Frequently Asked Questions By Readers:
How long did it take you to write Giggleswick?
Seven months, but I'd been planning the series for several years before I began to write.
Will you ever write another Giggleswick Book?
Never say never, but I think this story was well suited to the trilogy format. So –– probably not. I suspect the characters want to get on with their lives! But if ever I did, it would probably be a short story.
When will your next book be released?
The next book, a psychological drama for adults, will arrive in Spring of 2015. Then, stay tuned for another stand-alone novel for children (this one set during the second World War) due out that summer!
Is Giggleswick a real place?
Sadly, no (though I suppose it could be hiding undiscovered behind a thick circle of fog somewhere!) There is a little town in England called Giggleswick though. There's no correlation to my story, and I have never been, but I fell in love with the name!
Where did you get the idea for the series?
Well, it didn't come to me on a train or in a dream, unfortunately! I've always been fascinated by books in which children escape to another world via everyday means such as wardrobes, rabbit holes, train platforms, Kansas tornados etc., and I drew on these sort of stories for inspiration. The first idea that came to me was of a nation completely hidden by a circle of fog. The fog is always there, and yet other countries are much too absentminded to notice, and even if they did, they'd never make it through the fog alive! Ideas then started coming to me like crazy and the story quickly took shape from there.
How do you come up with your character names?
This is perhaps my favorite part of writing! I love naming characters. Many times they just come to me like magic, and other times I have to scour a baby name dictionary until I find the right one to fit the character's personality. Usually, I tend to lean towards either comically complicated names like Caractacus Knicklebean (the "k's" not silent!) or simple quirky ones like Wally Noodle. However, Abu Habib-O'Brien, the Irish-Arabian bagpiper, is my favorite character name to date! I giggled (no pun intended) myself silly for hours when I came up with that one!
What are your favorite books?
My favorite books for children are Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit, and of course the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. My favorite book for adults is I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, but some other favorites include The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Absolutist by John Boyne, and anything by Daphne Du Maurier or Agatha Christie. All that being said, however, if you ask me, the greatest story ever told is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens!
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read! You'll learn more about writing from reading your favorite books than you ever will from a "how to write" book. Be persistent and try to write every day. Almost everyone dreams of writing a book, but very few actually finish one. So set your mind to it and start putting pen to paper!
* If you have a question you'd like to ask Matthew Mainster, go to the contact page and send him an e-mail!