Ransom Riggs Quotes

  1. My happy place is 40 feet out in the Gulf of Mexico, sitting on a sandbar in 80-degree water, watching clouds crawl by. Absolute heaven.
  2. You find a lot of junk when you’re searching through lost and tossed photo ephemera, but every so often you’ll find a gem, a wallet-sized masterpiece you’re certain could hang on the wall of a gallery if only someone with a name had taken it. Find one or two of those and you’re hooked for life.
  3. Every snapshot collector has obsessions. Some only collect photos of cars. Others like World War II, or babies, or old-timey girls in old-timey swimsuits. I happen to collect the weird stuff: photos that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up a little. The uncanny.
  4. Los Angeles, which is where I live, happens to be a great place for junk. People have a lot of it, and they sell it and trade it: At these big swap meets, many, many hundreds of dealers of junk will descend upon a football field on a Saturday and sell all their stuff.
  5. I try to imagine the scenes as I’m writing them as if I were watching them play like a film.
  6. It was painful, but I really wanted to get ‘Hollow City’ right, and I’m glad I put in the time because I’m really proud of it.
  7. Ghost stories and Sherlock Holmes mysteries were great. And I had a major soft spot for those ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books.
  8. I think my background in film taught me that a great book adaptation is not always slavishly faithful to the source material.
  9. John Bellairs’s young adult mysteries were great – and super creepy.
  10. I loved the idea of a book of fairytales meant especially for peculiar children, and I love even more the idea of making that fictional book real.
  11. I love building out the worlds of my fiction with fictional books.
  12. I think ‘Hollow City’ only took a year and a half to write… but it felt like two and a half!
  13. The end of ‘Hollow City’ left the peculiar children in a very precarious spot, and that’s just where ‘Library of Souls’ begins.
  14. Fairy tales and folk tales are part of the DNA of all stories and great fun to write.
  15. I just can’t fathom this fame thing; I’m a total newbie.
  16. As writers, we have to make our own work – as bloggers, writing for video games, whatever we can do. Everyone breaks into the business in a different way.
  17. Just the textures of things are really important to me as I’m writing; I think atmospherics and visuals can have such emotional impact if you can harness the thematic thread between how scenes look and how your characters feel. I like to tug on that thread.
  18. It was at a big swap meet that I discovered you could buy other people’s old discarded family photos and vacation pictures for pretty cheap – a quarter, 50 cents, five bucks for a really nice one.
  19. I’m getting a lot of mail from readers, and I’d say 90% seem to be from adults, which amazes me. But then again, I can only write what I imagine I’d like to read, and I’m an adult, so maybe it’s not so surprising after all.
  20. Creepy is better than just plain scary because you can’t look away from creepy – you want to know the truth!
  21. Pine View was a great school for me – it made it safe to be a nerd. It was okay to really care about doing your homework and doing well in school.
  22. I had some great English teachers. One of my favorite – her name was Linda Janoff – was wonderful and so irreverent and so smart and encouraging.
  23. I’d always wanted to write a novel, but after attending film school, I’d spent five years knocking on Hollywood’s door and had put that idea aside.
  24. I was looking for some vintage furniture, and I came across this booth where they sold old pictures. This guy didn’t just have things in a box; he had really curated his collection. Each image was like this little folk masterpiece.
  25. I happen to collect the weird stuff – photos that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up a little. The uncanny.
  26. In ‘Hollow City,’ I’m taking all the characters out of the lives they’ve been secure in for years and plunging them into the unknown. That’s how you really get to know them.
  27. For a 12-year-old with a hyperactive imagination who liked to dream of dreary gothic castles, suburban Florida felt a little stifling.
  28. I’ve always been interested in exploration and the history of exploring the world, but it seems like we’ve found everything now.
  29. I have an unusual hobby: I collect pictures of people I don’t know. It started when I was a kid growing up in South Florida, the land of junk stores, garage sales, and flea markets, as a kind of coping mechanism.
  30. I don’t want to ever write a book that seems like it’s pandering to younger people or talking down to people who I know are very smart.
  31. When you collect photographs, you’re sort of at the mercy of the gods.
  32. I grew up in Florida, which is the land of flea markets and swap meets. My grandmother loved to go these places, and she’d take me along.
  33. I was in the same class of 100 kids from grade 6 through 12, many of whom I still call friends.
  34. I fell in love with London and one particular era in London.
  35. I write the books to amuse myself.
  36. You’ll find a lot of rich detail in people’s personal histories – diaries and journals and things of the era.
  37. I loved the ‘Chronicles of Narnia.’
  38. ‘Library of Souls’ is longer than ‘Hollow City’ by a considerable margin, but this time I was on the right track from the beginning, so I never had to start over. It took about 15 months, all told.
  39. The undiscovered places that are interesting to me are these places that contain bits of our disappearing history, like a ghost town.
  40. I wanted to create characters who could do fantastic things but who weren’t exactly superheros – characters who exist on sort of a spectrum from super-ability to disability.
  41. I went to film school, trained as a director, have made a lot of movies, and taken a lot of photographs, so I tend to envision things spatially. As I’m working, I need to have a map of the space. I need to know what’s happening in all corners simultaneously.
  42. Some days, I would find what seemed like entire family trees, torn from once-treasured albums and dumped in disorganized bins, selling 10 for a dollar. I wondered how people could give up pictures of their great-grandparents for complete strangers to paw through – or why complete strangers would want them.
  43. ‘The Tales’ are an important part of ‘Hollow City,’ when the kids discover secrets encoded in them that end up saving their lives. I wrote two tales as part of ‘Hollow City,’ and spent the next couple of years finishing the trilogy but itching to write more tales.
  44. My creativity thrives with limitations.
  45. We kind of know there’s no more frontiers in the physical world. So the frontiers move from where we haven’t been yet to where we’ve been and abandoned.
  46. Woodcuts have a really timeless sort of feel, and they feel like a book that’s a couple hundred years old.
  47. I had always secretly wanted to write a novel.
  48. Teenagers are extremely smart, and if they think for even a second that an author is ‘writing down’ to them, or mimicking their voice poorly, or condescending to them in any way, they will throw the book across the room.
  49. I didn’t know who I was writing for initially. I assumed ‘Miss Peregrine’ was for adults, because I was an adult – but I didn’t know much about publishing back then.
  50. Just keep saying yes to everything – until you can afford to say no.
  51. When you’re looking through bins of thousands of random, unsorted photos, every hundredth one or so will have some writing on it.
  52. It never occurred to me that there were so many wonderful photos that had been orphaned and were out there in the world, waiting to be found. Over time, I found a lot of very strange pictures of kids, and I wanted to know who they were, what their stories were. Since the photos had no context, I decided I needed to make it up.

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