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Gwenda Bond Brings Lois Lane to a New Audience in the YA Novel: FALLOUT

The book is a great introduction to the headstrong reporter and we talk to the author to find out what Lois means to her.

Lois Lane is a fantastic character. She's done some great things in comics and has been a strong part of Superman's world and important to the DCU for over seventy-five years. Fans of Lois are often left wondering when her next big appearance will be. In the New 52 line of comics, she's had various appearances but they haven't quite been what readers have been hoping for.

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With the new young adult novel, Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond, we get to see Lois in a way we haven't before. Get ready to meet a sixteen-year-old Lois. The great thing about this book is, you can see Lois forming into the fantastic character we love today. I had the chance to read an early copy of the book and pretty much devoured it immediately. This is Lois as she's just getting the taste of being a reporter. This is her first time in Metropolis and there's a serious problem she needs to investigate and crack open. The depiction is exactly what you would want and expect to see.

This is a great introduction for young readers. They'll get the chance to find out who Lois is without the story having a heavy comic book feel, which might turn off some readers. There is plenty of action, suspense, and even emotion in this book. The book is just over 300 pages so there's plenty of meat to the story but not too much to intimidate younger readers.

What about a certain other character? Lois does have an online friend going by the screen name of SmallvilleGuy. Who could that be...?

I do strongly recommend this book for the younger readers in your life. That being said, I really enjoyed it myself. I know my daughter's going to love this as well. We also had the opportunity to talk to Gwenda about writing this novel to see how she approached it and what Lois means to her.

COMIC VINE: How did you come on board this project?

GWENDA BOND: My agent was approached about whether I would be interested in writing Lois Lane as the star of her own YA novel. My answer, obviously, was an enthusiastic yes.

CV: We all know how great Lois is in current depictions. How would you describe her at this stage in her life?

GB: One of the things that makes YA so interesting as a writer is that it features characters at a stage of life when they’re beginning to become who they will be as adults. It’s a time of big decisions, of defining yourself apart from your family for the first time, of finding your own way in the world. This is Lois, a character we all know the adult version of, finding her path as a journalist and beginning to truly embrace who she is. The teen years aren’t precisely easy for anyone, and Lois is no exception.

photo by: Sarah Jane Sanders
photo by: Sarah Jane Sanders

CV: What’s your favorite thing about Lois?

GB: Narrowing it to just one is tough. But I think it’s probably that she never loses faith in herself—no matter how bad a situation is, whether she’s just gotten the scoop or screwed up horribly, she won’t quit.

CV: As a big Lois fan yourself, was it easy to write this novel or was there any nervousness over how fans will react?

GB: I would never describe writing any novel as easy, but, honestly, this story did unfold for me more quickly than some of my other books. I wrote up the outline for it in a feverish week, and started writing it a few weeks after that. Absolutely, I worried about getting it wrong, disappointing fans, and not being up to the task, but I think I have some of that Lois spirit in me too. So those things made me more determined to write a novel I’d be proud of, and that would feel like a gift to Lois Lane fans.

CV: What sort of guidelines or restrictions did DC Entertainment give you about Lois and her world?

GB: Nothing really leaps to mind. I had to turn in the aforementioned outline, but we have all been very much on the same page with this project and there were never any major restrictions given. I think everyone involved felt it was special and wanted to take great care to do the character justice. So my guidelines were basically, “Hey, go write a great book that has a wonderful Lois filled with all the things people love about her.” Easy, right? No pressure! (Yes, I’m laughing.)

CV: How did you come up with the balance in making this a young adult novel based on a comic book character set in a slightly more realistic world?

GB: There are a couple of elements at play. In a Superman story, where Superman isn’t really Superman yet, there aren’t usually superheroes in the world—he’s the first. So I knew Lois would be living in a world much like ours (which also doesn’t have superheroes, of course). That said, I didn’t want to lose the super science and science fictional nature of the comic book stories completely. The answer seemed to be a world slightly more advanced technologically than our own, where strange things are starting to happen and Lois is among the first to notice. But I also wanted Lois’s life itself to be recognizable for teens reading the book. The great thing about Lois is that she doesn’t have superpowers, but she’s still a superhero. Any of us can be like her. I feel like setting this in a slightly more realistic world enhances that.

CV: How does it feel knowing this could be many young readers’ first time being introduced to Lois?

GB: Amazing—I still can’t believe I got to write Lois Lane. It feels like a dream. I hope they fall in love with her.

CV: Many fans crave more Lois in the comics (or even her own solo series) and are saddened by her current lack of appearances. Do you think Lois-centric stories are a tough sell for the average comic book readers?

GB: I hope not! I’ve been tremendously grateful for the outpouring of support and enthusiasm since the day this project was announced. I truly believe that there are a lot of people in the world who love Lois Lane just as much as they love Superman. And I hope too that the expanding readership of comic books outside what we maybe used to think of as the average comic book readership will embrace this story.

CV: Do you have more young Lois stories in you?

GB: I do! So everyone buy this one, and I will keep writing them.

CV: What’s been your favorite depiction or story of Lois over the years in any medium (live action, animated, print, etc)?

GB: This is tough, but I have to say Margot Kidder in the 1978 Superman movie because it was my introduction to the character. I think if I could go back and sit beside my childhood self and point at the screen and say, “You know you get to write her someday,” my younger self would freak out.

LOIS LANE: FALLOUT from Switch Press is now on sale! Pick it up today at your local book store or online. Let's keep our fingers crossed for more Lois in the future!