Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Author Interview with Jodi Lynn Anderson

Ello! Say hi to Jodi Lynn Anderson! She is the author of Tiger Lily, a retelling of the famous fairytale Peter Pan. Peter Pan is my all-time favourite fairytale, and Tiger Lily is so well-written that it's my favourite retelling as well. I read Tiger Lily quite a while ago, and you can check out my review of it here if you like. I know there is quite a big gap with my reviews recently, and I'm sorry about that. But right now (and for the next month) I've got my final exams, so it's the busiest time of the year! Will try to post a few reviews soon (got something like 18 books I still need to write my review on!). 

Today, Jodi is here to do an author interview with me. *Huge smile* She is going to share with you some of her inspirations and some interesting comments about the fairytale. Thanks for coming in Jodi!

The Official stuff about Jodi:
 Jodi Lynn Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches, The Secrets of Peaches, Love and Peaches, the popular May Bird trilogy, and Tiger Lily. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and an endless parade of stray pets.

What Jodi says about herself: 
I write books about vaguely magical peach orchards, resorts in the afterlife, enigmatic island princesses beloved by Tinkerbell, and...civics! I was an awkward and strange child who kept lots of secrets. Now I live with a sweet Basenji dog named Peanut who loves to eat shoes, and a sweet husband who is good at all the things I'm bad at, like being organized and thinking things through. I've loved writing and reading about mythical and strange things since I can remember.

1. Why did you decide to write Tiger Lily, a retelling of Peter Pan?

I fell in love with the idea of exploring the relationship between Peter and Tiger Lily, and I fell in love with Tiger Lily as a character. The moment I started trying to picture what a love story between the two of them might look like-- and why someone like Peter might choose Wendy over Tiger Lily--I felt like I deeply understood it. I had such a vivid picture of their story in my mind. And then the thought of spending several months pretending to be in Neverland -- it was irresistible.

2. Does Tiger Lily or any of the characters in Tiger Lily resemble/reflect you in anyway? If so, how?

Well, I can’t say I’m like any of the characters, but I’ve experienced difficult, tumultuous relationships...relationships where love alone wasn’t enough to keep things going. I guess I wanted to capture the intricacies of that kind of difficult relationship.

3. what aspect about the Neverland appealed to you the most?

The wilderness. In the original Barrie story, Neverland is basically the dark, unpredictable wilderness within. It’s brilliant.

4. If there’s one place in the world you could choose to live in, where would it be and why?

I'd love to live in Portland, OR, or in Montana or New Mexico - somewhere with tons of outdoors stuff. But really, it would have to magically be near my family, who are in Virginia!

5. What is your all-time favourite book and why?

Right now I’m reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and I think it’s currently my favorite of all time. It’s a challenging book but so truthful. I love books that try to paint an honest portrait of what it’s like to be human and what goes on in our messy, illogical heads: it’s such a brave and risky thing to do. 

6. What do you think is important for a Young Adult book?

I think the same key things apply to adult and young adult books alike: three-dimensional characters, a compelling plot, originality and style.

7. What is one thing you haven't done, but would really like to do?

I’d like to live on a commune. I'd like to do a NOLS course where you learn to live in the woods for a few months. Everything I'd love to do involves nature I guess! 

8. What is one important experience you had that help you to become who you are today?

Spending a lot of my pre-teen, teen years in Asia (I went to high school there) really shaped me. It made me realize there are very few absolutes. I think it gave me a healthy respect for wildly different points of view. 

9. If you can choose to live in any one story, which one would you choose and why?

Pride and Prejudice. I would be mighty happy tromping around the English countryside in a pretty dress, learning pianoforte and being wooed by people with mansions. 

10. What is the thing/aspect you like the most about the original fairytale of Peter Pan?  

The joyful sadness that’s in almost every line. I was just reading a line to my husband the other night about Mrs. Darling…how Mr. Darling won her hand in marriage but never got the kiss at the corner of her mouth. “I was like: ‘Come on, that is amazing!’” And my husband was like, here we go again. 

Thanks for coming in Jodi and I'm glad we share the common love for Peter Pan! It is an amazing story and you've done a brilliant job at retelling it from Tiger Lily and Tink's point-of-view. It's been awesome talking to you and getting to know you a little more. To all who are reading this interview, if you haven't read Tiger Lily or Peter Pan, you absolutely should! :)

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