Did you read Alice in Wonderland when you were a child?
What did you think of it? My grandmother's name was Alice and the book was a favorite of both
her and my mother. When I was 10-years-old and it was 90 degrees
outside and everyone else was swimming, my mother decided she and
I should read the book together. Not the best introduction to wonderland
and I did not enjoy the experience - little did I know what the
rework a classic story?
I do not consider the Looking Glass Wars to be a re-working of Alice
in Wonderland but rather a valid 'what if?". A creative
act inspired by a chance visit to the British Museum and a meeting
with antiquities dealer Mr Doogan Buffington. When I asked myself "What
if Alice were actually from Wonderland and what if Wonderland were
the source of our imagination?" that was a big, original 'what-if'
that contained a lot of energy and possibilities - enough to inspire
my book and Egmont to publish it. It was never a conscious decision
on my part to "re-work" the Alice books, but this discovery
that lead me to uncover the truth.
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you worried about what fans of the original books will think
I'm more curious than worried. I
really don't know how many kids that are reading Harry Potter etc.
today have read Alice in Wonderland. I think the issue is more
about traditionalists being put off, most readers have open minds,
especially kids, after all isn't a good story what most readers
do you think Lewis Carroll would say about your story?
do you think of Charles Dodgson - the man?
aloof, intelligent. A man who's only real freedom was in his own
took a long time to research the Looking Glass Wars, have you
enjoyed every second of it so much that I plan to write a book
detailing the gathering of evidence, the blind alleys, the intrigues
and late night phone calls, espionage, assassination attempts...all
of it will be in the book accompanying the trilogy.
is your favorite character in the novel and why?
for all she suffered and endured. For her spirit. Her strength.
For her determination to hold onto her imagination despite society's
insistence that flowers do not sing, that Wonderland does not exist,
that she fit in and be like everyone else and that her name is
spelled Alice - not Alyss .
did you enjoy writing about most the good characters or the villains
in life - it's usually more fun to be bad and very hard to be good. Writing
villains allows a certain amount of repressed fantasies of retribution,
revenge and all around anti-social behavior to act out. Redd and
the Cat were always up to something 'fun' so I have to admit to
enjoying the villains the most. I think what really makes for successful
villains is when in their mind they are the hero of the story.
Redd is a fascinating character who sees herself as wronged by
her family and her imagination as superior to Alyss's. Her assassin,
the Cat - half feline and half man - is a scary, vicious beast
who happens to be very articulate which made the dialogue wickedly
fun to write.
there a particular scene or episode that you particularly enjoyed
initial attack on heart palace ending with Alyss's escape and exile.
Writing this I felt swept up in the energy and emotion - as though
I were witnessing it firsthand. This gave me the momentum I would
need for not only Alyss's journey but for mine as well. Our journeys
came together at this point and I was locked in.
and when do you write?
I committed myself to writing this I rented a small one room office
in an old art deco building in Los Angeles. Since I get so much
inspiration from visuals I commissioned 'Looking Glass War' conceptual
art pieces and then 'cocooned' myself within by covering the walls
and ceiling with all of these images. And each day I went there
and stayed till the sun went down, drank endless cups of tea and
wrote in longhand.
it true that The Looking Glass Wars is going to be made into
the right director. In order to bring the book to the screen the
director will need to be a visionary - someone able to create sweeping
romance, great visual style and be able to capture the vibrance
of this world of Wonderland never seen on film before. The grandeur
of the Chessboard Desert, the saturated colors of Mushroom Valley.
Definitely a 'director's film '.
would you like to play Alyss?
will launch a worldwide search for Alyss. Not since Scarlett O'Hara
was cast in Gone With The Wind will there be such an exhaustive
event. There is a very high probability the actress cast will be
English so to all those interested I suggest you buy the book and
begin preparing now.
there any similarities to working on a film and working on a
in visual terms....searching for the moments...feels very similar.
But otherwise a book is a solo experience while working on a film
you are surrounded by people. Virtually never alone. In both cases
you are just hoping people will like it.
must be an exciting moment in your varied career?
also anxious. I feel like I have a 'little secret' that
I have been keeping but dying to tell, because no one likes to
keep secrets for very long. And now it's time to tell the secret.
Which makes me very excited but nervous, I had a similar feeling
with my film "There's Something About Mary", a little secret
that was about to be shared with the world. So let's see how
reader's like this secret.
you tell us anything about the next book in the trilogy?
only detail I am willing to divulge is that Homburg Molly plays
a much bigger part...
made you want to write?
a great story to tell - I didn't want to forget anything so I started
writing it down.
you read lot as a child?
read a lot but nothing like my neighbour Margaret Whistleby - I
wish I could have read as fast as she did.
do you live?
the Hollywood sign. What
are your extravagances?
and collecting rare maps
To build the Looking Glass Maze rollercoaster.