Anyone who follows me on Twitter (or almost any YA author on Twitter, or the YA online scene in general) knows that all the hubbub lately has been about the Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter. Launched last week, the project broke all kind of records by raising two million dollars (the target goal) in under ten hours. (At the time of this writing, the project is at 3.6 million, almost double its goal.)The story has been all over the news, with a lot of folks expressing pro and con opinions about a studio-owned project like Veronica Mars turning to kickstarter.
For my money, I don’t see it being all that different than an author with a half-finished series at a house unable to get the house to finish it (or get another house interested) who goes on kickstarter to raise money from fans to get the final volume published. The only thing that’s different is who get to make money out of the various rights (and the scale involved). It sucks that Warner Brothers owns the intellectual property to Veronica Mars and refused to exercise it, but that’s the way these deals go. FWIW, there’s a book series out there I adore (not mine) that will never be finished because the author’s original deal required signing away the intellectual property rights and this author does not want to have any more dealings with the useless rights holder. It’s an important lesson to learn and exercise if you can. I own the intellectual rights to all my creations (Morning Glory was not my creation), but I don’t think you ever get that choice when it comes to TV.
ANYWAY, not what I’m talking about. I am a “backer” of the Veronica Mars movie, and I’m going to a premiere and party, too, so obviously, I’m down with that.
I love love love Veronica Mars. The first season is my favorite season of television. The others are a mixed bag, but it doesn’t detract from the wonder of the first. And though there’s a lot of television I have seen and adored since (Parks & Recreation, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Community, The Wire, Game of Thrones – man, TV is good these days!), nothing beats your first love.
In my recent Veronica Mars rewatch weekend (of course I did), I found myself struck not by love for my fictional boyfriend, Logan Echols – the only bad boy I’ve ever had a thing for, in fiction or reality – but by the unexpected similarities between Veronica and Persis Blake, the heroine of my upcoming book Across a Star-Swept Sea. Like Veronica, Persis is a smart, savvy, and beautiful young woman fighting crime in a world that thinks she’s not smart, savvy, or mature enough to do so, a world that often equates beauty with stupidity and uselessness. Like Veronica, Persis uses these perceptions to her advantage. She outsmarts her peers, her enemies, and even the adults around her. She’s very close to her father. She tries to be tough—she is tough—but she is also, as Veronica Mars fans so like to say, a marshmallow on the inside. She cares deeply about her friends, even if she doesn’t always show it or they don’t know it, or she asks a little too much of them, just because things are harder for her than they know. She is also extremely girly, and sexy, and doesn’t think that remotely detracts from how smart, strong and savvy she is.
Of course, the main way Persis is NOT like Veronica Mars is that Persis is a rich and privileged teen with a wonderful family life who is the absolute center of her social circle. She’s an 09er, for sure. (Maybe she’s Lily, reincarnated.)
(In some ways, this blog is a strange space. For a year, I was sleeping, eating and breathing Persis, and keeping it all a secret from you. Now I’m sleeping, eating and breathing another girl, and babbling on and on about Persis. This is how wonky publishing schedules work.)
It’s been years since I’d actually watched an episode of Veronica Mars, so Veronica was not at the forefront of my mind while crafting Persis. And why should she be? Modern California noir teen detective is not a futuristic genetically engineered aristocrat spy. However, I think they’d be friends, a long time from now.
(You want some real fun? Click on the Veronica Mars tag at the bottom of this post to see how obsessed I used to be about that show!)