowed to have in the direction of the art?
Richard Mead: The artist and design team read the novels very carefully and made lots of notes on how things should be portrayed before even starting the comic itself. They asked me tons of questions in that stage and showed me their starting designs. I was able to weigh in at that early point and let them know if things were working or not, and they were super accommodating with suggestions. That attitude pretty much continued once the comic began unfolding. They'd send me a few pages at a time to check and approve, so I always had the chance to get something tweaked if needed-no matter how small. So, really, I've never felt like things were running off without me. The team's been really great about keeping me involved in every step.
Question: Do you have any plans to convert your Georgia Kincaid series into the Graphic Novel format?
Richard Mead: At the moment, no, but it's certainly something that may happen down the road. For now, it's just a matter of logistics. My Vampire Academy series is also being turned into a graphic novel this year, and so two book adaptations are more than enough to keep me busy right now!