Today I’m thrilled to be able to share with you the interview I did with Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I reviewed the book yesterday, you can see what I thought about it here.
Hi Ransome, first let me welcome you to my blog!
I loved the photographs that were used throughout the book, and I was really interested to read at the end that they were real photos. Which came first? Did you form the plot around the photos or did you find photos to match the story?
The photos came first. I’d been collecting them for about a year, at flea markets and second-hand stores, and I kept finding these creepy pictures of kids from a long time ago — when they started haunting my dreams, I knew I needed to do something with them! It was my editor at Quirk Books who suggested weaving a story through them. The title came to me in a flash, and the rest followed pretty naturally from there. So in answer to your question, a little a both — some photos I was determined to work into the story from an early stage, and in some cases I knew I needed the plot to take a certain turn and had to search for photos to fit that.
The book is certainly very creepy, what or who influenced this?
Thanks! I’m just drawn to those kinds of stories, I suppose — I prefer my fiction with just a touch of the supernatural, the fantastical, the horrific.
You created some brilliant characters in the book, who was your favourite to write?
Miss Peregrine, because she has such a distinctive way of speaking. I think in another life I was a Victorian-era matron!
I know that 20th Century Fox have snapped up the film rights for the book, have you got a dream cast in mind?
There are a few actors that leap to mind for certain roles — Helena Bonham-Carter or Tilda Swinton for Miss Peregrine. I love Saoirse Ronin and I think she’d make a great Emma. And Kodi Smit-McPhee is an amazing young actor — too young for Jacob, probably, but there are several other young male roles in the book.
The book ends in a pretty open way that seems to suggest a sequel, do you have plans for more books?
I can’t talk about it just yet! Suffice to say, I’m working on … something.
This is your debut novel, what was the path to getting published like for you?
It was somewhat peculiar! I’d been writing for blogs and magazines for a few years when Quirk Books asked me if I wanted to write The Sherlock Holmes Handbook for them. I jumped at the opportunity, had a great time doing it, and when we’d finished with that, my editor and I were looking for another project to do together. And along came Miss Peregrine!
Finally have you got any advice for aspiring authors?
Write a lot, and take every opportunity that comes along, no matter how small. Blogging opened up a whole world of opportunities for me. Say yes to things — and even if you’re not being paid a whole lot (or anything) to do them, do them as well as you can! Take pride in every word you write.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions!