What was Lois Lane like before Superman? That's the question Gwenda Bond answered in her new young adult novel Lois Lane: Fallout.
In that book, we see a young Lois as we've never seen her before: an army brat who just moved to the big city of Metropolis. She doesn't know Superman yet, and her biggest challenge is fitting in and being normal.
Of course, Lois was never normal and soon she finds herself embroiled in solving a mystery behind a group at school that's messing with her mind via a video game.
But Lois makes an online friend, a guy who goes by the moniker "SmallvilleGuy." Hmmm... we wonder who that could be?
We talked to Bond about Lois Lane and her book, as well as about writing for the young adult genre of fiction.
Lois Lane: Fallout is available now.
Your novel, Lois Lane: Fallout , is about a character we're all familiar with in the Superman universe. Why did you choose Lois Lane as the main character for the novel?
I was asked if I'd be interested in writing a young adult (YA) novel starring Lois Lane as a teen journalist. How could I say no? My initial thought was that Lois would be a perfect fit to headline her own YA series - becoming a reporter, solving mysteries as she writes stories, navigating her changing feelings for a certain someone from Smallville she met online, and essentially finding her place in the world, which is what most YA is about in one way or another. And it's also one reason I feel like so many of us adults can relate to it, still, because we never really stop defining ourselves and what we want from life.
What was it like writing a character that most people are already familiar with? What challenges did you face in tackling Lois Lane?
I was definitely worried that I'd screw it up. This is a much-beloved character - not just by me, but by an incredibly smart, devoted fan base that spans every generation. The last thing I wanted was to disappoint those fans who'd been waiting for a showcase like this for the character. But I also wanted to bring Lois Lane to a new audience too, both girls and boys, who might not know much about the character yet. Lois is so well-defined as a character and driven - even as a teenager - that my version of her came pretty quickly. Once I had her voice, she drove the story.
Your books fall under the young adult genre. What is it about that genre that appeals most to you?
Young adult books are about teenagers and that experience of deciding who we are, making big decisions and going through all those firsts that happen during those years. It's something as adults we've all been through. Writing about that time of life is endlessly engaging for me as an author. And I also love the freedom to mix and match genres within YA; no one bats an eyelash. Teens are very imaginative, devoted readers.
What do you think is most important about writing stories with strong female characters?
For me, it's about writing the kind of stories I enjoy, but also about increasing the number of stories that center on girls and depicting different kinds of girls. I hope that in some way it helps girls and women see more possibilities for themselves. But I also always hope that boys and men will read my books too. Books about female characters are for everyone.
What are you currently working on and what works will you next release?
I don't think I'm allowed to talk yet about what I'm currently working on, which will probably be my next book to come out sometime next year. But I can talk about the other one, which has the working title of Abracadabra Girl, and is a companion novel to last year's Girl on a Wire that will be out sometime in 2016 too. It's about a girl who wants to be a magician and joins the same modern circus from Girl on a Wire, and there will be intrigue and romance and, of course, magic.
[Photo Credit: Gwenda Bond]