Amber Love 08-MAR-2012 I spent a balmy afternoon talking with action writer Duane Swierczynski about his work on DC Comics’ BIRDS OF PREY, his action thriller Charlie Hardy trilogy and his writing processes from panel descriptions to establishing environments. He’s even teased that there’s another comic project he is not allowed to disclose yet that I will eventually punch him for keeping a secret from me.
I asked about the anxiety for new authors who are searching for literary agents before they even have a book finished. Swierczynski said, “They should have the anxiety over the writing process first and finish something. Cause I’m pretty sure there’s very few agents who will take on a short story writer. There are always exceptions and there are really genius short story writers. For the most part they want to shop around a book. You have to have it done. They won’t let you have a partial. They want you to have a finished book.” He said, “I was lucky. At the time, I didn’t realize how lucky I was.” Searching for a publisher however, he described as “soulcrushing.” He said, “I guess I got that confidence back years later just ya know, I refused to give up and kept writing fiction.”
Would you still do it if nobody read it? “I kind of said out loud, even if I write twenty books and no one reads them and they’re unpublished and they’re in a trunk that my grandkids find someday, that’s fine; I have to do it anyway.”
Swierczynski multitasks between comics and novels with daily goals. “I if do a thousand words of prose and five script pages, I’m a happy guy.”
Starling (BoP) is revealed to be gay. Swierczynski says he and editor at the time Janelle Asselin were both thinking that she would a lesbian or bisexual before even discussing it together in a meeting. “The friendships are the more important thing to focus on. The have this pretty rock solid partnering.” He explains the Birds comraderie as a working team; even if they disagree, they have each other’s backs.