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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Interview: Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has been one of those hits of the year that everyone is talking about (in fact, it's even going to be a movie!), and it's easy to see why: just one flip through the photographs that haunt its pages and you just kind of have to know...what makes the children at Miss Peregrine's so peculiar?
Tomorrow you're going to have a chance to win one of 3 copies of Miss Peregrine's, but today I have an interview for you from author Ransom Riggs!
Enjoy, and make sure to leave him some love for stopping by. :)

How did the idea for Miss Peregrine's come about? Did the story develop out of the pictures, or did you search for pictures that suited the story.

The pictures came first. I started finding old photos at swap meets and flea markets a few years ago, and pretty soon my collecting hobby became an obsession. As interesting as the photos and the people in them were, they were anonymous, and I didn’t know anything about their stories – so I made them up! In addition to flea markets and such, I also made contact with a number of other collectors who’d been amassing old photos for much longer than I had, and when I told them about my project they generously let me paw through their voluminous collections looking for “peculiar” stuff.

Where there any new photo finds that you just had to use, and as a result, sort of changed the story?

This happened all the time -- I'd find some amazing picture and think this HAS to be in the book, and a new story thread or character would grow out of that. Where I wanted to take the story also changed what sorts of photos I looked for, so there was some give and take.

Same question as ^^ but with the recently announced book 2 - any amazing photo finds that have just taken over your brain, and consequently the story?

Oh, sure. I've got so many great photos for book 2 -- way more than I could possibly use -- that the hard part is going to be choosing between them!

What inspired the collection of the oddball vintage photos in the first place, and what's your favorite find so far?

Just realizing that they were out there to be bought and owned -- other people's old pictures. It seemed like an awfully strange thing to collect at first, until I started finding pictures that really piqued my interest. Now it seems like the most natural thing in the world (but it's OK if you still think I'm weird). Choosing a favorite find is really difficult, but there's one I love, of a young teen girl wearing old west clothes, a knife in her belt, holding a shotgun over one shoulder. She's looking off to one side with this odd, shifty expression, as if she's expecting someone to come in and catch her wearing men's clothing any second now. Very strange and evocative.

You created the trailer for Miss Peregrine's your self: In a perfect world, if you could take that one step further and make it a full-length feature and have everything the way you want it, what would be some of the must-haves? (Casting, locations, certain scenes shot a certain way, etc)

Honestly, I've been too wrapped up in writing book 2 to think about it! Plus, if I get super attached to my own ideas about how the movie should be made, I'll inevitably be disappointed with the result, because it won't be exactly what was in my head. It's better to just keep an open mind and assume it'll be awesome!

If you were one of the children in Miss Peregrine's Home, what would be your peculiarity?

The way I see it, most of the peculiar children’s powers, if you want to call them that, have a dark side – they’re both a blessing and a curse. So, honestly, I’m happy to be normal! But now that you mention it, I’ve been thinking lately that it would be nice – this is geeky, I know – to be able to take pictures with my eyes just by blinking. Because I’m always seeing things I think would make great photographs and wishing I had my camera with me. I know that’s not a great power, but it’d be really convenient.

Thanks for stopping by, Ransom!
As for the rest of you, don't forget to come back for a chance to win a copy for yourself, and keep an eye out during Helluva Halloween for my review! 

Click here to be taken to the Helluva Halloween Main Page!


  1. This was definitely one of my favorite books of the year. Great interview!

  2. That was a great interview. I haven't read the book yet but now I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

  3. Ah, great interview! I like that peculiarity you wished for; a possible one for me would be if I could take photos of the images in my mind. Peculiar indeed.

  4. Great interview. This is a book that keeps calling to me and it's on my wishlist. I think I need to bite the bullet and pick it up on payday. :)

  5. Excellent interview! I really like Ransom Riggs, I can't wait for the second book. I'm also really excited to see what they come up with for the movie, it should be very interesting but I hope they can capture the oddity of the book. It's what makes the story so special.

  6. I just finished this and it is an excellent novel. It's fascinating how the story grew out of a collection of odd photographs!

    Great interview!


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