“We Were Part Of An Email Tree, So I Always Knew Who Was Writing What” – Nancy A Collins On Collaborating For Legends Of Red Sonja

With this week’s release of Legends Of Red Sonja trade, we get to see the She-Devil with a Sword written by some of the top talent in the industry. Nancy A. Collins (Vampirella) had a story in the first issue of the series and she talks to Kevin Pearl about her involvement in the project.

LegendsSonja01CovAnacletoKEVIN PEARL: What about the Red Sonja character most appeals to you?

 

NANCY A COLLINS: That she’s a no-nonsense kind of gal who knows how to get things done, and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to get results, and doesn’t give a crap if anyone else likes it or not.

KP: Prior to Legends of Red Sonja, had you written fantasy before?  What’s the key to writing good fantasy?

NC: Yes, I have written a good deal of fantasy over the years, albeit in prose form. The key to writing good fantasy, at least in my mind, is mixing the fantastic with the relatable. You have to make your world believable and your characters three-dimensional, so the reader can identify with them and get a sense of place.

KP: When you reflect on the Legends project, what are your thoughts on the creative collaboration, with so many fine writers involved?

NC: It was a learning experience, as this was the first time I corresponded and kicked ideas around with fellow writers online. We were part of an email tree, so I always knew who was writing what and was able to offer suggestions and reference material to other writers in more-or-less real time.

LegendsSonja01CovSubscriptionKP: How did the collaborative anthology process of Legends shape your own involvement in the upcoming Vampirella: Feary Tales project?

NC: It definitely provided me with a template on how to structure the story arc in a way that could incorporate numerous writers with different voices and visions. Plus Legends introduced me to Devin Grayson, who I did not know beforehand, and is now the lead-off story in Feary Tales #1.

KP: Can you share a bit of your writer’s perspective on getting inside the heads of Red Sonja and Vampirella?  Are these two characters very different, or are they fundamentally similar in spirit?

NC: Well, they’re both ‘strong women’, but the resemblance ends there. Red Sonja is a warrior, and is rather uncomplicated in her pleasures and dislikes. And despite her gifts with a sword, she’s still human and mortal, which is why she lives life to the fullest.  Vampirella, on the other hand, is a vampire, but one with a great deal of humanity. I see her as being far more vulnerable, emotionally than Red Sonja, who often comes across as gruff. Vampirella is also willing to use her physical attributes to tilt the odds in her favor—something I can’t picture Red Sonja doing, even with the chainmail lingerie.

For more on Legends Of Red Sonja, click here.