Our guest columnist returns as JOHN DANIELS INTERVIEWS FRANK BEDDOR ON SEEING REDD
First and foremost I want to thank you for taking the time to interview with me again.
The incredible sequel to the Looking Glass Wars is enthralling. Seeing Redd is the type of novel that could catapult you into literary history. Seeing Redd is the most awe-inspiring novel of the season.
How did it feel to see your book Seeing Redd which was just released on August 21st already topping the New York Times bestseller list?
Very, very satisfying. Having it at #4 on the NYT bestseller list the week it was released showed me that the momentum created by the Looking Glass Wars and Hatter M had carried readers to the next book and this was incredibly exciting.
How would you describe the atmosphere of Seeing Redd compared to the Looking Glass Wars novel?
Well…the dust has barely settled since the Alyssians trounced Queen Redd and she fled through the Heart Crystal to parts unknown. We return to a Wonderland in flux as the young queen Alyss attempts to rule a world she barely knows; a world where everyone is seeing Redd! Has Her Imperial Viciousness returned or it only black imagination? So in one word I would describe the atmosphere as TENSE in Seeing Redd. Book Two readers, assuming they have read book one, have already been introduced to Alyss and her Wonderland and many of the characters they will see again in Book 2. While LGW covered a 13-year period, Seeing Redd focuses on an adventure that takes place over a short period of time. There will be new characters introduced plus a heightened sense of immediacy as events and crisis follow in rapid order. Characters will again be traveling back and forth from Wonderland via the Pool of Tears but this time a new twist will be added as inhabitants of our world travel to Wonderland. These travelers are not exactly welcome as they are villains first introduced in the Hatter M comics. Much of the fun of the parallel story of Hatter M is crossing back and forth from different perspectives. While Hatter battled these villains on earth to save Imagination, Redd sees them in an entirely different light.
The depths of the characters portrayed in your novels are astonishing. Are there any characters returning from the Looking Glass Wars novel, and could you tell us some of the new characters in Seeing Redd?
Alyss and all the Alyssians return in full force for Seeing Redd as well as Redd and her murderous feline, the Cat. Villains introduced in the Hatter M comic mini-series will also re-appear in Seeing Redd as they join with Her Imperial Viciousness in the cause of Black Imagination. With regard to new characters, readers will be introduced to Boarderland and it’s alpha leader, King Arch, an avowed male chauvinist who loathes the idea of Queens ruling Wonderland. Aided by his henchmen, Ripkins and Blister, and the 21 warrior tribes, King Arch lays out his plan to dominate Wonderland like a master chess player. It comes quite naturally to Arch since Boarderland is a land of incessant gamers and gamblers. If you are a fan of anagrams, closely inspect the map included in Seeing Redd and see if you can decode the names of each of the 21 tribes. Hint: Each name is an anagram of a card or board game. Good luck!
Last time we interviewed I made a statement this could be a franchise in the making and this would be an incredible tale for a movie. How much is this in fruition?
I have completed the screenplays for the Looking Glass Wars and Hatter M. which I see as companion films. I am currently working on Book 3 of the trilogy and the screenplay for Seeing Redd. If I am fortunate enough to get the first two films produced then I would like to go on and produce the second two, which would create a 4 film series. In the franchise crazed studio world this amount of material has generated a lot of interest and excitement, however I’m holding out on making any deals. Currently, I have been having conversations with directors because the final and most important piece of the puzzle is my creative counterpart, the director who will take what I’ve created even further.
I first read Hatter M before the Looking Glass Wars; I have been a fan of your writings since 2005. How do you feel about the recognition you have received from all of the media and comic book reviewers?
I feel extreme gratitude for all the time and effort taken by these writers to get to know my work and help to articulate it to their readers. The positive feedback really helps by encouraging me to take the intuitive leaps that guide me with all of these projects. You think to yourself, “Oh man…is this too much?” But then you get this amazing feedback to go further and it just pushes you to keep trying for the high notes. It really is a collaborative effort on everyone’s part who enjoys the projects to keep them expanding and delivering what the LGW fans enjoy about the characters and their adventures.
Are you going to be coming to the east coast and doing any book signings or Comic -Cons, because you have loyal fans that would enjoy meeting a creative artisan as yourself?
I always try to do as many Comic Cons as I can physically and realistically fit in to my schedule because meeting the fans and talking about the work is truly ground zero for me. FRANK – ANY EAST COAST COMIC CONS SCHEDULED??????
Are you going to have a comic book about the Seeing Redd novel?
It is a definite possibility. If I were to do a ‘comic’ based on Redd I would want to do it in a similar fashion to how I created Hatter M which was created not as a comic book version of the character as readers were introduced to him in LGW, but as a stand alone series that is really an adjunct or extension of the novel. Through Hatter’s perspective readers are taken on an entirely different albeit connected adventure from what they have read in LGW. Redd’s comic book series would possibly be a prequel of the girl who would kill to become Queen or maybe an exploration of Wonderland when she ruled for 13 years where the four suit families were vying for power as they assemble their own armies.
How were the skeptics concerning you writing this fantastic story?
Debate is healthy. I welcome all forms of criticism and only ask that they read my books first.
As I read Chapter 32 in the book, I was so amazed how you incorporated our friend Mr. Dodgson. How does the Lewis Carroll society feel about you writing about their founder?
I have not had any direct contact with the venerable society, however, I believe via several anonymous posts to our forums that there may be a divisive ‘curiosity’ developing within the society and that some of the members have opened their imaginations to the possibility that there was much more to Lewis Carroll than history had recorded.
You have surrounded yourself in the company of some great artists in the past such as Ben Templesmith and Liz Cavalier. Now in this novel Seeing Redd you have artwork by Vance Kovacs, Stephan Martiniere, and Nate Barlow. How have the contributions of these artists helped in spreading the glow?
Working with the people you named (as well many, many others you did not) has been an alchemical explosion of creativity that has not only helped to spread the glow but since the very beginning has revealed that imagination glows brightest when the effort is collaborative.
Which is more demanding and fulfilling being a movie producer or being a writer?
Both are demanding and fulfilling, as is any job where something of value is accomplished. The difference I noticed most was that when you produce a movie you have to rely on other people on a daily basis while when writing it is solely up to you to deliver that day’s pages. When writing you stand, or fall, alone on each day’s work. This makes for an intense experience and your daily moods correspond to how well the writing is going which can turn you into a functioning manic/depressive.
Is there any advice you would give aspiring writers?
They always tell you to write what you know. I think this is boring advice. If you know it already where is the fun for you? I say go out and discover something you do not know but are incredibly interested in and write about that. At least you will have a good time doing it and if it is something you find fascinating chances are others will too or at least enough people to support your ongoing authorial efforts.
What would you like fans to go away with after reading "Seeing Redd"?
An intense desire to know what happens in Book 3.
As always, it has been a pleasure talking with you. Mr. Beddor, your creativeness and written artistry are that of a modern day genius. Thank you and the multitudes of creative artists that work with you to bring us the readers an incredible novel about the real Alyss of Wonderland.