CHARMED COMIC FAN: Happy New Year, Pat! I hope the New Year finds you well and full of inspiration and drive for your projects in 2017! In retrospect, how was 2016 for you?
PAT SHAND: It was a weird year, I think for everyone. Donald Trump became President-elect of the United States of America, so I think that alone kind of encapsulates how fucked up of a year it was. The most important thing, though, during times like these, is to not forget the positives. In many ways, 2016 was a positive and transformative year for me. I think that my overall goal is to always progress toward becoming my best self. My most me self. And I did that in 2016. I hope to keep doing it.
CCF: You’ve been writing Charmed constantly for years. Do you miss it now that the season is over?
PAT: No, right now I don’t miss it at all. And I don’t mean that in a negative way – I mean that I am content with what we’ve done. I came onto the title to tell a story and I was able to tell that exact story. How many writers have had the opportunity to come on a title like Charmed, stay for 20 issues, and basically carry out their vision? Even with the roadblocks and cutting two issues off at the end, I can’t believe we got to do it. So no, I’m content with where we are. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t write more novels, but those, I would approach from a “Here is this new story I want to tell” rather than missing how it was before.
CCF: Following the S10 finale, the response has been mostly positive, even satisfying fans that were skeptical as the season was progressing. Did that work as an affirmation of your plan for the season and the difficult plot moving decisions you had to make writing it?
PAT: I was reading the reactions at first, but then I stopped. I realized that I had been done writing Charmed for months… but I was still checking out reactions. I had to just pull back, because when you’re done, sometimes that has to be it. Clean break. You can’t really look at fan reaction as affirmation or condemnation of your choices as a writer, because that can lead to the desire to write FOR a fan’s reaction – and I can’t ever let that be me. That isn’t to say I don’t love the sweet messages I get, though. I do.
CCF: Speaking of difficult decisions. On Tumblr you mentioned that Henry dying was in your initial plans. How would his death play out and what made you change your mind?
PAT: I didn’t change my mind. When we cut the season from 22 issues down to 20, and I re-submitted my outline to show how the issues would be changed, CBS noted that killing Henry might make the series end on too much of a bleak note. I think it was a good note and I definitely understand it. CBS was right to say that, and I’m glad things went the way they did.
CCF: A continuing mystery of the season was Prue’s tattoos and the messages they delivered. I saw your Tumblr reply that they have to do with time-travel and it blew my mind. Can you elaborate on how they worked for those who missed it?
PAT: Sometimes, I think I might give too much information on Tumblr! I like to leave the plot/magic stuff to fan theories. I did just answer a question about tattoos in a more thematic way, so I’ll leave that question and answer link here: http://patshand.tumblr.com/post/155504783268/one-will-die-one-will-rise-was-that-in-refernce
I’ll always be more inclined to give an answer about things like that, because the stuff about magic might step on the toes on fan theories, and I think it’s important to leave space for fans to theorize. (Though, I often forget that, get excited by a good question, and answer anyway.)
CCF: Paige was stabbed with the ancient Athame by Prue. A lingering question from the issue is how did she survive her soul being erased? Is it because the Athame got destroyed and weakened when Piper stabbed Prue? Is it because of Prue herself using the last of her power?
PAT: Yes, those are basically all correct. I think something that readers might forget is how long it took Cole to die in the fifth issue. He had time for basically an entire existential crisis in the middle of the battle before falling to pieces. Paige, like Cole, was on her way toward dying, and would’ve died had Prue’s death not destroyed the Ancient Athame, severing its connection to Paige’s soul.
CCF: Prue is finally free of Heremus and the Nexus and moved on in the afterlife. But what happened to the All, did it transfer to somewhere unknown and what about the Empyreal Sword and Grimoire?
PAT: I want to leave that open for anyone who wants to tell more stories post-Season Ten, including myself if we get to do more novels.
CCF: Elisa’s art was so consistently brilliant during the run with the likenesses and locations etc. but most importantly delivering the emotions of the characters. The image I can’t get out of my head from #20 is Piper and Prue’s expressions in the panel where Piper is about to stab Prue. Having wrapped now and worked together on a full season what can you tell us about how it translated your writing?
PAT: Elisa is an amazing, patient, talented, and kind collaborator. It was easy and rewarding to work with her, and I think what she did with this season, from month to month, was amazing.
CCF: Phoebe’s third daughter is named Peyton. Any significant reason you chose this name for her?
PAT: It starts with a P and I like it.
CCF: The final pages were like a beautiful rainbow after the rainstorm. Everything was finally at peace, healing. What was it like writing this final scene?
PAT: I always knew how it would end with Prue on that last page, but before writing the final issue, I rewatched the first episode. As I saw Piper running up to the house in the rain, I knew that was how we had to end. Everything circles back. It was rewarding. It was a relief.
CCF: Of course, this is not the last we are seeing from you concerning Charmed. There are two more novels coming. Social Medium this month and Symphony for the Devil hopefully sometime soon after that.
PAT: Right. I had a conversation about Symphony today. I expect forward movement on that sooner rather than later, and perhaps in a way that readers might not expect.
CCF: Aside from the format, how different of an experience are these upcoming novels?
PAT: It’s not even comparable. The only thing somewhat similar is that the novels take place between Seasons Nine and Ten, as most of the readers know, so the setting and characters are familiar to me. Beyond that, the fact that I’m going in for a finite, one-and-done story makes the experience wholly different. Refreshingly so.
CCF: And hopefully this doesn’t stop there. Is there hope for even more Charmed stories by you? After the season ended you were up for an 11th season. Dynamite’s comic will take place during the show, so given the chance, regardless the medium it is going to be in, will you use your Season 11 ideas for a story? (I want the Witch Council to happen, like, yesterday. I will fight for it)
PAT: Maybe. I can’t say for sure. What I can say is that I’m excited to see what Erica Schultz is going to do as writer on the series, because she is genuinely amazing. Great art team, also.
Personally, if I were to work with Dynamite, I’d like to do something new with them that I haven’t done before, like their Sweet Valley High or Nancy Drew book. Or Grumpy Cat. I’m excited to sit this one out for Charmed and read Erica’s awesome writing.
On the novel front, if CBS wanted to do stories post-Season 10, I’d be up for it. I haven’t given the timing of these stories much thought, but once we get the go-ahead to do more novels, if we do, I’ll start thinking about it, sure.
CCF: I have to ask. What was your reaction to the Charmed prequel news?
PAT: This probably isn’t what fans want to hear, but I don’t know anything about it. Someone tagged me in a comment about the news, and I saw that the creators behind Jane the Virigin are doing it. If that’s true, then I suspect it’ll be great, because Jane the Virgin is some quality TV. If it actually does happen, I’ll be super into it.
CCF: Very recently you had a very successful Kickstarter where your original comic titled Destiny, NY was funded. It has leading ladies and magic in it so I am sure it will interest charmed fans. What can you tell us about it and how is its development going?
PAT: Yeah! Destiny, NY is a graphic novel about love, loss, magic, sex, growing up, and the way we build our own destinies every day. It’s set in a version of New York City where magic is a real and accepted part of life, and it follows Logan McBride, a woman who was the subject of a prophecy when she was young. However, much like the child stars of our world, Prophecy Kids often burn out in the worst ways. Basically, it’s about what happens to magical girls once they have to leave the past behind and figure out what to do with the rest of their lives.
We’re currently about halfway through the artwork. We expect to finish in March, print in April, and ship in May. I’ll have pre-orders up soon at http://destinyny.tumblr.com/
CCF: Aside from Destiny, NY, what are you currently working on?
PAT: I’m writing Van Helsing, Spirit Hunters, and Hellchild for Zenescope, Avengers and another unannounced Marvel novel for Joe Books, and a bunch of other freelance and creator-owned work that I can’t mention yet.
CCF: Do you make New Year’s resolutions? What are your hopes for 2017?
PAT: I don’t have any formal resolutions this year, besides wanting to read more and push my career and myself to new levels. 2017 is going to be a year of change.
CCF: Thank you very much, Pat! Happy, happy 2017!
PAT: You too. It’s been fun doing these. If I can end this series of interviews with one thing, it’s this… I am thankful for the hospitality Charmed fans have shown me, and I ask you to be even more welcoming to Erica Schultz, Maria Laura Sanapo, and Ceci de la Cruz as they begin their Charmed journey. Again, thank you. I’ll never forget it.