Q&A: Leigh Bardugo on Wonder Woman, Girl Power and Underoos

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh BardugoWe at RT are huge Wonder Woman fans (and we have the 1980s Halloween costume pics to prove it …) so we were so excited to hear that Leigh Bardugo would be penning Diana’s story! Warbringer  is the YA Wonder Woman novel you have been waiting for, and our reviewer raved about it, giving it at RT Top Pick! We talked with Leigh about why this project was important to her, touring and more. 

Tell us about this amazing Wonder Woman project! How did you get involved?

Basically my agent called and told me that Random House was looking for an author to write a Young Adult book about a DC super hero. I literally said, “If it’s Wonder Woman, the answer is yes.” 

Were you a Wonder Woman fan as a kid? 

Absolutely. I watched her on Super Friends every Saturday morning, had the Underoos, the swimsuit. I was obsessed with reruns of the Lynda Carter show and I was pretty sure that if I just kept spinning in circles in my driveway I’d eventually become an Amazon princess. Never happened, but a girl can dream. Honestly, it still feels very unreal to me that I got to add a chapter to her story. 

The Wonder Woman film has been a huge success at the box office, which we think is so awesome. Why do you think the film did so well? 

I get that some people were expecting, maybe even rooting for the film to fail, but I don’t think its success is surprising. Audiences want more women in lead action roles — give us our slow-mo hero shot! We’ve been waiting for this story a long time, and Patty Jenkins is a brilliant director. Hopefully the Wonder Woman movie will be a stepping stone, not only for more female-led action films, but for more inclusive casts. I also think Wonder Woman is unique among heroes. Her strength isn’t just about kicking butt. It’s the strength to choose kindness when you could be cruel, the strength to choose peace even when you know you could win the fight. Maybe we’re all hungry for more of that right now. 

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Leigh signed copies of Warbringer at the 2017 Book Expo!

You’ve been at BookCon and ComicCon talking about this book. What’s the most interesting question a fan has asked you about this project? 

I keep getting the “which other superhero would you like to write” question, but honestly Wonder Woman is the only character I can imagine setting aside my own projects for. 

What’s the best costume you saw? 

I think my favorite costume was seeing a girl dressed as Nina Zenik from Six of Crows cosplaying 1940s Wonder Woman. Totally brilliant crossover. 

If Wonder Woman existed in present day, what’s the first thing you think she would do? 

Warbringer is a completely different timeline from the movie, so you’ll actually get to see exactly what kind of trouble Diana would get into if she came to our modern world. Let’s just say that catcalls, sour gummies and the New York City subway all make a big impression.  

What are you working on now? 

Once I finish up this tour, I’ll be heading back on the road to meet readers and celebrate the release of The Language of Thorns, my illustrated collection of original fairytales. I’m currently working on my first novel for adults, The Ninth House, and I’ve got more news coming in the Grishaverse very soon. 

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