YA: The HOPELESS, MAINE story continues with book 2, INHERITANCE, which you’re already several chapters into on your website.
Tell us a little more about this next story in the series?
TB: Due to the presence of Sal’s grandfather – a mad inventor – there’s a much bigger steampunk element in the second book. The characters are growing up, and more of the adult life of the island starts to emerge. The story becomes stranger, and more itself, and we’ve learned more about the island and its history as we were working on it.
YA: Salamandra and Hopeless will likely keep you two busy creating for years to come. But, do you have any secret pet projects you’d like to try out some time soon?
TB/NB: Yes. Tons. Not all of them are secret, either. We’re fitting extra things in all the time.
We’ve just done a piece for Professor Elemental’s comic; Tom is involved with John O’Marra’s Chocolate Chips and Rocket Ships poetry collection (http://chocolatechipsandrocketships.com/). Nimue is writing druid books, has a steampunk novel in the offing, and is writing with Professor Elemental (http://www.professorelemental.com/). And several other things we are excited about but it’s too early to go into detail.
We want to work with Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys (http://www.armyoftoys.com/) who have already written an anthem for ‘Hopeless, Maine’ here: http://www.hopelessmaine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/01-Hopeless-Maine1.mp3); we want to do a graphic novel version of Under Milk Wood, but that last one is definitely a pipe dream at the moment.
To these ends, we drink a lot of coffee and do not take many days off.
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YA: Sounds like you two will have a lot more for fans to check out soon. All right, last one! With the end of summer fast approaching, if you were to spend a brief vacation with Sal on her gothic island home (and this assumes you, as the creators, are not trapped there!), what would you three do together? Are there any special holidays on the island that you’d be there for?
TB: Founders Day, going out with Sal gathering strange, inedible not quite plant, not quite animal things for the ‘feast’. Demon exploding looks like fun. I understand interesting things wash up on the shore so beachcombing would probably be entertaining. I think the rest of the water sports in Hopeless would be a bit too dangerous for me.
NB: I would be talking to the crows, but I’d feel really awkward, because I know what’s going to happen to people, the ones I’m going to torment, the ones I will drive mad, the ones that, as the author, I’m technically responsible for causing to become dead. I’d probably go round feeling really guilty and spend a lot of time in the graveyard saying ‘sorry’ and a lot of time confusing the hell out of the living by saying sorry to them too.
YA: Thank you very much, Tom and Nimue! And again, from YA Lit Mag, congratulations on your debut! We look forward to hearing a lot more from you and Salamandra in years to come!
Olivia Hennis is a transplanted New England girl dropped by a tornado into the magical Land of Jersey. When not buried beneath her pile of must-read YA novels, Olivia can be found performing mad science on yard sale plushies and building tape-monsters for her local Halloween Park. More information can be found on her Twitter and blog.