Literary sleuth and world creator Frank Beddor dared to expose the TRUE story of Wonderland in his NY Times Bestselling trilogy ‘The Looking Glass Wars’. To satisfy the awakened curiosity of his readers he continues to tell the parallel adventures of Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan’s search for the lost princess in the geo-graphic novel series Hatter M.
For what age audience do you write?
I write for all ages but the LGW trilogy is considered Young Adult. and I do have many readers who begin with the series at 11 or 12 but continue reading through high school. The Hatter M series began as single issue comic books drawn by Ben Templesmith and has always had a slight more EDGE to it. Genre would most likely be action/fantasy.
Henry: Indeed, my son (and co-author) Josh started reading Hatter M at 12.
Tell us about your latest book.
Right now I am finishing two new books which I am featuring on my Kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/149372651/the-looking-glass-wars-hatter-m).
The Hatter M series ends with the fifth and final volume ‘Love of Wonder’. This is the volume where Royal Bodyguard Hatter M will discover Alyss after 13 years of searching. Had he considered what would occur once he found her? Perhaps.
Finding her is the catalyst for a war between dimensions, as Hatter must fight everything Redd can throw at him in order to bring Alyss home to Wonderland. Escalating the action and emotion is the ultimate showdown between brothers, as Hatter discovers not all Millinery men believe in White Imagination.
As this series ends I am simultaneously introducing a new prose series featuring a young Hatter Madigan as a cadet at the Millinery Academy in Wonderland, where he is going to be put through the rigors of school, training, girls and the fact life is often very unfair but one must persevere! The title is ‘Looking Glass Wars: Millinery Academy’.
Henry: School, training, AND girls! That is a challenging curriculum!
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
For readers of Hatter’s ‘Love of Wonder’ I hope they are able to first of all have a slam satisfying end to the series. Primarily this volume is where the two parallel stories – Alyss lost in London and Hatter searching the world for 13 years will once again merge. I hope readers will be excited by how the two separate book series blend and expand what they know of Alyss, Hatter and Wonderland.
Writing ‘Looking Glass Wars: Millinery Academy’ has been so much fun – I hope readers feel the same way when reading it. Whenever there is a natural arena for a teen series set around an extraordinary school I think it is a good idea to explore it. Hatter going through his years at the Millinery, making allies and enemies, is literally brimming with characters, adventures and teen angst.
In each book I write I hope readers get a sense of the huge, vast possibilities that their Imagination unlocks. And how much stranger life is than anyone will ever tell you.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
Being alone for long stretches of time. I am by nature an extrovert, and receive a lot of energy from other people. So when writing, I rely on my ‘characters’ so they have to vibe pretty real for that to happen!
Henry: You’re the first author I’ve interviewed to list being alone as their biggest challenge.
What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?
In the early stages of the ‘Looking Glass Wars’, I had a group of actor friends do a read through in character. They were all very good and it was hysterical! I had written a note on the page “Beatles … There Are Places I remember comes close to how I imagine Alyss feeling once she was lost in our world.” And suddenly – impromptu – the actors all began singing this song that so many people know. It was really beautiful. And never would have happened if I hadn’t been a writer.
Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write?
If I’m stalling around I usually start cleaning. I just keep tidying up until I’m ready to sit down and write. I’ve heard some other writers also have very clean houses.
Henry: Ah, so the state of your home is a leading indicator on the state of your manuscript.
What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?
Jabberwocky. They have a fascinating history as warrior animals – working for Redd’s army as ‘flesh tanks’. Very cool.
Henry: I have to say, I saw that one coming.
Where can readers find your work?
‘Hatter M’ vol. 5 and ‘Looking Glass Wars: Millinery Academy’ are right now only available at my Kickstarter campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/149372651/the-looking-glass-wars-hatter-m
For more information, readers can check out Frank’s website (frankbeddor.com) or his Facebook page (facebook.com/goaskalyss).
This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.