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CNN article: Jodi Picoult to write Wonder Woman

Bestselling author tackles comic books – CNN.com
Bestselling author tackles comic booksStory Highlights

• Bestselling novelist Jodi Picoult writing “Wonder Woman”
• Picoult decided to focus on challenges of Diana Prince
• She’s just second woman to write character in history

By Matt West
CNN

LOS ANGELES, California
(CNN) — Jodi Picoult is known as a serious novelist. Her latest
effort, “Nineteen Minutes,” is currently sitting in the top five on the
New York Times bestseller list and has earned rave reviews from such
publications as The Washington Post and Publishers Weekly.

But
“Nineteen Minutes” isn’t the only new project bearing the 40-year-old
writer’s name. There’s also the latest issue of DC Comics’ “Wonder
Woman.”

Picoult’s five-issue run doing the title makes her only
the second woman to write the character in its 66-year history. But
despite the assignment’s historical significance, when DC originally
approached her to pen the story — the company had noticed a character
in Picoult’s “The Tenth Circle” was a comic-book penciller — she
wasn’t entirely sure she had the time (or the desire) to do it.

Her children convinced her otherwise.

“My kids looked at me and they were like, ‘Mom, you totally have to write ‘Wonder Woman!’ ” she told USA Today. (Gallery: Wonder Woman and Picoult)

So
Picoult rearranged elements of her hectic work schedule and dove into
research. (She admits to not being much of a “Wonder Woman” fan growing
up — “X-Men” was more her speed.) Looking back on the character’s six
decades in comics, Picoult found the story focused more on Wonder
Woman’s exploits as a superhero and less on the life of her alter ego,
Diana Prince.

That angle baffled her. Diana Prince is a far more interesting character, she says, and offers plenty to work with.

“Over
the years, she has had many different incarnations in the human world,
some that I thought were pathetic,” she says. “[But[ there’s never been
something that a reader could sink their teeth into and say, ‘Oh yeah,
this is why I’m like her.’ ”

‘She’s slumming it with all of us’

There
are some who might describe Picoult as a real-life “wonder woman,”
balancing a career as a writer with her responsibilities as a wife and
mother of three.

She disagrees.

“You can be the strongest
woman in the world, and be incredibly sure of yourself in many realms
of your life, and yet there’s always going to be a chink in your
armor,” she observes. “There’s always going to be one part of your life
that you wonder, ‘Am I doing a good enough job?’ ”

It’s that very real internal struggle that drives Picoult’s fictional “Wonder Woman” story.

Recent events in the DC universe find Wonder Woman (and Prince) struggling with her place in the world.

“She
is not human and elevating herself to the level of a superhero like
Batman or Green Lantern. Instead, she is other than human and she’s
slumming it with all of us,” Picoult observes.

Prince’s struggle
is further complicated by work as an agent for the Government’s
Department of Metahuman Affairs — for which her assignment is
apprehending none other than Wonder Woman.

In a rare moment of
vulnerability, she tearfully asks her partner, Tom Tresser, “Why don’t
people just leave her alone?” Seconds later, duty calls — and Wonder
Woman is forced into action.

It’s a moment that Picoult says any woman can relate to.

“You
have your pity fit, you do what you have to do. But then, you move on.
You just pick up the pieces, and you jump in. And that ultimately, is
always going to be Diana’s strength.”

DC Comics is a unit of Time Warner, as is CNN.

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