Eighth stop: Wonderland’s Historical Library (prize post)
On the eighth day of Splintered, we visit Wonderland’s historical library. A faery as pink as a sunset, with the graceful, long neck of a flamingo, waits at a desk to offer help. Though she’s famous for playing a mean game of croquet, she’s lesser known as the Secret Keeper, thanks to her day job as the librarian of Wonderland.
She sees us and stands—neck opening out like a telescope—to search the upper shelves for the books that hold Wonderland’s forgotten history and darkest secrets.
(caption) Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dm-set/3464173554/
This being Wonderland, the books in the library aren’t typical books. Actual voices are captured within the pages. You don’t so much read them, as converse with them. The Secret Keeper pulls down a dusty tome filled with the voices of people who have read and adored Lewis Carroll’s original tale. They’re sorted alphabetically. Turning to the “L” section, the Secret Keeper (SK) proceeds to ask Maggie Lehrman, Amulet’s acquiring editor for Splintered, her thoughts on the two books:
SK: Dearest Maggie, of course I’ve always known the true story of Wonderland, but I would love your take on the classic Carroll tale and your first reactions to A.G. Howard’s Weirdified Wonderland (which is far more accurate, allow me to assure you!)
Maggie: I love Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, particularly the marvelous illogic of some of the dialogue and the strange beauty of the poems and wordplay. There’s nothing else like it in the world. Carroll’s Alice has inspired generations of children’s authors, but his original book remains as fresh and strange as ever. What I immediately responded to when reading Anita’s take on Wonderland in Splintered was that all those codes and riddles contained meaning and sense, if only we had Alyssa’s stubbornness to help unravel them. Splintered respects the madness of Carroll’s book while creating something new and strange. (And, unlike Carroll’s book, very romantic!)
SK: Is there a particular character, destination, or scene that got you itching to work with Splintered?
Maggie: Hmmm, tricky question! That’s because Splintered is the complete package: There’s Anita’s brilliant repurposing of Wonderland, the pull Alyssa feels between familiar Jeb and mysterious Morpheus, and the deep emotions Anita taps into. But I have to say, personally, I have considerable fondness for the “walrus” scene. As Anita depicts him, he’s grotesque, but also darkly funny and threatening. I knew I was reading something special from the first scene, but it was that tricky octobenus that truly hooked me. Not sure what that says about my personality!
SK: Describe Splintered in six words or less.
Maggie: Wonderland is not what it seems.
SK: Can you share any secrets about the acquisition process as it concerns Splintered? (Strictly for recording purposes, I promise.)
Maggie: Not sure if there any secrets to share, but I will say that many of my co-workers have cornered me to let me know that they couldn’t put the manuscript down. That’s always wonderful to hear!
SK: Tell me why you feel readers should make a resolution to pick up Splintered the very moment it hits shelves on January 1st, 2013?
Maggie: With the excitement of the holidays behind you, this is the perfect book to cozy up to on a cold winter night.
The Secret Keeper places the book back on its shelf and shoos us out the door. To learn all of the weirdified Wonderland secrets, you’ll have to read Splintered. But if you’re too impatient to wait, there will be an unveiling at Mundie Momstomorrow … two secrets revealed, one for Splintered, and one for Lewis Carroll’s original Wonderland tale.
To thank us for stopping by the library today, Wonderland’s Secret Keeper/ librarian is offering this 4-inch pink flamingo ornament. For a chance to win, leave a comment in the rafflecopter about your favorite Alice in Wonderland character. Tweet this post for extra entries.