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Monday, June 22, 2015

Interview #26 With Jennie Wood

So a few weeks ago I did and interview with the creator of Flutter the comic. Hope you guys enjoy and please check out her stuff :).

1: What got you into writing?

Jennie Wood: It’s something I started doing as a kid. I had a lot of favorite fictional characters in different books and movies and TV shows. I thought it would be fun to put them all in one ongoing story. I remember being up in my room for hours working on it every day after I finished my homework. It became the one thing, other than playing music, where I didn’t notice the clock, didn’t notice time passing.


Later while in high school, I worked on a fictional series based on my friends and shared it with them. That led to writing for my high school performing group. The work with the performing group led to a writing scholarship for college. I’ve been writing in one form or another ever since.

2: How'd you come up with the idea and name for flutter?

Jennie Wood: The idea of Flutter came from my own life, minus the sci-fi shape-shifting element. I grew up in a small, conservative town. When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time imagining that my life would be easier and better if I was a guy. I worked at a movie theater on weeknights and weekends while in high school. And I’d watch guys bring girls to the movies on dates. I wanted that, too. I wasn’t out to myself at the time. I couldn’t even go there in my mind. And even if I had been out as a lesbian, a girl taking a girl on a date to the movies didn’t happen in that town. So I daydreamed about being a guy – and that’s the root of Flutter. 


For the title I was drawn to the word flutter because Lily’s call to action is when she meets Saffron. Saffron makes Lily’s heart flutter. I was also aware of the song “Flutter Girl” by Chris Cornell. And that was the working title, Flutter Girl, until my writing mentor at the time, Jorge Vega, strongly suggested I lose the girl and just call it Flutter.

3: How long has flutter been around?

Jennie Wood: 2010 is when I began seriously developing the story. Since then it’s gone through many stages. I first started playing around with it as a short story or novel, but the prose felt too flat, too static. Then I worked on it as a screenplay. Around the same time I rediscovered comics through graphic novels such as Fun Home, Blankets and Y: The Last Man. While reading those books, I got the idea to try Flutter as a graphic novel series. And once I began working on it in that format, everything just felt right.


4: How long do you plan on writing this series?

Jennie Wood: I have always planned on three Flutter graphic novels. I have an arch planned for a third book, an ending for it. I plan to write the script once we get volume two out into the world.


5: What is your favorite thing about writing flutter?

Jennie Wood: My favorite thing about writing Flutter is that it’s a full 50/50 collaboration with artist Jeff McComsey. I write the script with that in mind. Jeff’s work, his amazing talent as an artist is always on my mind when I’m fleshing out the script. I smile when I write a scene that I know he’s going to get a kick out of drawing. And I love getting to see how he executes it. My favorite stage is when he’s sending rough sketches and there are things that are no longer needed in the script. For example, a piece of dialogue isn’t needed because of how he drew the moment.


6: Do you consider yourself to be famous? If not would like to be famous why or why not?

Jennie Wood: I don’t give a lot of mental real estate to fame. Pursuing fame or thinking about it too much would create static and get in the way of the work and connecting with others. For me, it’s all about the connection to the work, the story, the characters, other creators / artists and readers. Focusing on fame would get in the way of that connection.


7: Who is your favorite character to write in flutter?

Jennie Wood: Jesse is a lot of fun because he’s really Lily so there’s an extra layer to everything going on with him. But Penelope is probably the most fun to write because she’s a surprise – she wasn’t supposed to be here. She began as a supporting character early on in the series, but I fell in love with the way Jeff drew her. So she became a much larger part of the story. She’s also fun to write because she’s conflicted about a lot of things and she has her own secrets.


8: What has been your best experience thus far writing flutter?

Jennie Wood: Aside from getting to collaborate with Jeff which I mentioned above, the best experience thus far has been being part of the comics community. There are so many wonderful, talented people who make comics and they’ve been so friendly and helpful. They inspire me, too. Traveling to comic conventions and spending long weekends with amazing people, developing lifelong friendships – these weren’t experiences that I thought about, that I even imagined would happen when I began working on Flutter as a comic series.


9: What advice could you give to someone who wants to write their own comic?

Jennie Wood: Do it! Start now. Go to comic conventions and introduce yourself to other creators, writers, and artists. Tell them about your project. If you’re not an artist and you’re looking to collaborate, look at artwork at conventions and online. Look for art that resonates with you and your project. Look for someone who gets what you want to do and who is excited about it.


If you can’t get to a convention, social media is another great place to start. There are Facebook groups that focus on making comics. DeviantArt and Tumblr are great places to find artists and check out their work. And the writing software Scrivener has a comic template to make script formatting easy.


10: Has a fan ever said something that meant a lot to you?

Jennie Wood: Yes. Anytime someone comes up to me at a comic convention and says they enjoyed Flutter it means so much, more than I can say. That person not only took the time to read it, but they also took the time to tell me. That’s amazing. The work isn’t going to resonate with everyone. That’s okay, that’s the way it should be, but when it means something to someone else, it’s a connection. And that’s very special.


11: Where can people find you on the internet?

Jennie Wood: You can contact me directly through my website http://jenniewood.com. You can also find me on twitter @JennieWoodNDid. Flutter has a Facebook page (/FlutterComic) where post the latest news about contests, comic conventions, releases, and sneak previews.

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