Monday, June 24, 2013

A Peculiar Paperback Plus a Pair of Pencil Pushers

I don't normally post updates about a book's second release, but when it includes so much extra content I felt I had to make an exception.

The paperback release of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children includes not only an interview with the author, but also extra peculiar pictures and the entire first chapter from the upcoming sequel, Hollow City (due out in January 2014).

Here's one of the exchanges interviewer Jason Rekulak and Ransom had in their conversation:
Can you tell us how you came to write this book?
Which came first: the story or the photographs?

I have no idea where most of my ideas come from, but Miss Peregrine has a very specific origin story. A few years ago, I started collecting vintage snapshots—the kind you can find in loose piles at most flea markets for fifty cents or a buck apiece. It was just a casual hobby, nothing serious, but I noticed that among the photos I found, the strangest and most intriguing ones were alwasy of children. I began to wonder who some of these strange-looking children had been—what their stories were—but the photos were old and anonymous and there was no way to know. So I thought: If I can't know their real stories, I'll make them up.

The photographs came first, but I never stopped collecting. Even as I was writing the story I was finding more photographs to work in. Ultimately, the photos and the story influenced each other. Sometimes I'd find a new photo that just demanded to be included in the story, and I'd find a way to work it in; other times I'd look for a certain type of photo to fit a story idea I had. It was a fun, strange, organic writing process, unlike anything I'd attempted before.

Borrowed from The Soul Sisters
Also, technically not from their Powell's stop,
but my camera refused to offer an in-focus picture.
But that's not all! Ransom also happened to stop by Powell's City of Books last week along with the talented and effervescent Tahereh Mafi and the two were kind enough to sign some books and answer some more questions.

Not only did we learn that Ransom is a giant among men, but also that both authors tend to evade tricky questions by complimenting the complexity of it. Okay, not really, but I did manage to ask a couple questions pertaining to both their books/series that had them a bit stumped (yay me!).

Firstly, was there a rule book for writing invisible characters — not a rule book, but definitely a council — and secondly, if their background or education had prompted their decision to write about the future (Shatter Me) or the past (Miss Peregrine) — not particularly, though Ransom's photographs obviously steered him towards the historical side.

Overall both authors did a great job offering insights into their novels and their writing, as well as keeping a humorous and personable atmosphere to the event. Though we didn't quite fill up Powell's Pearl Room in bodies, there were quite a few times we filled it with laughter.

Plus I got a really spiffy signature on my paperback! I was a little worried at first because most of the first few pages are completely dark, including the title pages, but Ransom obviously knows his own book and brought a gold sharpie for his signatures. Pretty nifty, no?

Unfortunately I haven't gotten my hands on the Shatter Me paperback yet, or else I would have gotten Tahereh's signature as well. Ah well, no harm in waiting a few more years, eh?

In closing, I'd definitely recommend grabbing copies of both authors' series. As far as Miss Peregrine goes, if you're looking for a very traditional copy that looks like it might be a classic, I'd go for the hardcover copy. But if you're looking for something a bit softer with just as much polish and extra goodies, I'd grab the paperback.

~Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children~
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children
Book 1

By Ransom Riggs
Amazon ~ Powell's ~ Jan's Paperbacks

My Review

~Shatter Me~
Shatter Me
Book 1

By Tahereh Mafi
Amazon ~ Powell's ~ Jan's Paperbacks

My Review

Disclaimer: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children paperback was provided to me by Eric Smith at Quirk Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.