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06 April 2008 @ 05:10 pm
Little Secrets 1st Round of Answers  
The answer to the following questions: How and why and when did the character of Kala come about?  Why did you decide to blend SR and the original movieverse?  Essentially, how was LS conceived?

Well, waaaaay back when Lois was about 12 years old, she saw the movie Superman II (the Lester version).  At that ending, with Lois asking Clark to get her a hamburger with everything at 9 AM, Lois the coauthor immediately thought "PREGNANT!"  That spawned the idea in her head of writing a story about Lois Lane being pregnant with Superman's children.  Lois herself is the older sister to a pair of twins (Tiffany and April, if you're reading this, HI!), so she thought it would be cool if the famously independent Lois Lane had to deal with the challenges of raising twins.  And she decided to make them a boy and a girl.

That idea, called Legacy, involved Jonathan and Kala Lane growing up in a world without Superman.  When they're fourteen years old, their father returns to Earth, and the story went from there.  If any of you have read the story Son of Superman, you may recognize one of the sources of inspiration.

Lois never really wrote Legacy but it kicked around in her head for years.  When Superman Returns was announced, with the story of Lois being a mom, it brought Legacy to the front of her mind all over again.  She read every spoiler and watched every video blog she could get her hands on, and all of that just inspired her more to write her own idea.  In June of 2006, before the new film was even out in theatres in our area, she sat down and wrote the prologue - Lois Lane's first-person account of the morning after her breakup with Kal-El.  On June 28th, she posted it at Bluetights.net and later that same day, she and I saw the film together for the first time.  I'd been saying all along that Jason had to be Superman's child, and I was vindicated. I also really liked the movie, much to my surprise - I was never a Superman fan.  I learned quite a bit of trivia from living with Lois, but I was never part of the fandom.

For a long time it had no title - the thread there is actually called "Intro to New Fic" - and Lois toyed with the idea of continuing the story.  We talked about it, and she got some advice from other authors on BT and FF (home of THE SUCK still).  The first chapter - with the birth of the twins - was put up on BT on July 14th, 2006.  Having seen the movie at least twice by then, and having picked up all the promotional goodies we could find, Lois was set to write it her way.  We both had some issues with the film - we read the parody online, and it raised some valid questions.  Particularly about Lois Lane's behavior - we felt she gave in too quickly, and her anger - her very valid anger at Superman - came off more as bitchiness and whining that the true Wrath of Lois that it should've been.  

I was still just talking to Lois about it at that point, I hadn't gotten involved.  So when she wrote chapter one, it was a revamp of her old idea that came from the original movieverse.  But since we had a perfectly good movie sitting out there with tons of fans clamoring for fic, she changed the name of the male twin to Jason, and instead of having Superman gone for fourteen years as in her original idea, she changed it to six to be closer to the movie's timeline.

Superman Returns itself is set as a vague sequel to the original movieverse, so we never really saw Little Secrets as being a blend of the two.  It was just how we would've done the movie, if we had the chance - if we'd been the screenwriters, essentially.  Same idea (which has been around for a while - what if Superman and Lois Lane had kids?), slightly different take.  We really wanted to run Lois Lane as Margot would've played her.  While I refuse to bash Kate Bosworth's performance here, I do feel that the role needed a slightly older and more formbidable actress.  After all, Lois Lane has to be a strong enough character to stand up beside Superman, the original superhero, and LS was written to showcase Lois Lane as she existed in our minds and hearts.

And by then, it was "our" minds.  Chapter Five marked my involvement in the story, and by then it had a name (thanks to the Superman Returns soundtrack) and the untitled prologue had also been named.  Lois has never been able to write from a man's perspective, so I stepped in to help.  It was supposed to be one chapter, but I soon got swept up into the tale.  We set out to do a brief - BRIEF, like 150 pages - rewrite of Superman Returns just to show our version of the characters and to show the twins.  We planned to resolve the conflict at the end of the movie fairly quickly by giving Richard a noble death, and move on to the story we really wanted to write: Heirs to the House of El.

But then, as you noticed, things happened.  We fell in love with the characters.  I fell in love with Lex, and I wanted to make him the best villain he could be.  And along the way we fell in love with Richard to the point where we couldn't kill him, which is why Lana was brought into the picture.  I also heard waaaaay too much about Smallville's Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), so I wanted to write Lana as the virtuous Midwestern girl she should've been.  And the resolution of the conflict turned out to take much longer than we planned - had to get the four main adult characters settled into their relationships, and to deal with repercussions through the various families.  All of sudden we were writing an epic with no end in sight!

Of course, we did finally come to the ending we had planned all along - Lois and Kal-El getting back together.  For a long time we weren't going to write the wedding; Lois thought it would be jumping the shark.  But you can do that in the final chapter - those moments that kill a series can still make a fine ending.

Now, about Kala specifically: in every story Lois works on, she manages to write a daughter or daughter surrogate for her character.  (Kala would recognize Willow from Forsaken, Breannan from Dark Rising, and Cassie from the Chronicle as her cousins, in a sense.)  This reflects her real-life desire for a daughter.  It seems like everyone who plays with the idea wants to give Superman a son, but she wanted to give Lois Lane a daughter.  The twins idea gave them one of each, and allowed us to play with the relationship between mother and son, mother and daughter, father and son, father and daughter, brother and sister, as well as the special bond between twins.  

That interaction between Jason and Kala was one of the main reasons our award-winning OC is so necessary to the story.  LS is basically all about Superman not being alone anymore, and we didn't want Jason to be a retread of his father - the new Last Son of Krytpon.  No, he's one of a set of twins, and he has never been alone, not even in the womb.  He has Kala and Kala has him, and it's that bond (and how it can be frayed and rewoven even stronger) that we'll explore even further in Heirs.

The idea for Kala has been around since about 1990, when Lois started thinking about Legacy.  And yes, we always planned for her to go Goth as a teenager.  When I came into it, I added my own little touches.  She was intended to be very much like her mom, but I think I'm the one who decided that she would have issues with being compared to Lois.  And the more we worked on LS, the more defined both twins' personalities became.  Jason's personality came a little bit from SR, but Kala's recalls Jonathan from the comic Son of Superman.  With a healthy dose of her creator's own psyche added in.  She's stubborn, smart, a bit of a dreamer, and rebellious as can be.  She's also a little bit melodramatic, she craves affection and attention, and she's prone to pessimism.  Which of those come from Lois Lane and which are from Lois Joos are hard to tell - there's a reason the author was named for the character.

I think that might answer everything - if not, comment here.  And if you have other questions about LS ask them here too - I'll reply.  :D  Thanks, ladies!
januaried: MK lois in lovejanuaried on April 6th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
"PREGNANT!" *dies laughing*

That is just fascinating about the origin of LS and how you (Anissa) got involved, and how you view it not as a blend of Reeveverse and Returnsverse but as an Reeveverse sequel and alternate Returnsverse. If that made sense. You know what I mean. *rolls eyes at self* Anyway, I was very surprised that it was originally supposed to be short (150 pages is brief? Geez, guys), because as far as I remember, everything fits together so perfectly that I would have thought you knew all along exactly what was going to happen. And I had no idea that you were thinking about killing Richard off - think I came in too late to hear that - but I can't even tell you how glad I am that you didn't, and that you introduced Lana. Richana is now practically canon, for me.

*chokes on tea at the idea of Kala and Cassie as cousins, given Cassie's...personality, especially given who the rest of Kala's family is and their reactions*

Also fascinating about Kala's origin, especially the idea that Jason has never ever been alone. The contrast with the Last Son of Krypton is a great point, one I hope will develop into explicit mention in Heirs. And I know we'll see more of the contrast between Lois and Kala! *super excited for Heirs*

Anyway, I don't have any questions at the moment, but I'm sure I'll think of some as I read over the last chapter again and will probably be reading the whole thing again. Love you guys. ♥

Edited at 2008-04-06 10:48 pm (UTC)
ellalou73 on April 6th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
Very very interesting history there. I'm glad that she had twins, and more so that Lois had a daughter as well as a son. I like the idea of Kal El having a daughter as well, as part of that special Father Daughter Bond, but then you also have Jason, anyway Very nice to know the history there

saavikam77: Lex Luthorsaavikam77 on April 6th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Everything Rizny said. ^_^

*squishy hugs*

Another question! What will the future hold for Lex? I get the feeling there might be potential spoilers in an answer to that, so feel free to plead the fifth if you need to. :p
Loiskalalanekent on April 7th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)

And yes, I gotta be wary of spoilers, but Lex's future contains wealth and power and knowledge. It also contains frustation and satisfaction in equal measure. :D About all I can safely say...
Syd Gillsydgill on April 6th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
That was awesome! I loved reading the history of it all. Everytime I read LS or hear about the story about the story it makes me think you guys are destined for something bigger.

I should have kept in touch with my friend better...she never did get back to me :(
lere8: SIV_ChrisMargotlere8 on April 6th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for this complete answer. I think what you said about Lois reaction in SR is perfect. Mad Dog Lane would never be so docile about that.
Obsessed fangirl: SR - Clark Jason - never alonebabettew54 on April 6th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
What a great story. And I have to say how much I enjoyed the rewrite of the SR scenes. And Kala was such a joy to read, and her being in the story added so much, and all the dynamics you mentioned I'm sure added to its length. Kind of had a mine of its own, huh!

Bringing Lana into the story for Richard was brilliant; so glad you didn't kill him! It worked wonderfully; they played off each other so well.

And OMG!, the PREGNANT! thought about the 9:00 am hambuger line??? Wow, perfect!

Thanks so much ladies, for answering our questions. Again, congratulations to both of you on a job well done!:D
Trekkie6trekkie6 on April 7th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
That has got to be the most enjoyable history lesson ever! It makes you appreciate the genius behind it even more.

I gotta tell you though, it's gonna be hecka weird come Friday when I have nothing to beta, lol
✰ ❝elliαniα❞ ĸatrine: ben; baby & coffeeelliania on April 7th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
Wow, now that was interresting!! ^-^ Really, Lois? You have little twins sisters? I didn't know that! :)

At that ending, with Lois asking Clark to get her a hamburger with everything at 9 AM, Lois the coauthor immediately thought "PREGNANT!" Same here!! :D Then I watched SIII and SIV and I was like "¬__¬ bleh; It was just my imagination."

Then I kind of forget the movies and everything about Superman until JF (who is a fan) told me about SR! When I came back from the movies theater, I had forgot everything about SIII and SIV. XD

Then I found your story and felt in love with it, in particulary the twins!! And the fact that Lois remembered!!

Lois, really, your ideas were beyond amazing! And you two make a great writing team!! :D

Love you!
Lisamrsmosley on April 8th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
I love this. Thank you for the peek inside your heads, it's fascinating!