For 77 years, she has been standing in Superman’s shadow, but now it’s Lois Lane’s turn in the spotlight. At this year’s BookExpo America, one of the books I am most excited about is Fallout by Gwenda Bond, the first book in a new series centering around Lois’s younger years as a high school student in Metropolis. Fallout follows the Lane family as they settle down in Metropolis. Lois gets a job at a Daily Planet offshoot geared towards teens and immediately gets caught up in a cyberbullying story at her new school. She works to solve the mystery with the help of her fellow reporters and a boy she only knows by his username – SmallvilleGuy.
Gwenda graciously granted me a few minutes to chat after her BEA signing (the line for which looped around the booth more than once and eventually ran out of books!) about her vision for the latest incarnation of Lois Lane.
Lois Lane is an iconic character in pop culture. What was it about her that made you want to write about her younger years?
I do think that Lois is a character that we’ve seen for 77 years now, in a variety of media. And we’ve seen a bunch of different stories with Lois, but none where she’s really the star and not in orbit around Superman. And we really have never gotten her full origin story. To be asked to imagine what that might look like, for a modern audience – some people who might not even be that familiar with the character, like teen readers, and for people who’ve loved the character forever and really wanted her to have a showcase like this – it’s pretty much a dream come true as a writer.
There have been many different incarnations of Lois in comics, film, and television. Did you feel any pressure to characterize her in a specific way?
I did a lot of thinking about the best versions of Lois, and what was unique to those in different periods, and also the ones that I was not so much a fan of. I tried to do the first and not do the second. But I did want to people to recognize, obviously, the character of Lois that they are attached to, but also see her in a new way.
What were your favorite things about writing Lois?
She’s just the most fun character to write ever. The thing about writing Lois is that she wants something in every single scene. And it’s rarely about her. She’s very much always noticing and looking, seeing where things are wrong and could be improved and jumping in to try and fix things, even if it gets her in trouble. I think that’s a really appealing quality that a lot of us can relate to.
A certain Smallville resident is a character, but this is still very much Lois’s story. Will he begin to feature more prominently as the story progresses, or will he stay on the fringes?
I think that their relationship to me is a really fun thing to write. And they are very much touchstones for each other; they make each other better. But this will always be Lois’s spotlight, Lois’s story. The thing about Lois is… Some people ask me why I wanted to have Clark in the book at all, and I feel like Lois is more than capable of still shining and being the star and not having him steal the show. And so why not? Because they are great together.
Will anyone else we recognize pop up?
I don’t know, we’ll just have to see! There’s been a lot of speculation about the identity of the Inventor. (laughs)
How many books do you envision for the series?
I don’t know. As many as they’ll let me write! We just hope that there’ll be more.
Assuming there are more, which I hope there are, what else can we expect from Lois as her story continues?
You know, I wouldn’t want to say. I wouldn’t want to spoil. And I might change my mind. But I think you’ll see more of the same, more of her trying to…finding her place in the world and figuring out to keep it now that she knows what she wants to do and be, and dealing with lots of challenges – both at home and on the internet and in the real world at school.
Thanks, Gwenda, for taking the time to talk to us!
Fallout by Gwenda Bond is currently available from Switch Press/Capstone wherever books are sold. Be sure to pick up your copy today!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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