Welcome to Writerhead Wednesday, a weekly feature in which a brilliant, charming, remarkable author answers three questions about her/his writerhead…a precious opportunity for looky-loos around the world to sneak into the creative noggins of talented writers and (ever so gently) muck about.
To be honest, when I started reading Ransom Riggs’s new novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I wasn’t sure I could finish it.
Because it’s a little bit scary (especially the first couple of chapters), and I’m a little bit chicken.
But despite the fact that I was checking under my bed for ghosts and peeking behind doors before turning off the light, I still couldn’t wait to turn the page.
On top of an incredibly compelling story line, the book is full of photographs. Oodles of creepy, bizarre photographs that draw you even deeper into the story.
Technically, I think Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is labeled YA, but I loved it (and I’m a smidgin over 16).
So let’s get started.
The Scoop About Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. [from www.ransomriggs.com]
“An enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters and some very creepy monsters . . . dark but empowering.” ~ Publishers Weekly
“A tense, moving, and wondrously strange first novel. The photographs and text work brilliantly together to create an unforgettable story.” ~ John Green, New York Times bestselling author of Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska
Named one of the “Best YA Books of June” at Amazon.com.
Named one of the “Top 10 YA Books of the Year So Far” at Amazon.com.
“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”
And now, Ransom’s writerhead…
1. Describe your state of writerhead (the where, the when, the how, the what, the internal, the external).
I’ve become a creature of habit in this respect. The way I write is mostly can’ts—I can’t write in coffee shops, because there’s always some blabbermouth chattering away at the next table, or I get distracted with whatever they’re playing on the stereo; I can’t write on planes or while traveling; I can’t write at night; I can’t write without at least an hour and a half of free time in front of me, or I get distracted thinking about whatever’s about to happen in less than an hour and a half. I’m spoiled: I need hours of obligation free quiet time in my house (I have an office in my house where I write), with no one else around or in the next room (so I can get up and pace around and mutter to myself without feeling self-conscious about my weird habits) and it helps to be surrounded by books that I can grab and flip open at random for inspiration. Also, it helps when the Internet is broken, for obvious reasons. I have no clue how people work regular day jobs and then come home and write in the evening with kids and dogs crashing around their houses. I couldn’t do it!
2. What happens if someone/something interrupts writerhead? (a spouse, a lover, a barking dog, an electrical outage, a baby’s cry, a phone call, a leg cramp, a dried-up pen, a computer crash, etc.)
I get cranky! My wife always knows I’m writing when she calls me in the middle of the day and my speech is clipped and fast—it’s like I’m trying to save my words for the page instead of using them up on the phone. (I always apologize to her later, though.) I don’t have any great stories about this…usually I just get annoyed, then keep writing when whatever’s distracting me is over.
3. Using a simile or metaphor, compare your writerhead to something.
It’s like a state of half-dreaming, where you’re letting your brain go and have adventures and imagine things, but you’re aware enough to write them down. A bit like lucid dreaming, I’d imagine.
Ransom Riggs grew up in Florida, where he spent his formative years making silly movies with his friends in their various backyards, snorkeling, and complaining about the heat. He studied English at Kenyon College and film at the University of Southern California. He is married. He has a cat. He lives in Los Angeles. He makes films you can watch on his YouTube page: www.youtube.com/ransriggs. He enjoys traveling to exotic lands and complaining about the heat.
You can find out more about Ransom on his web site (www.ransomriggs.com) and connect with him on Twitter (@ransomriggs).
Q4U: Readers / Writers / Looky-Loos / Lovers of YA Fiction / Lovers of Spooky, Creepy Fiction: What are your writerly /readerly “can’ts”? (I can’t write if someone–a.k.a. my husband–talks to me in the morning before I sit down to write; I can’t read in a car or a train…)
GIVEAWAY! 3 Copies of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Today—Wednesday, July 27, 2011—I’ll be giving away 3 copies of Ransom Riggs’s crazy, lovely, creepy, captivating novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
RULES: To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment right here on WRITERHEAD for Ransom. Wish him well. Tell him you can’t wait to read his novel. Talk about a shared writerhead experience. Ask him why he’s always complaining about the heat. Anything. (Make sure to leave your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.)
*Comments must be posted before the clock strikes midnight on July 28, 2011. (That’s Eastern Standard Time U.S.)
**This contest is open internationally.
***The lucky winners will be drawn on Thursday, July 28. Be sure to check back to see who wins.
****The winner will be drawn randomly by the highly scientific method of my 3yo pulling a name out of a hat (or some other convenient container).
*****Though I welcome all charming comments, only one comment per person will be counted in the contest. (This isn’t American Idol.)