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I would like to thank A.G. Howard for doing such a wonderful guest post for my blog.Today she shares her experiences in creating the characters' world for her debut,SPLINTERED,which will be in stores on January 1st,2013.Before moving on to the guest post,here's a little bit about A.G. Howard and her book.
SPLINTERED by A.G. HOWARD
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child. When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse
Now moving on to Anita's (A.G.Howard's) awesome guest post:
The idea for my Alice in Wonderland spinoff originated when I went to see the Tim Burton & Disney Alice adaptation. My main research was to re-read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. I’m a very organic writer and often write without a plot in mind, but with Splintered, there were a few things I went in knowing:
1. I wanted my main character, Alyssa, to converse with bugs and flowers, because the talking flower scenes in Carroll’s two books, the Disney cartoon, and the Tim Burton/Disney rendition, were some of my favorites. Also, I always remembered the scene from Through the Looking Glass when Alice is riding a train through the countryside and has a conversation with a gnat. Those were such quirky and indelible images that I just had to incorporate them somehow.
2. I needed my heroine to be tied to the original tales in a very visceral way. Melanie Benjamin’s book, Alice I Have Been, sparked the idea to make Alyssa a descendant of Alice Liddell, the real-life girl who actually inspired Carroll to write his story to begin with. The blood tie to the Liddells became the basis for all of the weird aspects of Alyssa’s life, including the talking bugs and flowers.
3. I wanted a colorful/vivid world edged with creepiness for my Wonderland setting. To help me visualize, I started gathering pictures into my Splintered synopsis and character folder of anything “Alice-esque” for inspiration. When I Googled for images, I sought out “gothic” Alice themes. If you’d like a peek at some of the images I drew inspiration from, hop over to my Warped and Wonderful Inspirations pinterest board. I found that I was drawn to pictures tinged with an “aura of Alice”, but completely different from the original. This led me to go one step further and not only warp the settings, but warp the original characters in unexpected ways—enough that it would throw my heroine and hero for a loop when they first saw them. But there needed to be an explanation for “why” everything was so different, so I came up with one. You’ll have to read the book to find out what that is. ;)
4. I wasn’t going to rely on the Mad Hatter or Cheshire Cat as my heroine’s enigmatic guide in Wonderland (as other adaptations have). One of my favorite characters doesn’t get nearly enough screen time in the remakes that I’ve seen. So I chose him as the most pivotal player in Wonderland, and gave him a whole new identity and back story. :)
(I totally agree with Anita on this part ;) )
5. I wanted the heroine, Alyssa, to turn to her mother’s copy of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece to help her solve riddles and fix her life.
The most important thing to me was that Splintered be a tribute to the original Lewis Carroll tales. If I can inspire even one person to read the original, I’ve accomplished my goal. ^.^ Thanks for having me over, Bonita!
And this guest post also comes with a giveaway!Anita was generous enough to donate the following stuff to three lucky international winners:
1)ONE signed hardcover of SPLINTERED
From left to right: ONE signed SPLINTERED bookmark,ONE vintage ALICE IN WONDERLAND gift tag,and ONE signed bookplate.
3) A SPLINTERED inspired key "necklace".
To enter, use the rafflecopter below.Check the terms and conditions on the rafflecopter widget for the rules.Good luck on winning! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway