We got an offer on the graphic novel! Bloomsbury wanted to make a two book deal, and we still haven't decided whether we'll do a sequel or another story entirely. Sadly, this won't be out until 2008, but they are doing it in color and I love the illustrator they chose, Nathan Hale.
The story is rapunzel's revenge. We're putting Rapunzel in the Old West. So, of course, while she's in the tower, bored and spittin' mad, she teaches herself to use her braids as whips and lassos. When she escapes, she rides out as a vigilante hero, protecting the innocent from outlaws and rabid coyotes and such. It's been a challenge to write, like any other book, but also so fun. Dean and I are collaborating. I read Jane Yolen once say that collaborating makes more work, takes more time, and at the time I thought, really? She was right, of course. But it's also so wonderful to collaborate with someone you love, who's brilliant in ways that I'm not.
I'm really in love with this form. Besides just being fun, graphic novels (aka novel-length comic books) are so great for certain kinds of readers. I think so many people get lost in books, and having that strong visual storytelling along with the text can be magical. Here's a short scene we wrote just for the book proposal packet. Nathan is experimenting with different coloring styles, and the characters may change appearance, but it'll give you an idea:
Last week my editor discovered that Disney is currenly making a Rapunzel animated film. Yikes! This could be good or bad for us. They'll come out the same year, and if the movie flops, it might cause unwanted anti-Rapunzel ripples. If it's a hit, it could stir up some Rapunzel mania. Either way, there go our chances for an animated film made from the graphic novel. Hm, what about a live action...