Contributors: Kenedi and Mal
Nerds & Beyond recently got the chance to interview the one and only Meghan Fitzmartin. With writing credits spanning multiple genres and mediums, Fitzmartin has more than made a name for herself with works such as Supernatural, Red Rhino, Justice Society: World War II, Supernatural Academy, Batman: Urban Legends, and more! Throughout her career, Fitzmartin has worked tirelessly to incorporate queer and neuroatypical characters into her work, spreading the message that no matter who you are, how you think, or who you love, you matter in this world. Read on below to see what Fitzmartin shared with us concerning her extensive career!
Nerds & Beyond: Tim Drake: Robin #9 is releasing very soon. Was it nerve-wracking taking on a character who has such a history within DC, and putting your own unique and wonderful twist on his story? What made you want to work with Tim Drake as opposed to any of the other DC heroes?
Fitzmartin: I love working with Tim Drake! I think of him as the Robin for the millennials, the one representing the gifted kids turned anxious adults pipeline. So, in that way, he was very familiar to write. DC actually came to me to ask if I would write him, which was an honor. I try not to let nerves come into play (even though they are always there!) when it comes to writing iconic characters. Story is story. These characters have things to say, and I try to allow them the space to say it.
Nerds & Beyond: Do you have a “dream character” you’d like to write for, or a DC show that’s on your wishlist to work on? Is there any particular genre or medium that you haven’t worked on that you’d like to dip your toe into?
Fitzmartin: Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Fantastic Four! That’s a dream, for sure. Within DC, I’d love to write Green Arrow (Mia Dearden is everything), or more Batfamily, like Nightwing or Barbara. When it comes to genre, I really want to get more into science fiction. That’s what started my journey into exploring the genre, but I haven’t had a chance to play in the stars!
Nerds & Beyond: We’ve got to mention your run on Batman: Urban Legends, which first gave fans a canon queer Robin. Those comics made you a household name for many people. Did that open new doors for you as a writer, and do you hope to keep telling queer stories in the future?
Fitzmartin: I’d love to write more queer characters! All I have ever wanted in my writing is to tell people they are loved, and now, more than ever, we need queer stories to show how loved and valued the queer community is.
Nerds & Beyond: You don’t just write queer characters, but neuroatypical ones as well. That’s amazing and much needed in both the comics and TV space. Do you think it was harder to earn space for those stories in the world, and do you think that it’s getting easier to tell diverse stories than it was for writers before you, or is there still a lot of pressure to conform in certain areas of the industry?
Fitzmartin: I think the entertainment industry has a long way to go when it comes to telling the stories of neuroatypical characters. My hope is to bring more awareness to neuroatypical stories, and it’s still an uphill battle to show neurotypical folks in a way that doesn’t seem stereotypical. I’m trying!
Nerds & Beyond: Here at Nerds & Beyond we’re also big fans of your work on Supernatural. You wrote two of our favorite episodes in the final season! What was it like joining the writers’ room for such an established show?
Fitzmartin: Absolutely amazing! I started as an assistant on Supernatural at the same time as some of the amazing writers who came on through the end run and was so lucky to be able to learn from them. Meredith Glynn, Davy Perez, and Steve Yockey were so kind and encouraging, and Bob Berens, Andrew Dabb, and Bob Singer were so supportive and brilliant when it came to the tips and tricks for working on the show. It was truly a dream.
Nerds & Beyond: Speaking of previous work, you’re very much a multi-platform writer. How have you found your creative process differs when working in different genres and/or different mediums (for example moving between television and comics)? Do you have a favorite format for your work?
Fitzmartin: Picking a favorite format is like picking a favorite child, I can’t do it! For me, when I’m going between formats, I ask myself: “Who am I writing to?” Not the audience, but the next step in producing the work. In TV/Film, I write for hundreds of crew in various departments, not to mention actors and directors, so I have to be as specific as possible. In comics, I’m writing to an editor, artist, colorist, and letterer, so I can be more lax and more visual in writing the plot. Animation and audio drama are the most similar because in one format, I’m telling the storyboard and animators what to imagine with pictures, and in the other format, I’m telling a sound designer and composer what to imagine with sound. It’s a challenge that works for my brain, and I truly believe I learn how to be a better TV writer by writing animation, a better animation writer by writing comics, etc.
Nerds & Beyond: You won the 2022 British Podcasting Award last year. Are we going to see more scripted podcasts like Passenger List from you in the future?
Fitzmartin: That’s the plan! (Secretive wink.)
Nerds & Beyond: What are some sources of creative inspiration you draw from in your everyday life, and how has your process for writing evolved over the course of your career?
Fitzmartin: I tend to draw creative inspiration from heavy, philosophical questions. What is the meaning of life, how do we love each other, and what DOES love have to do with it? I find all those questions fascinating and I try to infuse them into my work. I also live in both LA and London, and both places have such a wide variety of daily inspiration that I’m spoiled! In terms of my writing process, I think it’s evolved by necessity. Comics tend to run on a similar fast track to TV, so you don’t always have a lot of time to pick through your thoughts for the best one. I’ve learned to go on instinct and to make quick decisions.
Nerds & Beyond: Was there any particular event in your life that made you realize you wanted to create stories as a career?
Fitzmartin: I always knew I wanted to tell stories, but I didn’t know how. When I was in college, my joke was that if I didn’t marry a pastor, I’d move to Los Angeles (I went to school in the South, and this was a pretty normal career path). But, as I got closer to graduation, I had to make some hard choices. Should I marry the guy I was dating, or was there something to this writing thing that I’ve always loved? The song ‘Just Around the Riverbend’ from Pocahontas was really important to me during that time!
Nerds & Beyond: Lastly, here at Nerds & Beyond, we’re all about letting your nerd flag fly no matter the subject. So we love to end our interviews by asking, what is one thing that you consider yourself to be nerdy or passionate about?
Fitzmartin: Oh, man. This is sort of embarrassing, but I’d call myself a huge Bible nerd. Specifically the Judeo-Christian Bible. I went to school to be a youth pastor (then took a hard right turn), studied in Israel, and have read the Bible from cover to cover multiple times in different translations. My favorite jokes are Bible jokes or Bible memes. And because of my Bible nerd knowledge, I have a solid foundation to argue and fight with people who call themselves Christians but don’t understand that God’s love is not to be used as judgment.
A big thanks to Meghan Fitzmartin for speaking with us! As always, stay tuned to Nerds & Beyond for more interviews, news, and coverage of all things that excite the nerd in you.