Fabian Nicieza, is best known for writing the X-Men comics, co-creating Deadpool, Domino and X-Force with Rob Liefeld, The New Warriors with Mark Bagley, and writing long stretches on Cable and Deadpool, Trinity, Thunderbolts, Wonder Man, Gambit, Nomad, and editing Acclaim’s Valiant line.
Today it was announced through Publisher’s Weekly that he has sold his first novel, Suburban Dicks, at auction to Putnam, to be published next year. North American rights purchaser Mark Tavani describes the book as “fueled by spirited dialogue and spot-on suburban observations” as it follows the investigation of a small-town murder in New Jersey, conducted by two amateur sleuths: a former FBI profiler who is now pregnant and a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who now works for a local paper. The publisher Putnam compares the book to Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files, and that it features two characters who wind up “revealing their community’s darkest secret while trying to reclaim their own identities in the process.”
Well, I wanted to see how Fabian described it, so I contacted him directly. Fabian told me,
“The book is a sarcastic suburban mystery. It is about two people who knew each other in high school and reconnect to try and solve the murder of a gas station attendant in the New Jersey suburban town of West Windsor. Each of them should have been something in life that they’re not. Andrea Stern should have been an FBI profiler but now she’s pregnant with her fifth child. Kenny Lee should have been a nationally respected journalist but now he works for a weekly suburban rag. Each have a lot to prove to themselves and to the world, but things get complicated when body parts fifty years buried start to turn up during their investigation.”
So why novels Fabian and why now? He told me,
“Why novels? Because I’ve always wanted to write a book. “Why now” is funny, because I’ve been trying to write this since 1993 when I had the original idea and I always hated what I wrote. I let insecurity and consistent paying work to prevent me from trying for way too long, but in late in 2017 I just decided I wanted to give it a shot. I’d had a really good year work wise, so I got the okay from the boss (my wife) to take a big chunk of 2018 towards a project that wouldn’t be paying a dime. The more I worked on it, the more comfortable I became with what I was doing and the response I was receiving was consistently positive, which helped minimize the writer’s insecurity that it sucked and I suck and I will always suck and everything sucks. Since we sold the book after multiple publishers wanted it, I feel confident I suck 10% less than I thought I did!”
That sounds like a reasonable quotient. And do I read it write, it’s a two-book deal?
“It is a two-book deal with Putnam. The opportunity presents itself for more if we do well with these. I would be perfectly happy telling stories of these characters in this suburban story world, and I hope that works out. Since the books and the mysteries are actually predicated on a thematic foundation, for example, Suburban Dicks is actually about the fears we have of changing cultures in our towns: fear of immigrants and the fear of loss of control and “power.” Each book would be a different thematic exploration of the suburban lives of the characters as a reflection of society at large.”
So what does Mrs Nicieza think now?
The wife is very happy for me, because she knows how much this has meant to me, but she is also ready to remind me that garbage is on Tuesday and recycling is on Thursday.