Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Things That Inspired Other Things

So! BEA! Is happening! Right this very instant! In New Yawk! And since HarperCollins doing all sorts of cool stuff for my book, and people might be finding themselves suddenly surrounded by the red-brocade wallpapering of this bizarre little blog, I'm going to try to be EXTRA INTERESTING the next few days. Or at least informative. Or at least not jabber incoherently overly much.

Um. We shall see how that goes.

Anyway, what I thought I'd do is make a list of some of the things that inspired The Peculiar, whether they be books or art or awfully tragic music.

So. First of all was this:
That says The Lord of the Rings in really teeny type. Just... so you know.
My Mom read it to me and my siblings when I was six, and it took us about a year, and I remember it being terribly, terribly sad and complicated, and I didn't understand much of anything, and I was hooked for life.

Next came this:
Yeah, first LOTR, then Amelia Bedelia. We're slightly backwards people is all I can say. But WHATEVER. I love these books. Almost as much as Dr. Suess. And Greenwillow publishes them. Like, the same Greenwillow who is publishing my book. Like, how amazing is that. I did not know this until very recently, and it kind of made my day. But I digress. This series is hilarious and clever, and probably what made me like puns and double meanings so much. "Draw the drapes, Amelia." Ahaaaaa. Cracks me up.

After those came this, this, and this:

The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddle. Kinda steampunk-ish, kinda pirate adventure, really original, and has lots of MONSTERS, so obviously it's amazing.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. The prose is perfect. The atmosphere is perfect. The fairies are sinister and decidedly not-Tinkerbellish, which was a new and interesting concept to me at the time. One of my favourite books ever.
Larklight by Philip Reeve. Victorians in outer space. 'Nuff said.

And, because David Wyatt's illustrations for it are too funny:

The Captain's all like, "UH, NO SHE DID-UN'T just push Queen Victoria violently." *draws sword and stabitty-stab-stabs*

While I was actually, ya know, writing the book, some inspiring things were these.

The original clockwork bird sculpture that I thought was so cool it had to be a part of the plot, and, a lonnnng time later The Peculiar's glorious cover art. I blogged about all that before here, so all I'll do now is show a picture of the original bird in all its clockwork goodness.

And music. It took me a while to figure out I write pretty horribly with music running (because my brain explodes) but a few years ago I was still convinced it might be good for something. I listened to this song - from Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride soundtrack - pretty much non-stop while writing a certain scene where Bartholomew Kettle has a creepily disturbing run-in with a creepily disturbing faery.

Things get creepily disturbing around the two minute point. I love how there's bell, almost like an old fire-engine bell, that makes the music literally an emergency. And the rhythm when the french horn comes in at 2:58? ARG! So good.

Further music would be the Atonement soundtrack. Below is a track I listened to obsessively while road-tripping in the US and writing a scene wherein two ugly little changeling siblings wonder about things. I think we can all agree that cellos are just generally amazing, but the counterpoint, and the themes, and the way Dario Marinelli spins them together is GENIUS. I've listened to this track a million times and I'm still not sick of it.

Annnnnd... that's all I can think of. For today. :)

Ok, now back to school.


  1. HAHA! He wouldn't stab a Lai-dee! *gasp*

    Also, Atonement. <3

  2. I'mmmm really tempted to start singing Kate Nash. ;)

    1. "Everybodeh thinks that guhl's a lai-dee, but AH don't, ah think that guhl's shai-dee."

      That one. *mind powers*

  3. I was at BEA today but didn't get a copy of your book :( Boo. Obviously I am eagerly waiting for when it arrives in bookstores. *counts down the many, many days*

    Also, I love Amelia Bedlia. Actually my mom used to call me that cos I'm a bit literal ;-) I have yet to finish Jonathan Strange... I got 100 pages into it and really liked it but then had to give it back to the library bc it was about to be SERIOUSLY overdue - sigh one day I will finish it!

    1. Oh, bummer. I think they were only handing out Peculiar galleys yesterday and today. Ah well.

      And you MUST finish JS&MN!!! It's the best ever, seriously... :)