Yesterday I promised you an interview. But I have something even better for you: an interview with N.D. Wilson, AND original writing of his about a cupboard left unexplored in the books. Like I said yesterday, you are in for a treat. First, here is the description of cupboard #23 that N.D. Wilson wrote, and after that you can read the interview.
First, I saw you sneaking out of my room. Don’t ever go into my room again, or Uncle Caleb’s dogs will snack on you in the night.
Second, I know you put this journal on my pillow. Stop being such a creep. The fact that you even touched my pillow means that I’ll have to burn it immediately. Did you think any of this would impress me? Sneaking around writing about yourself? Could you be weirder?
Third, I don’t believe any of it.
Fourth, if you want to impress me, change. Don’t be you anymore. Don’t be the Richard Hutchins who calls himself Richard Hutchins. I’ve seen you wear pink sweatpants, and I won’t ever forget it. But if you want me to try, start playing baseball. Be normal. Don’t notice if you get hurt. Never, ever, ever whine to me or anyone else about anything again. That would be a start.
Fifth, I don’t care that you’ve been stabbed and (if you’re not lying) hit with a broom and scratched on the ankle and bruised on the face and pinched by crabs. I just read your stupid journal and that was worse than anything you’ve ever gone through.
Sixth, you’re a chump and a sneak and a weasel and an annoying Math tutor. If you died, I probably would be a little sad for you. But I’m sure I wouldn’t notice for a very long time.
Don’t talk to me tomorrow.
P.S. If you still feel like pretending to be brave, I picked out another cupboard for you from this journal:
#23. Collected 1900. Tin-plated drawer. Single pull. First report: Ireland. Local innkeeper with a sealed room. Cursed, he said, with vipers. Seven guests killed in a week. Locked up since. Wouldn’t let me into the room. After dark, broke in and located the drawer easily (noticeable hissing when opened). Pried it loose and bagged it quickly. Left before morning.
That one should be fun for you. And if I never see you again, at least I’ll know how you died.
Now, before I show you the interview, there are some other cool things I want you to know about. First off, I am part of a book tour, so each day a new person blogs about The Chestnut King. So I think you should check out these other blogs: CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE BLOG THAT COMES BEFORE ME IN THE TOUR. And the NEXT BLOG ON THE TOUR AFTER MYSELF IS HERE. Also, you could check out N.D. Wilson's own page. And now for the interview!
Marie: What is your favorite color?
N.D. Wilson: Pompous Answer: The color of the world after a storm (field, forest, or sea), when the sun drops below the clouds. True Answer: I don’t know, but whatever it is, it isn’t puce. Or mauve.
Marie: Pepsi or Coke?
N.D. Wilson: Caffeine. And when I’m simply drinking for pleasure . . . Diet Dr. Pepper.
Marie: How long did it take you to write 'The Chestnut King'?
N.D. Wilson: In the neighborhood of four months for the first draft.
Marie: Are any of the characters in your book based off people you know?
N.D. Wilson: Sure. Uncle Frank is well-known to me by a different name (simply aged, and exported to another world). Growing up, my little sister taught me a lot about being spunky, small, and female. But that’s just me rooting around for similarities. I haven’t intentionally based any characters on specific people from my life.
Marie: Do you listen to music as you write? Why or why not?
N.D. Wilson: Indeed I do. But I had to train myself to. I wrote Leepike Ridge and the 100 Cupboards series with my kids frolicking in the background. Headphones were a necessity. Now, the setting for my writing has changed (I have an office, and the older kids are in school), but the music has become a habit. But not just any music. You have to find the right stuff for the feel of a book. There’s always a chance that it will start influencing your mood or descriptions.
Marie: Where did you get your inspiration for ‘The Chestnut King'?
N.D. Wilson: There were a lot of little inspirations and influences along the way, but the critical moment (without which, I would have written a different book) came a couple years ago after collecting chestnuts with my kids. We were in our own front yard, and they were all messing around in the late afternoon warmth. My son came over to me with a length of white electrical wire he had found. Since I had a chestnut in my hand, I speared it with the wire and bent the whole thing into a necklace. Then I hooked it around my son’s neck and told him that he had become The Chestnut King. He still has the necklace.
Marie: How long after living in your Grandparent's attic did you come up with the idea for the 100 Cupboards series?
N.D. Wilson: Woof. Hard to be exact. A solid eight years.
Marie: What do you do when you get a 'mind block'?
N.D. Wilson: Mental barriers are no fun at all, and my solutions vary. Sometimes, I’ll end up walking, or taking off for a country drive, or heading to the gym to break a sweat. Other times, I’ll take a break for a day or two and read something completely out of genre (P.D. James, for example). All of those things can get my juices going again. But most often, when I’ve hit a solid barrier, it means that I’m exhausted and have been working too hard for too long. In which case the best solution is also the easiest—I play with my kids and go to sleep.
Marie: Time and money aside, what would you rather be doing?
N.D. Wilson: There is nothing I would rather be doing. There are, however, things I would like to be doing in addition to all this writing (and not simply other variations on storytelling). I love getting blisters and working with my hands—building, digging holes, etc. I love traveling and exploring (my wife and I took the kids on a minibus fieldtrip of Europe last Spring, and I just finished another whirlwind of my own). I love staring at the ocean, and I would like to stare at it more often. And I want my own blimp—an RV in the sky. Does that answer your question?
Marie: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you, and why?
N.D. Wilson: My shark whistle. My 1911 lucky penny (currently missing). My cowboy hat. Reasons: leaving an island on a shark’s back would be way more interesting than simply wishing for a chopper, a yacht, or a cell phone with GPS locator and coverage. It would be nice to have my penny back, and I hate having a sunburned face.
Marie: What question have I not asked that I should, and what is the answer?
N.D. Wilson: Oh, I don’t know. Who am I to judge you? But if you really want one more question, how about “Can you tell us about any future projects?” Answer: no. I’m not at liberty to discuss those. Okay, fine. There’s a little series I’m working on called “The Ashtown Burials”. In the first book (The Dragon’s Tooth), readers will get to know a fella by the name of Cyrus Smith, and his sister Antigone. The story kicks off in a roadside motel outside of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Expect great things. I’ll say no more.
Thanks N.D. Wilson for your time and wonderful answers! Thanks to Random House, too, for this opportunity and the ARC