You may have noticed I have a fascination with Alice in Wonderland. There’s something about Lewis Carroll’s crazy world that appeals to me. It may be the rabbits. It may be the Mad Hatter. (It’s probably not Alice.) Whatever it is, I love it.
My first book, Veneri Verbum, made use of the same craziness as the original Alice in Wonderland. My next Figments book, however, takes this a step further. I took Alice Through the Looking Glass and used it as a rough guideline for what would happen in my story. Not exactly, but just enough to get the wheels turning.
Of course, my characters never do what they are supposed to. There’s something about Figments that makes them think they get to have opinions. Still, the guidelines was there.
So what is the appeal?
Lewis Carroll creates a zany cast of characters. In fact, the supposed main character, Alice, is really the most boring of the lot. I’m not saying Christopher is boring, but… well, it’s a good thing for him there are more interesting characters to help carry the story. My goal was to have the same draw with my non-main characters.
Carroll also breaks structure rules, which has a certain appeal to me. I’m not very good with rules. His books are far more free-form than structured. I tried to keep the same freedom when I was writing.
The last thing Carroll’s books have that mine seek to emulate is a sense that anything is possible and actually pretty reasonable to expect. After all, a hookah-smoking caterpillar and a cat who leaves its grin behind are no less impossible than a man who pops back into being after each death or a judge with a hot dog for a head. However, as the Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass said, “I used to believe six impossible things before breakfast.” My goal is to make it eight. Overachiever, I am.
So if you notice a tendency toward ‘shroom-induced changes of perspective in my works, that’s the reason. I haven’t had a mushroom pizza on a portabella mushroom crust: I’m just paying homage to one of my writing heroes.
And maybe I had a mushroom or two.