While I was attending Stonecoast, I needed to come up with a third-semester project. I knew I wanted to involve comic books somehow, but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. What I was sure of was that I wanted to take advantage of any connections I had made with people I met at comic book conventions and people I was going to school with. So I came up with eight simple questions and had multiple comic book writers and sometimes artists answer them and collected the interviews into one small book.
So, in the same vein as my new blog feature “Friend Files” – I present to you the interview I had with Nancy Holder. Nancy is an incredibly generous and informative individual and was my mentor at Stonecoast (the MFA program I graduated from) during my third semester and helped me get some of the interviews I now have to share with you all. Nancy completed one of the interviews herself, having written some comic books with Moonstone under the Domino Lady banner. In the end, I didn’t use these questions until my graduate presentation – but the process was fun and I did learn a lot from the creators I interviewed just in the eight questions they answered for me. I hope that you all can get something out of it, too.
Nancy is a very talented author – A five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times. (And I got to work with her!) So listen up!
Note: These are “beginner” questions for folks who are either interested in Nancy’s work, interested in possibly getting into writing comics, curious about the methods comic book writers use, or if you’re just curious in general. These are very simple questions, meant to just get a snapshot of what the comic business is like for these particular writers. Tune in to later editions of this blog feature for more interviews with other comic book creators. Also, this interview is now a year old or more, so some of the publication data might be old as well.
And, now – on to the interview:
- For those people who may be unfamiliar with your work, which comic book company are you working for at the moment (or in the past), and what are your current projects?
I have not created my own series but I have given The Domino Lady a cast of characters to hang out with.
2. What got you into writing/drawing comic books or graphic novels?
Growing up, I read tons of comics (and did my book reports on Golden Classics Illustrated, not actually READING the classics.) I subscribed to all kinds of comics when I was in elementary school (and I was a DC girl!)
- What was the most difficult thing about breaking into the comic book industry?
Getting a way in. You need a track record, but to get a track record…and so on. I’m so glad my boss at Moonstone invited me to start writing for him.
- What do you think about indie publishing?
I think it’s great. So much creative work is getting out there whereas before it would be sitting in someone’s desk drawer. Power to the people!
- Who was your biggest influence?
Alan Moore and Dennis O’Neil. Giants!
- What is the hardest thing about working for a well-known publisher? If you don’t work for one, what’s the hardest thing about doing things yourself?
I don’t own the characters and my editor can ask other people to work on them. I used to feel quite proprietary (and jealous!) when he would assign stories to other writers but I’ve gotten over it. I can’t write it all and I’d rather our properties show up often so people will develop the habit of reading them.
- How do you make your own work stand out?
I try to say a lot even though I can’t use a ton of words. It’s like writing poetry. I also try to stay true to the time period (we license a lot of pulp 1930’s characters) without confusing the reader.
- What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone trying to create their first comic book or graphic novel?
Tell a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Seriously, that’s it. Show, show, show, and let the reader connect the dots as much as you can.
If you enjoyed this interview and/or wish to know more about Nancy’s work, visit the site for one of her publishers – Random House – where you will find info on her Wolf Springs Chronicles novels, her Saving Grace novels, and others.
Also, check out her page at Simon and Schuster to see info on her Wicked series, as well as her work on Teen Wolf and others.
Also, check out her OWN website at NANCYHOLDER.COM to see news about her upcoming works and appearances.
Finally, don’t forget to check out Nancy’s work with Moonstone Books – notably her work on the comics featuring DOMINO LADY.