Wednesday, January 03, 2007

some other books o'mine

I know this blog is primarily in celebration of Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies -- and it is in fact a line of books to celebrate! -- but I thought I'd talk a little bit about my other books besides A Novel Idea. After all, my other novels are such a big part of who I am (though I will say that A Novel Idea is in many ways the book that feels most "mine," and Norah is probably my character who is most like me so far), and such an integral part of my life that to ignore them feels odd. I often compare being the author of several books to being a mom (not that I would know from first-hand experience, but...). You love all your children, of course, but some give you more grief than others, and you'd never give any of them up.

My first novel was South Beach. This book came about quite by accident, through my job as a book editor. My boss wanted to publish a teen novel set in South Beach, I had just returned from a lovely little trip there with my sister (to whom the book is dedicated!)...the stars were all aligned.Writing that book -- which tells the adventures of two former best friends on one scandalous spring break -- was probably one of the best experiences of my life. It was so freeing, so fun, and so refreshing to write juicy, delicious fiction full of bikinis and boys . I realized that's what the experience of writing SHOULD be: fun. Playful. You should be excited about your work, not come to dread it (believe me, though, after the glory days of South Beach, I'd soon discover how dreaded a task writing could be).

South Beach has two sequels: French Kiss and Hollywood Hills, which take place in, respectively, Paris and Los Angeles. The best part about writing these books was getting to TRAVEL. I always look for excuses to go away somewhere, and even though each trip was only a few days, who can complain about spending time in grand, gorgeous Paris (in drizzly, romantic March), or sun-splashed, glitzy LA (in early springtime April).

My latest book that is out now is very different from my South Beach trilogy, and A Novel Idea. It's a graphic novel called Breaking Up: A Fashion High Graphic Novel, and it's illustrated by Christine Norrie, who's an amazing artist. Writing a graphic novel was an experience unlike any other -- it's basically a script, consisting of dialogue, and directions to the artist. Now that graphic novels and manga are growing so much in popularity, I recommend writing graphic novels to all my author friends. Hmm...perhaps a line of Romantic Comedy Graphic Novels? I can see it! Why not? :)

I'd love to hear back from readers who've read my other books, who've read A Novel Idea, are curious about my books, or any combination thereof. In the meantime, Happy New Year...and happy reading!



Kelly McClymer said...

Hi Aimee,

What was the biggest challenge in writing a graphic novel? Do you have to really concentrate on making the dialogue do triple duty (plot, character and suspense)? Or do the pictures carry that load as much (or more) than traditional narrative in books?

Aimee Friedman said...

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you! This is SUCH a great question...

I freaked out when I started writing this book, because I'd never done a graphic novel or comic before...but I LOVE graphic novels (like MAUS I and II, PERSEPOLIS, BLANKETS, GHOST WORLD...) so I just devoured a bunch, and the fantastic book UNDERSTANDING COMICS by Scott McCloud. Having that background helped me, and once I got started, the process was wonderfully freeing! It was very visual, very cinematic, and nice not to worry for once about paragraph or sentence flow. Yes, there is a lot of emphasis on making the dialogue readable and fun. But I also had a lot of trust in the artist (Christine Norrie) to bring the story to life. It's very much a collaborative effort.

If anyone happens to pick up BREAKING UP, I'd love your thoughts!