“It begins with a butterfly in a web, with surges of frantic color, eager to be born back on an unforgiving wind.” With these words, Randy Queen not only begins Darkchylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga, but launches his comic book series into a new Young Adult novel franchise.
For people who follow the ups and downs of the book industry, it has become standard to focus on the Young Adult Novel section. Though many adults are reluctant to admit it, YA franchises like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, The Hunger Games, Maximum Ride and several series about vampires have been making or breaking a publisher’s budget for years. After all, once a book series is able to develop a significant fan following its readers will market the book on behalf of the publisher and author.
Often Young Adult novels will contain elements of science fiction or the supernatural; but this isn’t what makes them successful. What makes any Young Adult novel series successful is that the stories tap into the perpetual zeitgeist of teenagers: the feeling of not belonging and the desire to fit in. It is this element of the Young Adult novel market that will allow Randy Queen’s Darkchylde to be a hugely popular.
A short time ago Randy Queen announced that his comic book, Darkchylde, would be adapted into a series of Young Adult Novels through Kimberley Cameron & Associates The moment I heard about this development I knew that Ariel Chylde was character perfect for the Young Adult market.
For those of you unfamiliar with Ariel, Darkchylde centers on Ariel Chylde, a cursed southern teen that becomes the creatures from her many recurring nightmares. More importantly, it is the story of a teenage girl struggling to find her place in the world because her curse has forced her to become an outsider. As I mentioned already, the cornerstone of any successful Young Adult novel franchise is that the narrative examines an isolated teenager hoping to find a sense of belonging.
Additionally, it is still well regarded that teenage boys like horror/supernatural stuff and teenage girls like stories with heroines and romantic overtones. (Yes, I am well aware that this gender division is archaic, but it is a divide which marketers and consumers still follow.) I’ve always felt that Darkchylde perfectly bridged this gender partition. For guys there is the enjoyment of reading about monsters. For female readers, Queen’s writings contain an emotional authenticity that will resonate for them.
Moreover, Queen’s work in Darkchylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga will also appeal to fans of Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. Conveying the psychological horror and intelligence of King’s and Bradbury’s writings, Queen’s writing offers a glimpse into what it would be like if King and Bradbury wrote Young Adult novels.
Beyond the heart of Ariel’s narrative being one that appeals to Young Adult demographic, there are elements of the Darkchylde series that make it perfect for cross media marketing. At this point it is well known that Darkchylde will be made into a movie, but this kind of adaptation is not what I’m talking about. Prior to the Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight movies being developed, the books inspired shirts, toys and other accessories. Darkchylde is filled with aspects begging to be turned into things fans can buy. For instance, the monsters that appear in Darkchylde would make amazing statues and toys. I think the most promising aspect of Darkchylde – in regards to marketing – is the “Treasury of Sorrows.”
The 2008 film Fireproof contained a book called the Love Dare. The creators of the movie were so inspired by the concept that they wrote a real world version of the Love Dare, which has sold over three million copies. I bring this up not because I’m a fan of Kirk Cameron’s work (though I still have a soft spot for Growing Paines), but because issues of Darkchylde often contain poems from Ariel’s “Treasury of Sorrows” – her book of her own poetry – and this diary could easily be turned into a real world book. The poem from this collection that I’ve always liked the most is “Spiral.”
If the demons of our dreams
were to us not bound
what a nightmare then,
our world to be found
I looked into my soul
and what a found brought tears
the beasts had grown in number
and gave life to all my fears
Fear not this darkness that surrounds us
beneath this devils’ moon
for even as hope escapes us
morning will be coming soon
I picked this poem because I can easily see it being embraced as lines from The Fault in Our Stars were.. I also picked this portion because I feel it captures the emotional authenticity associated with Darkchylde. Think back to the people you knew in high school, or who you were as a young adult. We all went through moments in which this poem would have perfectly encapsulated how we felt.
Darkchylde was always a comic book series that needed to be expanded into other mediums. Ariel’s home will always be the comic book format, but the universe that Queen created for her was limitless. So when I learned that Darkchylde would be further explored in a Young Adult novel series, I know it was a brilliant decision. While I will miss seeing Randy Queen’s artwork help tell Ariel’s story, I look forward to reading a few hundred pages of Queen’s writings.
Click here for more information about Darkchylde: http://www.darkchylde.com/
And to learn more about Kimberley Cameron & Associates literary agency, click here: http://www.kimberleycameron.com/