In other words, he understands books, films, and the publishing industry in general. His experience and training have served him well. His writing has received both popular and critical acclaim, and at least one book - This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein - is on its way to the big screen.
As might be inferred from the title, Mr. Oppel is writing a prequel to the classic Frankenstein that was grounded both historically and stylistically in the life and writing of Mary Shelley, the author of the original story. He notes in the discussion guide:
“Victor’s parents I actually based on Mary Shelley’s real parents, the radical writers William Godwin and Mary Wollestonecraft, so my Frankenstein household is very liberal for its time. Mrs. Frankenstein writes pamphlets on the rights and education of women; Mr. Frankenstein is a fair magistrate who insists on his own family making the servants their Sunday dinner as a gesture of egalitarianism (a concept that was sweeping through Europe in the late 1700s).”
I was prepared to be disappointed. I am a fan of Shelley's classic, and I was concerned This Dark Endeavor would be a cheesy intro heavy on shock value and silly romance. How delighted I was to be wrong.