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Finger on the Pulse: An Interview with Anne Elizabeth

Anne Elizabeth has published in more than one field—from her monthly column in RT BOOKreviews to romance anthologies—but now she’s publishing her first graphic novel. As someone who’s loved comics and graphic novels from a young age, it feels that this was fate. Pulse of Power hits bookstores July 21, and Anne Elizabeth tells GraphicNovelReporterabout the story that’s been on her mind for so long and her future plans with it.

How did you first get into comics?

I’ve always enjoyed comics! One of my earliest memories was my father reading the Sunday funnies section to my brother and me. As a child, I was an avid Mad magazine, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Archie reader. Going to the store to pick up the latest issue was one of my favorite trips, and I would do additional chores to be able to add a few extras or unknown titles to the stack. As I grew older, I moved into graphic novels, enjoying the longer journey. The poignancy of comics and graphic novels with their visual impact and short pithy phrases really intrigues me. So much so, I read them today. And, if you ask me how much I read them in comparison to other types of books, the answer would be about the same, an equal amount of time. I love books in every shape and form.

When did you start working on Pulse of Power?

In high school, I began working on Pulse of Power. Back then, it was an idea that I couldn’t shake, so I wrote a ton of stories on this world. Eventually, I put them into sequence. Basically, I wanted to know what happened if all of your secret wishes started coming true.

In my mind, I could see Pulse of Power as a graphic novel or comic, a novel, a film or cable show, and definitely in animation. The characters are vivid and have a multidimensional quality that could take them anywhere. The stories I have…take them all over the world and into the universe.

What has the process been for creating and publishing it?

In terms of creation, I wrote. Seriously, that's the part that matters. I sat down and explored every facet of this paranormal world. Working on this project every week for years, I drew pictures of the costumes, sketched out the settings, and did character sheets on everyone. The stories came out of each character and the need to grow into himself/herself/itself.

In terms of the publishing process, that is different for each person. For me, I had people who believed in the story and me. That makes all the difference. Thank you, Dabel Brothers and Dynamite Entertainment.

What's it like making a graphic novel where one person writes and another illustrates?

A very exciting process—to write a story and see someone bring it to life. A story can be depicted in so many wonderful ways from comics to TV to film to animation, etc. Working with an artist and learning what they see when they read your words is incredibly thrilling. Every panel and page is like opening a gift.

Who would be the ideal readers for Pulse of Power?

The ideal readers are teens and adults, because each of us faces challengers and challenges. You have to come out the other side of it—whole. So, when you do face who you are and what you have to do, though oftentimes it is not a comfortable place, you get through it. Tapping that inner strength—what your soul and spirit say to you and being true to yourself—helps you face a challenge and it hits you on a gut level that helps you achieve success. And, if you land on the ground in the dirt—knowing you gave it your best shot, there’s a satisfaction for the attempt and a capability to move on. So that when you do finally achieve your goal, it is even more precious. Life is about growth and empowerment for you and others.

Is there anything in particular you'd like us to know about Pulse of Power or yourself?

Pulse is a story about empowerment. If I had one message to share from the experience of writing it and seeing it become a graphic novel, live your dreams. Do it boldly and out loud. And never give up on what you love to do.

      

Is the main character like you, aside from having red hair? What is Tia like?

Yes and no. There are aspects to her personality that are similar—being an underdog, perseverance, and a romantic heart. Though I’m a lot more easygoing than Tia is.

Tia Stanton grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. Her life has always been a little strange. From her earliest memory, she can remember being able to move things with her mind. They didn’t always go exactly where she wanted them to. Like the keys that ended up imbedded in the painting above her parents’ bed or the door that slammed shut in the kitchen and had to be cut open. But it didn’t stop her from trying to make it work.

Mainly because she always wanted to be a superhero. Of course, superheroes weren’t supposed to have braces on their teeth, acne, and pigtails; or have best friends who were so gorgeous that every boy who saw them had their breath taken away.

Maybe that was just the way it had to be. So, when she became an adult, she’d appreciate growing into her own version of beauty. Though nothing prepared her for being a grown-up. Not high school, SATs, college, or work! Because one rather poignant day, she woke up to a ton of power and energy coursing through her body. It was given to her by a man who haunted her dreams. And there were monsters chasing her all over Greenwich and New York City. Everyone wanted something from her.

The happy side of the equation was she owned a Mercedes Maybach with every toy imaginable, including Twinkie launchers and holy water sprayers; and there were men who wanted to make her theirs in a romantic way. But did she want them? One question kept rattling around in her mind, “What do you do when what you wish and pray for every day…comes true?”

“Destiny is a choice. Power up!”

Do you have a preference between writing graphic novels and the other works you've written?

Writing is like breathing for me. I need to do it every day in some form. The process feels good to me, like hiking or taking a run. So, I enjoy all the forms—short stories, scripts, and my column at RT BOOKreviews.

How are you involved in the comic-book world?

I write a news column for RT BOOKreviews on comics, manga, and graphic novels. Besides working with graphic fiction companies such as Marvel, DC Comics, Yen Press, etc., to coordinate book reviews, I’ve interviewed Laurell K. Hamilton, Joe Simon, Sherrilyn Kenyon, LA Banks, Patricia Briggs, Janet and Alex Evanovich, Keith DeCandido, Barbara Hambly, and recently Diana Gabaldon.

Do you have any favorite graphic novels?

My list of favorite graphic novels is long! It’d take too long to go into…but top of my list are Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, Dean Koontz, Jim Butcher—everything Spider-Man, Mad, Wonder Woman, and of course, Archie.

Any plans to write more graphic novels?

Yes, absolutely! I’m working on The Pendulum, which is the sequel to Pulse of Power. There isn’t a release date yet. But wait until you see the chaos Tia enters into. It’s wild! For more information, check out www.PulseOfPower.com or www.AnneElizabeth.net, and remember to always "Live boldly!"

 

-- Danica Davidson