In this second part of the interview we ask Dr. Vee the creator of The Rose of Buckingham Palace for more insight regarding the series which is starting in May 2017. The Rose of Buckingham Palace is the story of princess Diana told through a fictional character Freddie Butler, a teenage butler.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
This is the first work I'm writing entirely in English. I didn't have the courage to do it in the past as I always thought my English wasn't good enough but I'm getting help from the team especially editor Obi. I've also researched into diverse cultural backgrounds to ensure that my characters behave in natural and believable way appropriate to their profile. As this is my first self-produced comics it is probably the first work that I have full control of. I'm aiming to create something that will create positive impact to my readers regardless of profit.
What is the hardest thing about writing this work?
I think it is deciding where to draw the line in employing poetic license. There are reported historical events and I try as much as possible to stick to what actually happened and that is why I prefer to watch video footages than reading articles, but at the same time I have to attach personalities to the characters based on real historical figures. I am aiming to show the human side of each character, that they are neither good nor bad.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I have written one within 6 months in the past, but it will take 12 months for the first volume of The Rose of Buckingham Palace to be published. It took me exactly 1 month to write the plots for 12 episodes.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I would prefer paper book any day. I've bought an expensive ebook reader but I ended up not using it after the first few weeks of attempt as I always forget to charge. Besides, I like to be able to quickly flip back to previous scenes to recap on what I've read, and paper is more eye-friendly. The only downside is it's expensive to order online and I don't always find the books I want in stores.
In what formats is The Rose of Buckingham Palace available?
It will be run first on a digital platform Patreon as monthly series starting in May 2017, and the first volume will be available as ebook and paperback the following year. The pilot one shot manga that inspired the series can be read in the Manga Big Bang! Prototype book.
The Rose of Buckingham Palace manga comic will be released as monthly series beginning in May 2017. Its pilot episode was originally published as a 32 pages one-shot manga in the Manga Big Bang! Prototype.
Its synopsis excerpted: "Freddie Butler's personality was always too big for a sleepy village in the English countryside. But after he loses the most important person in his life, he suddenly finds himself amongst the richest and most powerful people in London! Nothing's been too difficult for this kid, but this change won't be easy and he will have to give everything he’s got to keep his hopeful dreams alive."
Though the concept for the series is not far off from the pilot, The Rose of Buckingham Palace creator Dr. Vee has prepared a different first episode.
Hi Dr. Vee, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I started creating manga professionally in 2006 though I have always loved manga and comics all my life. In 2005 I left my medical career to pursue comics as career. Since then, I have been published professionally most notably by the Japanese manga publishing giant, Shogakukan Inc under the magazine Shonen Sunday. I have also published several books in Indonesia and ran a newspaper series in Japan.
Tell us about The Rose of Buckingham Palace series, how is it different from the pilot?
Conceptually it is the same. I wanted to retell the story of princess Diana through the eyes of a fictional character, Freddie Butler. That part is historical fiction, but above all it's a story of personal growth under the big theme of 'finding a place to belong'. I feel that in modern society today people are often disconnected and lonely. I want to address that issue and to show that there are still hope in this world.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
Freddie Butler is a teenager who accidentally stumbled into the world of the British royals and decides to become a footman. He has his strength and weaknesses, at times he makes the right decision, another time he regrets his decision. None of my characters are perfect, each of them have flaws and that's ok. I want my readers to know that it is ok not to be perfect because perfect don't exist. Freddie is growing and learning something new in each episode just as how it is in real life.
How much research do you do?
A lot! What is shown in the comic series are merely the tip of the iceberg. I might be able to write in more details should I develop the novel version of this series.
Have you written any other manga comic in collaboration with other writers?
Yes, I have co-written Virgin Territory with Michael Benko and a new potential series with a different author. I cannot yet say the title but I'm sure it will be announced soon.