Friday, September 2, 2011

For the Love of Peter Pan! (And Books You Can Win About Him!)

Today, I am quite ecstatic to share an interview with an author who has taken a story we all know and love, and has -- while remaining unfailingly faithful to the original creator -- given it his own spin, so to speak. Here to tell you more about his book, "Peter Pan's NeverWorld", is Peter (coincidence?) Von Brown 

LC: Hi Peter, and welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about your book and about its genre?

PVB: From my perspective, J.M. Barrie helped pioneer the genre of Urban Fantasy.  That’s the very allure of the tale -- magic encroaching into our mundane lives. Peter Pan’s NeverWorld, then, follows suit.  All of my works fall into Urban Fantasy, which I quickly define as something we’d find in The Twilight Zone.

LC: I know from previous correspondence with you that you've had some pretty exciting moments as an author. What, would you classify as your greatest literary triumph?

PVB: I’ve been told that my greatest triumph is an epic novel called What If It’s a Trick Question? But I’m inclined to believe it’s being told by others that they loved a book of mine.  There’s nothing like having someone come over to me, itching to talk to me about the story I’ve set down to paper.  It doesn’t get old and a perk like that has to be a triumph, no?

 LC: Well, I'd certainly call it one! Just for fun, if you were stuck on a desert island with one of your characters, who would you want it to be, and why?

PVB: What an apropos question for a book about Peter Pan!  I suppose the answer seems obvious, but then Pan would be a horrible brat on an island with no adventure lurking, not to mention fly away.  More importantly, Peter Pan is not my character.  So, to answer honestly, it would be Thom from my still-pitching-around novel Carabas.  But don’t tell Jeremy.

 LC: While we're talking about exotic locales, where is the most exotic or strange place you've ever traveled to?

PVB: Just about everywhere I go is exotic or strange because I tend to see life that way.  I’m not sure if it’s truly exotic, but the highlight of my travels has to have been roaming around Kensington Gardens in London, J.M. Barrie’s stomping grounds with the Llewelyn-Davies boys.  I take that back.  On that same London trip, the highlight is most definitely being invited into Barrie’s home by the Lady who now lives there.

LC: Okay...I'd call that a definite highlight!  How long have you been writing?  Have you always known that you wanted to write?

PVB: I’ll have to go with the proverbial “since forever.”  From being imaginative with my toys and onward, creating stories is just something I’ve always enjoyed.  As for always knowing, yes, but once upon a time I also had an ambition to be a cartoonist.

LC: Something we might've guessed from your author pic! Speaking of pics...What is your favorite movie of all time, and why?

PVB: This is an unfair question.  How can we lump all genres and “mentalities” (e.g. classic art, silly fun, poignancy) and distill a single favorite?  My knee jerk reaction is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  Yes, it’s wacky, but I’m a sucker for time travel and you don’t get many with that zest for life as well.  And let’s face it…a lot of us would use time travel in the same manner as those two guys.  I have fond memories of going to see it (we went multiple times) with a friend who has since passed on, so it holds a special place in my heart.  I also have to mention Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, a truly visionary masterpiece that hasn’t lost any luster since 1927.

I can, however, tell you my favorite song of all time.  “Mediational Field” by Susumu Hirasawa.  It’s on the soundtrack to Paprika (another favorite movie) and each and every time I hear it, it makes me happy to be alive.

LC: Good movie with good music? Bonus! Alright, so if a big time Hollywood producer offered to turn "Peter Pan's NeverWorld" into a motion picture, who would you want to play the lead roles?

PVB: I’m more a fan of finding “unknown” actors.  It seems counterintuitive to me not to search for the one person out there who truly embodies the character.  Not that I don’t see the rationale of big name stars.  I’d prefer to see Peter Pan’s NeverWorld done in performance-capture CGI, so any dream cast would be vocal talent.  And nothing would please me more than to have Jeremy Sumpter voice Michael Pan.  He’s the fine young actor who played Peter Pan in the 2003 movie.  It only makes sense to have him, now grown up, playing Peter’s “older younger” brother.  And while we’re at it, Amanda Bynes as Amy Alexis Richards.

LC: There's a movie I think I'd like to see! Do you have any strange habits or rituals when you write?

PVB: A while ago I tried to induce some to no avail.  I don’t even have a particular spot where I write.  My only habit is listening to music while I compose (mostly instrumental and especially movie scores.)

LC: Hmm, movie scores.  I don't know if you can tell or not but I am also a fan! What do you like to do when you're not writing?

PVB: Reading, of course, but I also dabble in drawing (both natural and computer.)  I enjoy video games, taking walks, storytelling via TV and hanging with friends.

LC: I'm thinking you should do some of the illustrating for your CGI movie, right? Alright Peter... Last, but not least, SELL IT! Tell us why we should read "Peter Pan's NeverWorld" (Even though I think it might be obvious...)

PVB: The future of Peter Pan comes from his past in the further adventures J.M. Barrie left behind.  With utmost reverence and care, Barrie’s notes for more have been compiled into a tale that escalates the original to new heights, upping the stakes beyond saving Tinker Bell to a journey into the very heart of magic.  Unlike other recent additions to Pan which contradict the original stories of the eternal boy from minor details to thematic discords, Peter Pan’s NeverWorld upholds the magic of Barrie’s genius. 

LC: Wanna win your own SIGNED copy of "Peter Pan's NeverWorld"? Leave your comments below! On or around September 17, Mr. Von Brown will choose one random commenter to win! Make sure you leave an email address so we can reach you if you win! (Entries must be posted no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on September 16.

Here's more about it:

When the Neverland shows up on RADAR, the eternal youth must relocate to the NeverWorld: a planet of adventure-prone islands.  But a bigger playground means bigger trouble.  Besides the Neverland’s wild beasts, pirates and pitfalls, Peter confronts the one who pinpointed the fabled isle – his brother Michael.  Sporting the same magic, Michael Pan is out to avenge grievances past.  But he’s not the only one.  Alistair Adams is an adult who is certain Peter Pan exists.  Does Adams hold the key to destroying magic forever?  Together with new friends and old, Peter must defeat these fearsome foes while restoring balance to both his own affairs and the heart of NeverWorld itself.

     Peter Von Brown graduated from Knox College in 1993 with Honors for his research into Sir J.M. Barrie as a modern mythmaker.  He lives in Chicago on the third floor.  He prefers vanilla.



  1. Congrats! You have received an award on my blog. Stop by to claim it.

  2. Sounds great ! can't wait to read it !

  3. I love fairytale retellings.