We recently asked the fans on our Facebook page to pose some interview questions for Lynn. Here’s the third set of questions and answers. (Read the first series here, the second set here, and the third set here):
Kate Austin Spina: Would you ever consider a spin off, following April?
Lynn: When a California producer asked about FBorFW as a sit-com, the suggestion was made that April be the focus. She’s at an interesting age, has a garage band, is thinking about becoming a veterinarian…but again, she would have to move from Canada to the US!
In order for a story about the Patterson family to work, a Canadian company would have to be involved. The story is Canadian. April could visit the States, even work there for awhile, but she and her family are Canadian and I want them to stay that way. Realistically, I doubt that there will ever be a continuation of the story – as a live action series or as a comic strip. Some things need to be left as they are. I’m happy to have you design a future for April…let me know what you come up with!
Me: Since Lynn doesn't want to relinquish control of her message, I don't see a follow-up either.
Andrew Kieswetter: Did you ever plan to have Michael marry Martha or Rhetta instead of Deanna?
Lynn: No. I think Michael and Deanna are well suited. I’m hoping their marriage lasts.
Me: First off, that isn't the question he asked and if she'd understood it, she'd have talked about how Rhetta and Martha committed the relationship-killing sin of not devoting themselves totally to a whiny and stupid douche who mistreats them. Second, it probably will. Mike's got himself someone who'll put up with his bullshit no questions asked and Deanna can't leave without admitting Mira was right so....
Sally Barry: Did Liz hang on, martyr-like, to the ghastly ugly Anthony? I loathed him and was so disappointed she left the great white north and the cute native policeman to go back to white bread land and Anthony’s stache.
Lynn: Yes, Elizabeth married Anthony and I think their marriage will last. Romantic as some relationships appear to be, they are sometimes just part of one’s personal story.
Me: Since John and Elly were equally incompatible and they too are too afraid of dying alone themselves to split up, I can get behind Liz and Anthony staying together until death do them part. Divorcing his ass would mean she made a mistake and she can't do THAT!!
Karen Hiebert: Are there any storylines/characters you regret doing?
Lynn: No. I don’t regret any of the story-lines or the characters I made up. They all fit in. They were all fun to work with. Are there any you wish I hadn’t written about?
Me: Why do I expect that Lynn is sitting there thinking "Please say 'April.'"?
Heather McDaniels: Elly’s father was a WWII veteran. If he were with us today, what would his thoughts be of the rise of white supremacy in America, something we, ourselves, are struggling to understand? Would he speak to the children about his time during the war, and might Michael write about it? This is something I wish someone would do, as it’s hard to explain to kids other than “they’re very bad people” & “they’re racists,” and trying to explain that. Thank you.
Lynn: Elly’s father, one of the grandfathers in the strip, was based entirely on my dad, who was a veteran and one of the kindest men I ever knew. His philosophy was “greet everyone as an equal and give everyone a chance”.
His circle of friends was wonderfully diverse. He wanted to experience as much of life as possible through the people he met in his shop. The coffee was always on, and the conversations were always interesting. Because my dad was so unconcerned about peoples’ colour, shape, education, or income, he travelled the world through his friends and he had a million stories to show for it. Dad was a storyteller. You can’t tell stories if you don’t learn about people, and you can’t learn about people if you are afraid to talk to them. It’s fear that keeps us apart. I learned through my dad and through the strip that we are all exactly the same. All of us. That was “the grandfather’s” philosophy–and it’s also mine.
Me: It's too bad that her love of her father can't be in the vibrant bloom it is without the leafy green background of irrational hatred of her mother.
Paul Jones: What’s Phil’s wife Georgia’s maiden name? We never found that out.
Lynn: I honestly don’t remember. If it was never mentioned in the strip, then I have no idea! Make one up. That’s what I’d do!
Me: I think I did once: "Weatherly" like the guy who used to be on NCIS.
Linda Davies: Was there ever a storyline or subject matter that you WANTED to include in your strip but never did?
Lynn: I wanted to do a story about Annie’s husband and his infidelity. I never did. Other stories came into my head instead, and this one sat on the periphery, just simmering away. Perhaps, it was too just too close to home.
Me: This is the answer she gave in "Lives Behind The Lines" and it's for the same reason: writing too much about Steve's affair would end up backfiring on her.
Letitia Schuman: How are the kids and grandkids, in real life? BTW I still have the letter you sent me over 20 years ago with your signature which contained your doodle in the middle. Always loved your strips.
Lynn: It’s wonderful that you want to know what’s happening to the FBorFW characters now. The truth is…I don’t know. When the story ended, I stopped connecting with them. I thought I’d be fighting new ideas, wanting to continue, but no ideas came. The story ended…just like that. I wish I could tell you what happened next and how everyone is doing. I have no idea. I want to know if Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz ever got married and had kids and told them about Oz. There are 13 Oz books and I read them all. They ended with Dorothy still a child. Some stories you just have to finish yourself….and perhaps that’s a good thing!
Me: First, that's not the question she asked. Second, you'd think by now people would realize that Lynn thinks that the Patterson story ended at Jim's bedside and the Strip of Destiny is the final word. You can tell she's dismayed by the fact that they don't.
Heather McDaniels: I was wondering if there would be reprints or a collection book of the trio “David, We’re Pregnant,” “Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad!” & “Do They Ever Grow Up?” which chronicled the years between finding out one was expecting & your child turning two/three. I purchased them when I was expecting my first child & got them for a couple of friends who were expecting, but can’t seem to find them anywhere anymore.
Lynn: I don’t think we will be reprinting the original 3 books. They are well out of date, now. I know that folks find them on the internet…in fact, we’ve had to look there, too! I gave so many away, that we only have a few copies ourselves. Good luck, and thanks for asking. Those first 3 little books launched my career. [You can sometimes find them on abebooks.com or ebay. – Ed.]
Me: I don't think Lynn managed to quite secure the rights to republish them but she can't say that so we get this instead.
While I'm relieved that I got in, it seems that Lynn's failure to quite get what people were asking means that her keepers don't want to subject her to embarrassment like this any longer.