Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Interview with Melissa de la Cruz for Gotham High

Gotham High

by Melissa de la Cruz & Thomas Pitilli
Publisher: DC Ink
Release Date: April 7th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Sequential Art, Superheroes, Comics
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East End comes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took--even destroy the ones they love--to satisfy their own motives.

After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents' murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight--but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes ... and where everyone is a suspect.

With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies--all within the hallways of Gotham High!

Can you briefly describe GOTHAM HIGH and its characters?

Gotham High is about Batman, Joker and Catwoman in high school. It re-imagines them as former high school best friends turned rivals who are in love with the same girl. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Truly it is hard to pick – I love how smart and crafty Selina is, and how much Jack cares, and how desperately Bruce just wants to do the right thing. 

Did you find inspiration anywhere to write this novel?

In thinking of Bruce and Jack’s dynamic, I kept thinking of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Capote said he thought the killer, Perry Smith, was just like him, from the same background, the same history, but “one of us walked out the front door and one of us walked out the back door.” I thought of how due to circumstance and choices, one would grow up to be a superhero and one a super villain, but at the start, they were almost the same kind of person. That felt like such a tragedy to me, and I wanted my book to have that weight.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

Oh man there is only ever one Batman song- Prince’s Batdance. “You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” I must have written that a thousand times in my journal as a teen. 

What is it like to write a comic book? How is it different from any of your other stories?

It’s more like writing a screenplay than a prose novel – you have to think about the page turns and how the story plays out on images across the page. It’s a learning curve for sure. You can’t just have people talking, that’s boring, something has to happen. And you have to tell the story through images, not just words. It was fun, it was different, it was a cool 

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

Oh they’re in high school, so no drinking! But my adult readers can go to New York, to the Rainbow Room and have one of their fabulous cocktails, since Bruce and Selina go to the top of the Gotham Tower, based on the Empire State Building.

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish GOTHAM HIGH?

Try my YA fantasy THE QUEEN’S ASSASSIN – also features a headstrong young girl and a brooding hero! 

What’s next for you?

Jo & Laurie – a romantic retelling of Little Women – co-written with my best friend Margaret Stohl.

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

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