Hey guys. Remember The Fury Awards we announced last month? No? Here's the link to all the details. It's not like Pepper Potts is around to remember everything for us. Anyway, The Fury Awards won't be awarded here - this is just the beginning, where we'll feature those books we've heard all the hype for. Without further ado, I'll introduce you to the author of TRANSPARENT (which is about a girl with the superpower to go invisible - just like my clone in Fantastic Four!), Natalie Whipple!
Natalie Whipple, sadly, does not have any cool mutations like her characters. Unless you count the ability to watch anime and Korean dramas for hours on end. Or her uncanny knack for sushi consumption.
She grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck around to earn her degree in English linguistics at BYU. Natalie still lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, and keeps the local Asian market in business with all her attempts to cook Thai curry, Pho, and “real” ramen.
Captain America: Thanks for joining us today, Ms Whipple. Can you pitch your debut, TRANSPARENT, in a tweet? If you're clueless, a tweet consists of 140 characters or less.
Natalie Whipple: When your father is a mind-controlling crime lord, it's hard even for an invisible girl to hide. Plus Pop-Tarts.
Captain America: Pop-Tarts? Okay. An invisible superhero sounds very much like Fantastic Four, in which a clone of mine (The Human Torch) acted in. What inspired you to write a superhero novel, with an invisible protagonist at that?
Natalie Whipple: Ah yes, Fantastic Four. Good times. And actually, that "type" of invisibility is what got me thinking about what it would be like to be permanently invisible. So often it can be turned on and off, and that means it doesn't have any drawbacks. With Fiona (and really the whole book), I wanted to explore superhuman abilities that also had drawbacks, that really impacted the character's lives for better or worse.
I picked invisibility for my MC because I thought it would be an interesting challenge and POV. Many invisible characters are often side characters, not the main one. And finally, who hasn't felt invisible at one time or another? I thought it could be something teens would identify with because that's how I felt often growing up.
Captain America: I see. Do you have a favorite line that was removed from the original draft of TRANSPARENT?
Natalie Whipple: Oh man, I don't know! I wrote the first draft four years ago, REwrote it three years ago, and it's been through more edits than I want to count. For the most part, though, all my favorite material was actually added in revisions—like the Taco Bell scene, the entire first chapter, and a extended scenes with The Pack.
Captain America: We YAvengers love hearing the tales of an author's journey to publication, can you tell us a little bit about your journey to getting TRANSPARENT published?
Natalie Whipple: TRANSPARENT is my 10th written novel, but my 1st published novel. So you can imagine that the publication road was pretty rocky for me. I won't go on with details, but it seemed it too me two years for everything: two years to get an agent, two to sell a book, and two for that book to actually come out. Including all the writing time before my agent search, it's taken me about 8 years to get here. Pretty much the entirety of my 20s.
It was hard. There were times when I honestly thought it wouldn't happen. There were moments when I was one step away from giving up. There were times that I questioned my sanity. My friends, family, and sheer boar-headed stubbornness kept me going until I finally made it. While there are a lot of things I wish I'd done differently, I'm proud of myself for sticking it out and reaching for my dreams.
Captain America: Give us the three:
-Items on your desk right now
Natalie Whipple: Drawing tablet, bowl of jewelry, adorable Japanese stationery.
-Types of snacks you're craving right now:
Natalie Whipple: Fudge, Cheetos, Code Red.
-Marvel Superheroes you love:
Natalie Whipple: Wolverine, Magneto, Nightcrawler, Storm, Mystique (Sensing a theme here?)
Also found a new love for Captain America due to the movie, and Spider Man because he's a nerd. I like nerds:)
Captain America: I have a feeling you don't mean that. But thanks for joining us! Now, here's a little bit about Ms Whipple's debut novel, TRANSPARENT, which releases on May 21st, 2013 from HarperTeen.
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.
An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.
After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.
Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.
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Keeping in theme to The Fury Awards, vote on how excited YOU are to read TRANSPARENT. Your vote could nominate TRANSPARENT to win The Fury Awards at the end of the season!