Thanks to Marvel Press, we were able to take part in a group interview with Margaret Stohl about her new book, Black Widow: Red Vengeance. They also provided the prize for the below giveaway. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about Margie and Black Widow!
Stohl Explains Black Widow: Red Vengeance (published October 11, 2016 by Marvel Press) in her own words:
It’s a really closely connected response to the first book, where something tragic happens to both characters and this is the vendetta that follows. But in terms of the comic world, it is the equivalent of a separate issue where it really follows the specific sort of worldwide drama through four continents. There’s a lot of action, some big enemies and, of course, some emotional stuff as well.
It’s more of an exploration of Ava, the younger protagonist, becoming the Red Widow and her own character with her own mission, goals, and personality, and clashing with Natasha, the Black Widow, who has her own very specific personality.
I was in Italy during the call, and sadly I couldn’t dial in, blah technology. Thankfully we were able to submit a couple questions and join in the conversation.
Our first question for Stohl was about how she was able to make the world of Black Widow and the Avengers seem so integrated with ours. It’s one of my favorite parts of the Avengers/Marvel comic world, and I loved how she kept that going in the books. Stohl explained that this idea of bringing their characters into our world is something they are very aware of and strive for in their properties. “Marvel is very aware of that and one of the really fun things they uphold is this motto: ‘The world outside your window,'” Stohl stated. “You really see that in a way you don’t necessarily see it with Gotham or other invented comic worlds. You really see that this is New York, this is Rio, this is what’s going on.”
The other aspect of having the Avenger characters living in “our world” is that they are celebrities, people would follow their lives just like we do movie stars and other celebrities. One of my favorite scenes in Black Widow: Forever Red is when Alex has a fanboy moment over meeting Tony Stark, Iron Man. It was so real and how most of us would react if we met someone we idolized. Stohl shared a fun story about how she reacted when she first went to Marvel HQ.
“Sana Amanat [Marvel’s Director, Content & Character Development| still teases me about when I first came to Marvel and just freaked out on everybody,” Stohl explained. “…And seeing the Marvel wall with all the heroes on it… I was a hysterical wreck. Meanwhile, they’re like, ‘Pull yourself together, man, you’re one of us now,’ and I was like, ‘No, this is not possible.’ So I definitely relate as a fangirl.”
Stohl concluded by reflecting on the fact that because she has that fangirl connection to Marvel, the hero worship just kind of fits into the Black Widow stories she’s telling. And she thinks it’s something that is important to her readers.
We also got to ask Stohl about including fencing as a major plot driver in Black Widow: Forever Red. Stohl’s own daughters ranked nationally and internationally in Fencing and she explained how it’s one of the reasons she’s been able to travel so extensively. I wasn’t really sure what Stohl’s answer would be to this question, but the answer she gave was beyond what I could have imagined. Stohl is always fun and enjoying life, and then always knocks you sideways with these amazing profound answers and statements. It’s one of my favorite things about her as a person, and her response to how fencing came to be a part of Forever Red is one of those profound answers.
“I didn’t really know that I wanted to write about fencing but in fact, I’ve written whole books under my bed about it. I didn’t know how it was going to come creeping into this book. Then, it worked out perfectly. That was because there are so many incredible Eastern European fencers. And once I got the Red Room thing together I was like, yes, this is where this needs to go. But I have always looked at it as a model of strength training for women and girls, I think that’s amazing,” Stohl explained. “I love the idea of putting a blade in a girl’s hand and teaching them to be fierce. It’s a thing that we don’t often get in the way we raise our daughters.”
Margaret Stohl is the #1 New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels (also a major motion picture) and the author of the instant New York Times best seller Black Widow: Forever Red, as well as a contributor to multiple Marvel comics. Previously, Margaret was a veteran of the video game industry, working as a writer and designer before co-founding 7 Studios with Lewis Peterson. Find Margaret Stohl on Twitter | Instagram | mstohl.com
Thanks to Marvel Press we have a signed copy of Black Widow: Red Vengeance to giveaway to you. This giveaway is US only and all of our other standard rules apply. Please use the rafflecopter widget below to enter.