My lovely friend, and
brilliant artist and author Lauren Stringer tagged me for “The Next Big Thing,”
and so after a bit of confusion, I’m doing it again with a different book. Lauren
wrote about her When Stravinsky met
Nijinsky - now isn’t that a
title you just have to pick up!
So here is my ‘next big thing’:
The Nim Stories.
did the idea come from for the book?
Nim’s Island was inspired by a story I
wrote when I was nine. We were on the ferry to Vancouver Island, to visit my
grandparents, and passed a tiny little island. As soon as I saw it I thought, “I
wish I lived there!” When we got home I started writing “Spring Island,” about
a girl who runs away from an orphanage to live on an island. I think the orphan
inspiration came from Anne of Green Gables, which I’d just read.
week many years later, I received two letters from girls asking me to write a
book about them. I said that I couldn’t do that, but I started playing the
writer’s game of “What if?” “What if a girl wrote to an author and said
“Could you please write a book about me?” and the author said, “No, because I’m
a very famous writer who writes very exciting books, and since you’re just a
little girl your life would be much too boring.”
what if the girl’s life was more exciting than the author’s? And why
was it more exciting?
answer was, “Because she lived on an island.”
many false starts I remembered the
story I’d written when I was nine, and Nim’s
Island came to life. (Yes, my mother still has the original. I scanned the cover when I visited my parents after the Nim's Island Hollywood premiere - it was quite a strange feeling finding it!).
always wanted to write Nim at Sea to
find out after the end of the story, but one of the inspirations was a letter
from a girl named Erin, who said that she wished she could be Nim’s friend. I
thought, “Yes, Nim needs a human friend her own age!” That’s why I named her
my publisher was inspired to put the two books together to celebrate the movie Return to Nim’s Island, which is
loosely based on Nim at Sea.
genre does your book fall under?
Children’s fiction – fantasy
actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie
Interestingly, since I’ve been
truly thrilled with the different actors who’ve played the characters in the
two movies, it brings me back to my truth that everyone who reads a book owns
it by interpreting it in their own way. Abigail Breslin and Bindi Irwin are
very different actors, but they have both been perfect as Nim. Both Gerard
Butler and Matthew Lillard were wonderful as her dad Jack. And of course the
inimitable Jodie Foster, who even looked like the Alex Rover in my head…
is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Two books in one: Nim's Island and Nim
at Sea, the stories of a girl who lives on an island in the middle of the
wide blue sea, with her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion
called Selkie, a turtle called Chica and a satellite dish for her email.
long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
think the first draft of Nim’s Island took about nine months, (or 34 years,
depending on which way you look at it.) The first draft of Nim at Sea probably
took six months, but I think went to even more drafts over the following year.
or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about the book might
pique the reader's interest?
|from Nim at Sea; illustration by Kerry Millard|
I didn’t think about them being ‘girl power’ books, but they’re
often seen that way because Nim is strong, independent and resourceful. On the
other hand, adventures with a sea lion and a marine iguana would certainly
pique my interest, so I hope they would other readers as well.
They'll be posting in a week's time - it’ll be great to see what their Next Big Things are! But you can have a look at their blogs now anyway: lots of interesting stuff there.
Labels: anne of green gables, book to film, girl power, Next Big Thing blog, Nim at Sea, nim stories, Nim's Island, Return to Nim's Island