In the summer of 2020, Dr Abbey started drawing Salamandra with green hair. I knew as soon as I saw these interpretations that there was no way Salamandra could have green hair during the graphics novel arc we have planned. Life is dour on Hopeless, colours are muted, and Salamandra has her attention focused on less-fun things.
I wrote the first draft of the graphic novels more than ten years ago. Since then there have been stories set before and during that time frame. Nothing had previously turned up that belonged after the graphic novels.
One of the things that happens with the island, is that pieces of the story turn up all over the place. They don’t come to me – we’ve got a hugely important story from Merry Debonnaire in the next graphic novel. Hopeless is strange and magical in its own ways, and sometimes it happens to people.
I looked at green haired Salamandra and realised that Dr Abbey could see something of what might come next. So earlier this year I sat him down and started asking about that. He had a lot to tell me!
I’ve been in the exciting process of developing those storylines for some months now. It will be a while before any of it makes it out into the world, but I can confirm that while there are two more graphic novels to come out, the story continues beyond the graphic novel arc.
We have to stop doing graphic novels because they are so labour intensive. We’re going to move into illustrated fiction and maybe poke about in light novel form hereafter, because that will be much more sustainable for us. There are some huge changes on the island by the end of the graphic novels. I feel very comfortable making it obvious that Salamandra survives because I am never going to write a story in which the magical girl does not get to grow up and live long and well.
(Green haired Sal by Dr Abbey)