If you’re a fan of DC Comics, we have a feeling you’re going to fall especially hard for our April Guest Editor, Danielle Paige. The New York Times bestselling author is working with DC Ink, an imprint of DC Comics, to bring you Mera: Tidebreaker. The story about an extraordinary young woman, this graphic novel is a call to young women to be strong and show the world your inner superhero.
From Danielle Paige’s bestselling Dorothy Must Die series to her latest Stealing Snow series and a plethora of other published works under her belt, Danielle felt compelled to write Mera’s story. Learn more about Danielle Paige now and stay tuned all month long for more exclusive content from the talented author.
What inspired you to write Mera: Tidebreaker?
I originally wanted to write about Aquaman! I actually pitched Aquaman as the Little Mermaid. Aquaman comes to land and falls in love with a girl and has to decide between the girl he loves and his life under the sea. But it turns out that Arthur Curry aka Aquaman grew up on land. So DC introduced me to Mera, his great love who actually grew up under the sea as a warrior princess whose colony is at odds with Atlantis. She comes to Amnesty Bay where an unknowing Arthur Curry (Aquaman) has been raised with no knowledge that he is the prince of Atlantis. Her intention is to kill him for the betterment of her homeland, but the more she gets to know him, the more complicated her mission becomes. And in the end, she has to choose between her love for Arthur and what she’s been raised to believe.
I instantly fell in love with Mera and the opportunity to give my take on her was irresistible. To me, her story is just as epic as Wonder Woman’s or Batman’s. She’s torn between what she believes is her destiny and what her heart tells her. The more I learned about her the more I wanted to write her. Mera’s so much more than Aquaman’s girlfriend. After reading this I want newbies to Mera’s story to say that Aquaman is her boyfriend.
What was the most challenging part of putting together the story (prose) for a graphic novel?
I actually started my writing career as a scriptwriter for soap operas so writing a graphic novel script actually felt like coming home to my writing roots! Writing prose for books means painting a picture for the reader with your words… writing a story for a graphic novel means getting to have an amazing artist paint that story for you! My artist Stephen Byrne and I had great synergy on the page. I felt like he took what I saw in my head and elevated it to another level. It was a bit of a challenge at first to decide how much dialogue to fit in each panel, but as soon as I began seeing the art, it really allowed me to see where I could let the dialogue breathe and let the art speak for itself.
Why did you find it important to write a story that included such relevant and important themes of empowerment, women and equality?
Because that’s the world that kids live in now. There is so much going on politically and with the environment that affects them, I want them to feel and know that they have agency in the world without being preachy. When I was writing Mera, Charlottesville happened. Parkland happened. And I think that those events were in the back of my mind as I wrote. I think that it’s important for kids to know they have a voice and they have ways to take action. I think the heart of comic books for me is the idea of heroism, I want young people to know that they can be heroes in big ways and small in their own lives. And I have always written strong women and girls because I think it’s important for girls and boys to see them.
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Danielle Paige’s new graphic novel Mera: Tidebreaker!