Amanda Deibert is a respected scriptwriter and comics writer, and will be adapting the Work for a Million graphic novel with Selena Goulding, to be published in January 2020, currently now on Kickstarter. Below, she discusses her thoughts on the adaptation.
When Hope Nicholson asked me if I would be interested in adapting “Work For a Million” into a Graphic Novel, I was beyond thrilled! She sent the book and I devoured it in one night. It hits all my sweet spots: noir, mystery, action, and lez be honest… I am always excited about representation within my LGBTQIA++ community. The constant goal is to write something that you would want to read, and this is certainly that for me. It didn’t hurt that Hope also showed me some of the gorgeous pin up art that had been done of the main characters and they made my heart sing… in much the same sultry timber that I imagine the character of Sonia’s voice.
The book had a wealth of great material to work with: an intriguing plot, a deliciously complex and competent main character and lots of action and suspense. Reading the novel is a slow burn, with a lot of build up that eventually paid off in an elaborate and exciting way. This is fantastic for a novel, but for a graphic novel, I wanted to change up the pacing a bit. The most important thing to me was and is to honor the work that Eve did as an author. This is her story and her characters and I feel privileged to be able to work with them. Honoring the author of the original material would be important to me in any situation, but in this case in particular, it feels special. Eve wrote this book when there weren’t many lesbian books available and certainly not any that were just straight up (pun intended) detective novels. This is not a salacious book; it’s a book where a savvy detective with a noir penchant for helping dames happens to be a woman. It was wildly progressive for it’s time, and honestly, we still don’t have enough of this today. I love everything about that. So for me, it is about making sure that I capture the essence of the book, the inner world of the characters, and the intrigue of the plot in a graphic novel form. A lot of this has to do with translating that nuance into visuals so that Selena can work her storytelling magic in her beautiful illustration. For example, instead of Helen thinking about her affinity for beautiful women, I decided to kick the book off with her gently departing from a one-night stand so that you, the reader, quickly and easily understand she’s a ladies’ lady. It also meant cutting down and combining characters so it’s easier to keep track of this shorter, faster paced version of the story.
It’s hard to kill your own darlings, but it can be even harder to do that in someone else’s creation. I would say the biggest struggle I have faced so far is deciding which characters to combine and losing some of the fun quirks and side stories that come with them in Eve’s novel. Overall, I think the story that we are creating does justice to the book and creates a compelling tale that captures the spirit of the adapted story while also being it’s own, new thing. There are new characters and action-packed moments that have been added and I very much hope we are creating a graphic novel that can stand on it’s own.
Amanda Deibert is an award-winning television and comic book writer.
She just finished 4th year as the writer for former Vice President Al Gore’s annual broadcast, 24 Hours of Reality, an international live broadcast highlighting the Climate Crisis. Her television credits include OWN Tonight — the first ever late night after show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, SyFy’s Live From Comic Con hosted by Zachary Levi, Take Part Live on PIVOT, The Morning After on HULU, and more. This summer she was the head writer for several pilots at CBS including the FOX limited series, Breakthrough With Dr. Steve Perry.
Amanda’s comic book writing includes the New York Times #1 Bestseller Love is Love, Teen Titans Go!, Batman and Harley Quinn, Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman ’77 for DC Comics, the multi-award winning John Carpenter’s Tales For a HalloweenNight volumes 2, 3 and 4 among others.