CBR: How did this project for DC Black Label all come about?
>Stjepan Šeji?: Initially, it started as most of my projects start: with a bunch of character explorations and sketches kind of grasping the idea of the character. Through that, the concept was born and through that concept this story was born with an outline of Harleen Quinzel as sort of a life story; a Greek tragedy in three acts, pretty much. Once I had that figured out, I wrote a basic pitch idea and I asked my editor at the time, Andy Khouri, what was my process for pitching books to DC and he helped me figure out how to do the pitch and, at the final stage of it all, I decided to do the last seven pages of the first issue as a fully sketched out and lettered sample for DC editorial to take a look at. Once they saw that, they pretty much okayed it on the spot.
CBR: Something I've noticed across a lot of your work in Sunstone and Witchblade and here in Harleen is that you focus a lot on romance, especially complicated romance. What is it about that theme that you find interesting?
>Complicated romance is interesting to write about. Romance, in general, is an opportunity to depict humanity at its most vulnerable emotional state and the more complicated the romance, the more intense response you can get from your characters; the more intense a story you can write. There's a beauty in writing a romance that's doomed to succeed and there is a different kind of beauty in writing a romance that's doomed to fail.
>That's one of the big things in Harleen, you know it's one of those romances that can't work in the end, you know it doesn't work in the work. However, as a writer, you're facing the challenge of convincing the audience through the eyes of the character why they thought it might, why they thought it might succeed, why Harleen Quinzel thought she could help the Joker, why she could cure him, why she could save him.
>And then, as a reader, you get to find out why it doesn't work.