The DMS was lucky enough to interview Cornelia Funke. Lizzy reviewed her story Inkheart, and it was great to share our thoughts about it and hear yours. We are excited to learn a little bit more about the story behind the story. So, without further ado... take it away, Cornelia!
What inspired you to write the Inkworld trilogy?
I think every reader secretly believes that the characters you meet in a book are real. Sometimes they do in fact feel more real than the people around us, because the pages tell us so much about them. So...I thought for quite a while about a story that brings them out of the book and how that might happen. But Inkheart came to life in many ways - there was a scene I had thought about for The Thief Lord which turned out to be part of this story and there was always Dustfinger...though I had to see fire eaters on a medieval market in Europe to understand who he is. :)
How long did it take you to write Inkheart? Which book in the series took the longest to write?
They all took about two years - which is my normal time to finish a book. Inkspell was easiest, as far as I remember. The first book is always more difficult than the sequels in my experience, as one has to open the door to a new world.
What was your inspiration for the characters Meggie and Dustfinger?
Many girls, who read my book The Thief Lord complained - rightfully so - that there was no one girl in it, but many boys, so I promised them that the next book would have a female heroine...which was Meggie. She is a bit like I was as a girl, a bit like my daughter (though that is only true for Inkspell) ...and then like all characters she just brought herself. :)
What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?
There was first of all Michael Ende, the German fantasy author and Astrid Lindgren, the famous Swedish writer, who enchanted every child of my generation. Then there was Narnia and Tom Sawyer. I always loved adventure, fantasy , and science fiction books
If you could live anyplace real or fictional, where would it be? Why?
I love to live where I live - in Los Angeles, which is both big city and wilderness, endlessly inspiring, challenging, showing everything that's wonderful and terrible about our world and time. As it is so different from Europe, where I grew up, it still feels to me like a new world...and of course compared to Europe it is.
If I had to choose a fictional place I would just ask for a Tardis. :)
If you could befriend a character from one of your books, who would you befriend? Why?
The dragon in Dragon Rider of course. To ride it. :) If you want a human choice - Jacob and Fox from my MirrorWorld series. They are both my alter ego - the female and the male side. :)
The Inkworld trilogy has characters coming out of books and people going into stories as well. Is there any character you would like to have read out of a book or is there a book you would like to be read into? Why?
My favourite book of all times is The Once and Future King by T.H.White, but I am not sure I'd enjoy to live in King Arthur's world for too long as a woman. I guess at the moment I would just like to be Fox behind the Mirror- with visits to this world whenever I want.
Are you currently working on a book? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I am working on two projects at the moment. I am preparing for the third draft of Heartless, the 3rd book in my MirrorWorld series which took me all the way to Russia, and I am developing a living storybook for the IPad based on my book Dragon Rider with Mirada.
(Her website is amazing! You should definitely stop by to check it out :)