Author Interview: Jamie Lee Rotante

Betty & Veronica are two of the most iconic characters in all of pop culture and the B&V blog is thrilled to be a part of their long and vibrant legacy. One of the women responsible for keeping Ms. Cooper & Ms. Lodge relevant and topical is Jamie Lee Rotante, Writer and Editor at Archie Comics. Jamie penned the fan-favorite BETTY AND VERONICA VIXENS series and the new BETTY & VERONICA series, showcasing the two besties in their Senior Year of High School. Issue #1 is on sale now!
Read our interview with Jamie below to find out how she got into writing comics and where she gets the inspiration for the modern-day Betty and Veronica!
 BV: You have such a cool job! How did you get into writing comics? Were you always a comic fan?
JLR: I've been reading Archie comics for as long as I can remember! Archie Comics -- especially the Betty & Veronica comics -- were a formative part of my reading and writing years. When I was in college I discovered that Archie was located not too far from where I live, so I interviewed for an internship after I graduated. From there I worked my way up to proofreading then editorial. I'm lucky enough to say I get to not only read comics--but read my favorite comics--for a living. And now I get to write them too! 
BV: Where do you get the inspiration for the new Betty and Veronica storylines? Do they differ from the original Betty and Veronica/Archie comics storylines?
JLR: They differ from the original storylines in the same way that all of our new series do--which is to say that they take the core traits of the characters and just adapt them into modern settings, while still retaining what people know and love about these characters. In terms of inspiration for this series in particular, I draw from a few different areas: a bit of my own experience, a bit from moments that really stuck out to me from young adult novels I read as a teenager. My mentee, Kylie, also inspires me a lot--especially since she's in her senior year of high school! Her tenacity and the amount of work and effort she puts into everything she does constantly reminds me of how much seniors do in that least year before college. Plus she's an awesome writer, so she constantly keeps me on my toes creatively, too! 
BV:  What is your favorite thing about writing comics, especially Betty and Veronica #1? 
JLR: Aside from getting the opportunity to write for a series and characters that influenced me so much growing up, I think my favorite part is getting to see it all come together--especially also working in editorial. To have the ideas of how the scenes will play out then seeing the artist make it come to life is such a thrill. Every step is exciting--seeing it take form in the pencils and inks, then add even more life in the colors and, finally, see the letters echoing my words is just such a cool process to be a part of! 
BV: We know you also wrote for Betty and Veronica VIXENS. Are there any parallels between VIXENS & Betty and Veronica #1, or are they totally different in plot & details?  
JLR: Totally different in terms of tone and action--but not different in that both of these stories place the focus squarely on the dynamics of female friendship. 
BV: Who is your favorite character in the Archie Universe? 
JLR: While Betty & Veronica are certainly near and dear to my heart, I think my all-time favorite is Cheryl Blossom. She's so unapologetically herself and she always shakes up the status quo. Add Cheryl into any situation and it's gonna be loaded with drama and entertainment. Plus, you can always count on her to deliver the best one-liners! 
You can follow Jamie on Instagram @jamieleerotante & Twitter @jamitha 
And check out her website HERE to see more of her work.
Cover and interior art by Sandra Lanz (Betty & Veronica #1) & Jenn Vaughn (Betty and Veronica VIXENS)

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