Jodi Lynn Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches, The Secrets of Peaches, Love and Peaches, the popular May Bird trilogy, and Tiger Lily . She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and an endless parade of stray pets.
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Interview1. Convince us to read your book Twitter style (in 140 characters or less!)
In this bittersweet, romantic, teenage retelling of Peter Pan, Tiger Lily is the heroine, Tink is the narrator, Smee is seriously scary, and Wendy is the intruder.
2. What is your favorite version of the classic fairy tale? Mine's "Finding Neverland" :)
I loved “Finding Neverland”! I also like “Peter Pan” starring Jeremy Sumpter. I think Sumpter did the perfect Peter –overconfident, vulnerable, irresistible.
(side note: I LOVE JEREMY SUMPTER OMG I DIE!)
3. What inspired you to write a book from Tiger Lily's point of view?
I rediscovered the original Peter Pan And Wendy three or four years ago. And it just seemed strange to me that there wasn’t more of a relationship between Peter and Tiger Lily, as they seem to be such equals. I felt like there might be something unsaid there…and that these two people had failed each other somehow. And once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t stop. I had such a strong and instant sense of a difficult love story.
4. What kind of research did you have to do?
I kept the original Peter Pan & Wendy dog-eared on my desk at all times! And I researched some Amazonian tribes for survival skills, foods grown in the rainforest, medicinal herbs – though I wanted Tiger Lily’s tribe to stay as “imagined” as possible, since I don’t know enough about any tribe on earth to write about them faithfully!
5. I loved the character development and intricate background stories involved. Which character's story was your favorite to write?
It’s a toss up between Tik Tok’s and Tink’s. I think I loved writing them because they were the most surprising to me: I didn’t plan for them to happen the way they did. I just fell in love with both characters.
6. Who is your favorite character from the classic tale? Who is your least favorite?
I love Peter Pan –he is so brilliantly created and so real– he’s such a complicated boy in J.M. Barrie’s original story that it was incredibly fun to write about him as someone a bit older. I don’t think I have a least favorite. Wendy doesn’t come off well in my version, but I don’t dislike her. I think she means well…though I do kind of want her to fall in the ocean J.
7. I have to admit, I cried for most of your book. It's completely heartbreaking! Was there ever a time where you thought, “I should make this a little more happy.”
It’s a great question. Early in the process, when I told a friend about the book, she said “Oh! You want it to be like a beating heart and a cup of tears.” Ha! I thought of her words many times as I wrote. You know, I really tried to stay true to my themes, which I pulled from the original story, and I think those themes are loss and growing up and the freedom to be who we are. I think each of the main characters in the story is dealing with those things in some way or another, and I guess I really focused on the challenges. To me, there is so much bittersweet sadness in the original book, and I kept to that.
8. Now that Tiger Lily is out, is there anything you wish youcould go back and change?
I do have a thing about Tink. In my mind, Tink has issues but she is very funny. I wish I had fleshed out Tink’s sense of humor more because in my mind, she is hilarious.
9. What titles are currently on your nightstand?
Well, I’m getting my masters degree right now, so I have a book list a mile long. Right now, I’m reading Middlemarch by George Eliot. And I just read Toni Morrison’s Beloved, which was beyond amazing. I love that my school makes me read books. It’s like someone making me eat ice cream.
10. Is there any advice you can give to young writers?
Read read read. Read the things that are gripping but also read thethings that move slow and challenge you. Read writers who are ethnically and culturally diverse – it will inspire you. Keep a journal. And don’t let criticism and temporary failure deter you. I feel like writing is 90% mistakes, at least it is for me. Also, it may not seem like it sometimes, but revision is your best friend.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publication Date: July 3rd, 2012
Page Count: 304 pages
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Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .Make sure you stop by the rest of the tour!
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
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