HollowCityby Ransom Riggs, author of Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Children (Quirk Books, January 2014)

Storytelling began with pictures. We find ancient ones painted on cave walls and carved into rocks. The most treasured books of yesteryear were “illuminated” with illustrated designs throughout their text and margins. Since childhood, my imagination has been fired by photography, so when it came to writing my first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, it only seemed natural that I would include photographs along with my words. They weren’t photos I took or created in Photoshop, but real snapshots that I found, in flea markets and in the attics of collectors—most of them old family photos that had been abandoned and orphaned, much like the children in my story. I felt like I was in some sense rescuing the photos and giving them a new life through the story I was telling—even if that story was fiction, and had little to do with who the people in the photos might’ve actually been. (I’m sure, for instance, that my photo of a skinny boy lifting a giant boulder wasn’t actually a photo of a supernaturally strong kid, but that the rock was made of foam, or something—but there’s no way of knowing for sure!) (more…)

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