Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jones-in for More

Last night I attended a local author book reading and signing at The Book Cellar here in Chicago. I went especially because author Andrea Jones would be there with her new book, Hook & Jill. I mentioned coming across this novel in a previous post.

Ms. Jones read a portion some ways into her novel. I found it delightful for two reasons. First, her flair for reading. She inflected in a way befitting the scene and characters. (I hope I can do as well reading aloud from my own work!) Secondly, it proved quite nice to hear a part that dealt with characters from the story of Pan that I did not have in my novel. (Tinker Bell and Captain Hook) I mean that in the sense of hearing more about these two, as I could not provide it or work with them in my own tale. Ms. Jones did them more than justice.

Afterward, I approached her and introduced myself (and my work.) Fortunately, she’d been just as eager to discuss Barrie. We talked of various versions, found we shared a common interest in remaining true to his work, the process of writing and shared tidbits we’d learned along the way. Let me tell you, just being able to share thoughts with someone who is as obsessive in admiration of Barrie’s genius proved quite thrilling.

I have begun Hook & Jill… and I very much like it so far. What Ms. Jones has done is intriguing and commendable. I explained this last post, but I have further information. This work is not an extension of Peter Pan in either direction. It’s not meant to continue the story. Rather, it is the same story… sort of. You see, she (and I say for the sake of description only) glossed over the events of the Darling's nursery when Peter Pan came back for his shadow. For she did not need to or intend to retell what Barrie already achieved. Instead she is playing a "What If?" game later on in the events in the Neverland, inspired by the P.J. Hogan film. Unlike Spielberg’s “What If?” which, in my opinion, undermines the very fabric of the story (to say nothing of its major contradictions.) I won’t spoil the “What If?” of Ms. Jones, but suffice to say it seems Peter Pan will not be very happy with Wendy in an ironic twist.

I did ask Ms. Jones about the idea of the Neverland being “darker” this time around. Apparently, that’s just a “marketing” issue. For she, too, sees and appreciates the dual-sided nature of the island. Sure, it’s charming, happy and beautiful…but not always! Glad to know she’s just as immersed in Barrie. As for the other question I raised... I'll let you to discover the answer yourself.

I also liked the fact that her “love” is Captain Hook. In this way, we are like the dual nature inherent in the story and characters. (For I, as can probably be inferred, gravitate toward Pan.)

I’m looking forward to not only finish reading her book, but to chat and visit with her more.

All the best to you, Andrea Jones!

(Sorry about the very bad pun for the title... it's just one of those "had to"s)

Pan's at Yet Another Window...
I'm HOOKed.

WARNING: Hook & Jill is not a novel for children, as Ms. Jones will be quick to say herself. This adventure explores the grown-up side of Barrie’s tale.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great intro for the book...I'm "hook"ed as well! I've read this book and LOVE it. Can't wait for more from Jones! I hope you don't mind I've reposted some of your comments on Twitter with links to your need to get on there!