The next big thing: A self-interview

Thursday, 21 February, 2013

So I was tagged by my Twitter friend Marc Johnson to do this self-interview post. (For some reason, the series is called “The next big thing” [see also here and here].) Marc and I met on Twitter while both following the marvellous G Willow Wilson, writer of (among other things) Air, a series we both loved that was cancelled part-way through its run. Marc used to do a podcast called V for Vertigo, and he and I bickered about Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra's Y: The Last Man series on episode 100. (Spoilers: I loved it. He didn't. I ended up purchasing his trades from him.)

Marc is also the author of Catalyst (The Passage of Hellsfire Book 1), a young adult fantasy coming-of-age romance, and its sequel, What Once Was One. (He's got six books planned for that series.) His work is mostly available through e-readers, however, if memory serves correctly, you can now get Catalyst in print.

Right then. On with the self-interview.

1. What is the title of your book?

As I've only published one book, I'm going to be talking about Kinds of Blue, an anthology of short comics about depression. I called it that because I wanted to bring out the idea of different aspects to depression (depression and marriage, depression and music, depression and suicide, depression and food, etc.) And, of course, I was riffing off of Miles Davis.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

As I wrote here and here, it was a combination of wanting to make comics and having lived with depression for a number of years and having a rich pool of experiences to draw from. Despite depression being such a common malady (BeyondBlue reports that it affects one in five people at various points in their lives), it's not very well understood. Which also means that people who aren't depression sufferers have very little idea of how to help. The nice thing about comics is that the medium can convey so much more than prose can on its own. So what I and my collaborators aimed to do with the book is to, firstly, capture the experience of what it's like to have depression and convey that in such a way that people who don't have it can understand, and secondly, provide a few suggestions on what can help and how others can help the depressed.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Good question. It's sort of self-help/mental health, but then it's also a comics anthology. I guess, broadly speaking, it's more non-fiction than fiction, but that categorisation doesn't quite sit so well either. What would you call it?

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a difficult question to answer in this case, but here are a few ideas:

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

An anthology of short comics about different aspects of depression.

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

This is hard to say. I think I had all the scripts finished in about five months, but art production wasn't complete until 10 months.

7. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My wonderful husband Ben, who is also a depression sufferer.

8. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

The work of many of the artists is just gorgeous and served to bring out the nuances of each story really well.

Kinds of Blue is available in both print and e-book format. We are fast running out of print copies, so don't miss out. We ship worldwide!

9. Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?


My tagged writers for next Wednesday, February 27th are:

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Kinds of Blue: Cover art



A way of funding writing in the future: pitch and idea and get people to support it.

Place where you can hire play equipment for parties, etc.

How to recalibrate the home button on your iPhone.

Unsolicited manuscripts accepted by Pan Macmillan with certain conditions.

Thought Balloon is a group blog in which the writers tackle a new theme every week? month? with one-page scripts. This URL is for their Phonogram ones.


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