Welcome to another exciting interview here on Always Trust In Books. I had the brilliant opportunity to put some questions to Christina Henry. Christina is the author of the popular re-imaginings ALICE and RED QUEEN. Her most recent release is LOST BOY which serves as a prequel to the original material. A prequel that is focused on the creation of one of the most memorable villains of all time: Hook. I loved this book so much. Lost Boy is a story that needed to be told and CH did a phenomenal job in telling it. I put some questions to her about the writing of LOST BOY and I got some brilliant answers. I shall share some information about Christina and her new release, then on to the questions!
This post is part of the LOST BOY blog tour and there are plenty of great blogs joining in so be sure to check out the poster below for more details on the tour stops.
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. Once I loved a boy called Peter Pan.
Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. He wants always to be that shining sun that we all revolve around. He’ll do anything to be that sun. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.
Peter will say I’m a villain, that I wronged him, that I never was his friend.
About Christina Henry
CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, ALICE and RED QUEEN, a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as LOST BOY: THE TRUE STORY OF CAPTAIN HOOK, an origin story of Captain Hook from Peter Pan.
She is also the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING) featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle Beezle.
ALICE was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year in Science Fiction and Fantasy for 2015. It was also a Goodreads Choice Award nominee in Horror and one of Barnes & Noble’s Bestselling Science Fiction and Fantasy novels of 2015.
She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
The Q&A Section
I love what you have done with the Peter Pan lore! How long had you been planning to write this story?
I’d been thinking about it on and off for a couple of years. Like so many of my books the final result was different from my original intention – when I first thought of writing a Peter Pan story I thought it would be a steampunk-y adventure with a grown-up Captain Hook on a ship in the clouds. That was about three years ago, and I put that idea aside to write ALICE.
By the time I got around to writing LOST BOY my thinking had shifted, and what I wanted to know was why Hook became Hook in the first place – how come this adult hates Peter Pan so much? So I wrote LOST BOY to answer that question for myself.
How long did it take to finish Lost Boy from starting a draft to the finished book?
I write by hand and in chronological order. Once I get 40-50 pages in my notebook I transfer the story to the typewritten manuscript and edit it as I go. Then I go back to the notebook and write another 50 pages or so and the process repeats until I’m done. Once everything is in the typed manuscript I send it off to my editor. It probably takes 4-6 months to write each book once I actively start writing, but there is a pretty long period of time prior to that where I am just thinking about the book.
Is Lost Boy going to be the only entry in this series?
Yes, I don’t want to write any more series right now – just single titles.
Could you give us some insights into what challenges you faced when writing Lost Boy?
Since I wanted my book to be a kind of prequel to PETER PAN I had to think a lot more about how faithful I wanted to be to the original story. When I wrote ALICE I was writing my own very-loosely-inspired story so I didn’t feel the same need for fidelity to the original.
Are there any more fairy tales/stories you have in your sights for the future?
My next book is not based on a fairy tale but based on a real-life event. P.T. Barnum exhibited the Feejee Mermaid at the American Museum in New York in 1842. That event is one of the best-known hoaxes in history. I wanted to write about Barnum and the mermaid, except the mermaid is not a hoax but a real creature.
How much fun was it to adapt the Peter Pan story for a more mature audience?
I think there is a lot of darkness inherent in children’s stories just under the surface, and some of the best children’s authors are the ones that don’t pretend darkness doesn’t exist. It was easy to imagine that a bunch of boys without adults to mind them might be brutal to one another – my editor called this book LORD OF THE FLIES meets PETER PAN, and that’s exactly right.
What is your main goal when sitting down to write your re-imaginings?
I want to create something that feels both familiar and fresh at the same time, so that if you love the original story you’ll appreciate the familiar elements and also get something new by reading my story.
I am excited to read more of your work, have you got any projects coming up that
you could give us some details about?
I’ve just handed in the manuscript for THE MERMAID (the P.T. Barnum story) and I haven’t started anything new yet, although I am thinking about a post-apocalyptic Red Riding Hood.
What do you usually do to celebrate after you have finished writing a book?
I wish I could say I did something cool but I usually just collapse for the next three days.
Have you always been drawn to these types of stories as a reader/writer?
I read pretty much everything, from various types of fiction to tons of non-fiction. I’d like to write widely as well, and try my hand at different kinds of stories. I don’t want to be the kind of writer that writes just one thing.
Have you read a book recently that you would recommend to the readers of this post?
I just finished M.R. Carey’s THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE (the sequel to THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS) and I really enjoyed it.
Thank you Christina for taking the time to answer a few questions about Lost Boy.
Thanks for having me!
That Q&A was a lot of fun to put together. As soon as I finished the novel I was writing down questions I needed the answers to. I am slightly gutted that there will be no more instalments in this series, but the sound of a post-apocalyptic Red Riding Hood sounds pretty badass. Thank you for stopping by and checking out this interview. Please leave a comment telling me what you thought of the post and until next time, happy reading!