I’m a big fan of Gwenda Bond and her amazing Lois Lane series, and I’m so happy to have her back on the site to talk about the second book (which you can buy RIGHT NOW), Lois Lane: Double Down. If you’re like me and loved the first book, you will not be disappointed by the second installment in Gwenda’s Lois Lane saga.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the book:
Lois Lane has settled in to her new school. She has friends, for maybe the first time in her life. She has a job that challenges her. And her friendship is growing with SmallvilleGuy, her online maybe-more-than-a-friend. But when her friend Maddy’s twin collapses in a part of town she never should’ve been in, Lois finds herself embroiled in a dangerous mystery that brings her closer to the dirty underbelly of Metropolis.
The book is fantastic, and much like the first book, you get to see a side of Lois that is pretty much completely seperate from Clark Kent/Superman. I mean, yes, there is SmallvilleGuy, but he’s very much a tertiary character. It’s mainly a point of dramatic irony for us to smile knowingly at what’s to come in Lois’ life. But what I love is how fully developed Lois’ character is, and it shows us what a truly badass character is, even though she’s just a regular human woman from earth. It’s not only Kryptonians who can be heroes!
Of course, Lois is a character who has been in the Superman universe since the beginning. She’s got a long and storied history, so taking up the mantle to write about her has got to be intimidating to do once, but starting a series about her as a teen? That’s a HUGE task to take on, and the fact that Gwenda has taken on the mantle of writing a continuing story of this character is something that just amazes me, so I wanted to ask Gwenda some questions about creating this new side of Lois, and what we can expect to see–if anything–coming from Lois in the future, her place in the DC universe, and any plans she has to incorporate other DC characters.
Kendall: Obviously trying to capture an iconic character in a new original work of fiction is tough. Did you find it easier or harder to write about her in book 2?
Gwenda: Both! It was easier in a sense because I felt like old friends with Lois and the rest of the characters heading in. It was nice to spend time with them again. But it was harder in the sense of trying to make sure I escalated the stakes for everyone and didn’t just retread the same ground as the first book.
K: With all the refocused attention on Superman (and Lois) with Dawn of Justice releasing, did that play into how you wrote your story or pictured Lois in the scope of the DC Universe?
G: You know, it honestly didn’t. I didn’t have access to information about the movie in advance and my books are in their own continuity. That said, obviously both stories are informed by the history of Lois and Clark as characters. I feel like I’m more drawn to the sense of optimism in my favorite Superman stories. It’s funny, because of developments on the Flash TV show I am increasingly asked by teens which Earth the books are set on, though. I stole an answer from someone on twitter: “Earth Awesome.”
K: Did anything surprise you about Lois as a character as you were writing her in book two?
G: Lois is constantly surprising as a character. I always feel like in any given situation there’s only one answer to the question “What would Lois Lane do?” so I’m always trying to make sure I land on the right course of action for her.
K: What music do you think is on Lois’ iPod?
G: Stuff that Maddy and SmallvilleGuy have given her, so a mix of classic things and new stuff. The Pixies and the Bowerbirds, the Breeders and Beyonce. I feel like some Prince and Bowie would be in there this year, for sentimental reasons.
K: Why did you decide to show Superman as SmallvilleGuy as opposed to removing him from the story entirely or having him as a real character?
G: When you have the opportunity to write young Clark Kent, you write young Clark Kent. ;) In a world-building sense, Superman is traditionally the first superhero in stories focused on him. I didn’t want to lose the science fiction elements of the story, and so having there beginning to be strange things happening as young Clark is exploring his powers and also having Lois be one of the first people to discover that felt right to me. And I feel like the relationship of Lois and Clark is such an important part of the Superman mythos. I was never worried in the slightest that she wouldn’t be able to share a story with him and still be the star. I didn’t see any downside to having him present as a part of the story, and, in fact, his and Lois’s scenes “together” are some of my favorite to write. But it also felt like a very modern way to nod to the history of the Superman/Clark secret identity, and to allow their relationship to develop as friends first and over time through their chats and in the game. I also really wanted Lois in Metropolis.
K: Are there other characters from the DC Universe that you want to bring into Lois’ life?
G: *inscrutable face* We’ll just have to see, won’t we? Maybe there’s one already there…
K: What do you envision for Lois’ future? Are we going to get a book three?
G: I’m not allowed to answer quite yet. I understand that’s completely unsatisfying! But I will say that I don’t think Lois’s story is over.
Thanks so much to Gwenda for taking some time to answer my questions. Be sure to pick up a copy of Lois Lane: Double Down, and follow Gwenda on Twitter! If you’ve read Double Down, let me know your thoughts about the book in the comments!