Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: The Fanboy Comics Staff and I are very excited about your upcoming graphic novel, Hush, Hush, which is based on your New York Times bestselling Young Adult novel of the same name. What have you found most challenging in translating your work to a new, more visual, medium?
Becca Fitzpatrick: This was my first time working with an artist for my novels, so it was quite fascinating to see Jennyson Rosero's interpretation of my characters. I feel as though I've had the chance to see the story through new eyes and experience it for the first time all over again. It's been a very, very cool process. Up next: pleasing my long-time readers and fans!
BD: Young Adult Fiction has become quite popular in recent years, with series like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter amassing worldwide followings. What is it that drew you to this genre, and why do you think that its popularity has expanded to include so many audiences?
BF: When I started writing Hush, Hush I was twenty-four years old, and my teen years were fresh in my mind. I drew from my experiences during those adolescent years, focusing on the complexities of falling in love for the first time. I think the young adult genre has become wildly popular because it explores a time in life so rich with “firsts.” First loves, first betrayals, first true friendships, and it's the first time we get to start making serious decisions that will guide and influence who we become as adults.
BD: The protagonist of your story is a young woman named Nora Grey, who may be similar in age to your younger readers. How do you feel that readers, male and female, connect most with Nora?
BF: I think readers relate to Nora because she is an everyday girl thrust into a frightening situation and forced not only to make sense of it, but to come out alive. While most of us aren't falling in love with a guy who just might be a ruthless killer, all of us have made judgment calls on who we can trust. We all know what vulnerability feels like.
BD: In preparation for the graphic novel, artist Jennyson Rosero provided several sketches of Nora and her love interest Patch, which were released to the fans. Have fans been responsive to these sketches, and do you find that their feedback is applied to the creative process?
BF: Fans were incredibly responsive. It was so much fun to see them invested in the characters! Obviously, not everyone shared the same opinion, but Jennyson did an impressive job taking their feedback and using it to create Patch. I'm very pleased with the results and hope readers will be too.
BD: The Hush, Hush series consists of three novels, including Crescendo and Silence, which is due to be released in October 2011. How does it feel to conclude such a well-received series?
BF: I'd be lying if I didn't say I feel an overwhelming pressure to satisfy all those expectations! It's also going to be difficult to say farewell to my characters. I've worked closely with them—daily—for years. I often wonder if I'll ever feel as connected to a group of characters as I do with Patch, Nora, and Vee. I've written the most emotionally thrilling book I have inside me, and I hope readers find it deeply satisfying.
BD: Speaking of Crescendo, the book was recently nominated for YALSA's Teens' Top Ten. Congratulations on the nomination! For fans who may be unfamiliar with the honor, how are the nominees chosen and how can they vote for Crescendo?
BF: It's such an honor to have CRESCENDO included in the Teens' Top Ten—in my opinion, there is no better list to be on. It's a “teens' choice” list where teens and teens alone nominate their favorite books. If you're a teen, go vote for your favorite books now through September 16! (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/teenreading/teenstopten/teenstopten.cfm)
BD: Starting in October, you will be touring the US, Canada, and the UK to promote your novel, Silence. What are you looking forward to most about the tour?
BF: Room service! Just kidding, ha! While not having to cook is definitely a plus, I'll be the first to say book tours are long and grueling and demanding. Meeting readers who take time out of their busy schedules to come see me makes it all worthwhile. I'm always touched by my fans' enthusiasm and support. I couldn't ask for a better group of readers!
BD: Your books will no doubt influence young writers throughout the world who share your love of storytelling. Which writers have inspired you the most?
BF: Diana Gabaldon, Laurie Halse Anderson, Kristin Cashore, and Sandra Brown.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about the Hush, Hush graphic novel or book series?
BF: My website is a great resource—information about release dates and descriptions can be found at beccafitzpatrick.com. For more juicy fare, including behind-the-scenes photos, interviews, and exclusive excerpts, readers will want to check out the official Hush, Hush fansite, FallenArchangel.com.