Saturday, August 13, 2011

Author Interview: Ransom Riggs

Interview with Ransom Riggs, the author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs Online
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About Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

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 were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is an interesting book. It tells the story not just through words, but also old (and slightly creepy) photographs sprinkled throughout the novel. What came first, the chicken or the egg? (Meaning the story, or the pictures?)

Ransom: It seems like writers hardly ever have good or satisfying answers to the "where'd you get the idea for that" question, but in this case, I do! The pictures were the inspiration. I started collecting old photos a few years ago, and kept finding creepy old pictures of kids -- they kept me up at night, and I wanted to know more about who they were. But they were entirely divorced from their contexts, so I had to make up their stories myself. I approached my editor at Quirk Books with the photos, and we settled on the idea of weaving a story through the photos -- a novel. My first! I'm tempted to say the photos made the writing easy --- that's not quite true -- but they definitely helped my creative process.

In the book, ‘peculiars’ are people with special abilities that defy logic. I can twist my arm all the way around--does that make me a peculiar? What are the signs of a peculiar child?

R: In my imagining of it, "peculiarity" is a spectrum, kind of like the notion of disability. On one extreme you've got kids like Claire, who has a mouth in the back of her head. That's not exactly a special power -- and not terrible useful, except when it comes to biting people who are trying to sneak up behind you -- but it's awfully peculiar. Then you've got the kids who can make fire with their bare hands, or levitate, or are invisible. But even those abilities aren't entirely without disadvantages that make life a little difficult at times. I didn't want the peculiar children to be superheroes -- they're just different.

So to answer your question, I don't know that there are any signs, at least not any that normal people could reliably recognize. Except one: they can enter time loops. Normal people can't do that.

How exactly would you categorize Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children? Paranormal? Historical? Just plain weird (but still totally cool)?

R: I've never been one to read in any one genre exclusively, and I guess my writing style is a result of that; I just stick in whatever I think is interesting, whether it be historical or paranormal or romantical or just-plain-weird. I'm happy being unclassifiable!

At the end of the novel, things didn’t feel completely resolved. Will there be a sequel? (PLEASE SAY YES! *prays to the book gods fervently*)

R: YES!

And lastly, describe the book in 3 words.

R: Somnambulant hashish headtrip. (Well, I hope so.)
There you have it! I definitely agree with the 'hashish head trip' description, haha! Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was such a unique and amazing book, you should definitely check it out!

20 comments:

  1. So awesome :D
    thank you for the giveaway as well!

    Shortskiee@aol.com

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  2. Very interesting interview! Thank you for the poster giveaway!

    handley(dot)skye(at)gmail(dot)com.

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  3. I am in the process of reading this book and it is so good. Winning the poster would be awesome. =]
    thebookshelfreview[at]gmail[dot]com

    Also I am a new follower and I think your blog and youtube videos are awesome. =]
    -Michael
    thebookshelfreview.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the fantastic giveaway!
    twigerina[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oooh, that poster is so pretty :D I would love to win it. <3 Thank you so much for the chance :)
    Love, Carina ~ carina-olsen@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. readspect_reviews@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd love to enter, thanks for the giveaway!

    aprilxu2222@gmail.com

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  8. Haha, fun interview! Very quirky, which fits with the theme of the book. ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway. weheartya at gmail dot com

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  9. please count me in!:)

    GFC-Janhvi Jagtap
    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just ordered this for my school library. I want to read it so I can book talk it but it looks kind of freaky (even in the trailer)!

    reader4evr@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. wordslikesilverblog@gmail.com

    I honestly NEED this book it looks amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This definitely sounds like an interesting bok with all the weirdness going on

    snifflykitty@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. wordslikesilverblog@gmail.com

    THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great interview!

    linda.lea.wiley (at) gmail (dot) com

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  15. Oh I always wanted a book poster!

    ashtreygonesmokeya@yahoo.com

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  16. I would super duper love that poster because I super duper love that book!! Thank you for the opportunity!

    chelseyrosedavis@gmail.com

    And if you're ever scouring the internet, I'm attempting to start my own book blog. It's very wip right now though.

    http://bellsbeautifulbooks.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. This book sounds so interesting. While I am commenting for this awesome give away, can I just say, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, I read it because I read your review, and I loved it! Thanks

    the.evie@myself.com
    the.evie(at)myself(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I LOVE the cover of this book and I can't wait to get a copy and read it!

    rebellovesong8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. super interview, I think the fact that the story was inspired by the pictures is fascinating! Thanks for the giveaway

    librarygal (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete

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