Alycia Ripley was always obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. In her latest book she uses that obsession to paint a fantastical and thrilling tale of good versus evil. This is not the Alice of your childhood. It’s an entirely new slice of Wonderland for a very modern audience.
Cruel office managers, sadistic cheerleaders, and a two-headed contractor are only some of the obstacles Alice must face and eliminate in order to own her role in a family well versed in nightmarish fairy tales and spiritual riddles.
What makes Alice in Wonderland relevant today?
Themes of identity and living up to family expectations are as with us today as when Carroll wrote the original story. I think adults can appreciate a tale that mixes real life with the surreal as well as the sense of escape into a another place where they can apply the lessons they learn there to this world when they return. Social critique, satire, engaging characters, exciting plot, and metaphor are as interesting today as ever.
What is the difference between the classic Alice and your Alice?
My heroine, Alice Pleasance, is the original Alice's great-great-granddaughter so they exist in two very different moments in pop culture. Her ancestor lived in Victorian times and the new Alice is in modern day America. Whereas the classic Alice is a young child, my heroine is 30 years old and I felt there was much more at stake with a depressed 30 year old writer trying to live up to the expectations of herself and others given what would come in the plot and spiritually allegorical elements of the book.
Why do you think Alice is such a universal character that people can relate to?
She's very well meaning, funny, and has an attitude but is struggling with issues of identity, what she has accomplished vs. goals still unrealized, frustrations with herself and others around her and we can learn from and relate to her navigations through life and Wonderland.
Are any of the characters in The Final Alice based on actual people?
Very much so. Alice herself is based on my emotions and experiences over the last few years as well as certain aspects of my personality also come out in the Nigerian twins and the telepathic children. The shih tzu that grows to dragon size and eats murderers/rapists/and thugs has a personality very much based on my own shih tzu. The supporting characters are based on people I have known/met/worked with and the villains came to me while watching Nancy Grace and other crime shows because I couldn't believe some of the things that go on in our country on a day to day basis and felt that some of the perpetrators would make terrific villains for Alice and her team to fight and destroy. A theme of vigilantism is very prevalent in the story.
What inspired you to become a writer? Any plans for the big screen?
The Tri-Star pictures logo of the 1980's was a huge inspiration because when the Pegasus ran towards the screen and the music swelled it made me want to be part of a crew that wrote/created characters for the world to watch, study, and enjoy in books and film and television and provide that same feeling of excitement for people! I've always been interested in writing for both mediums and my books are written in style and with cinematic elements that would make it pretty easily translatable to the screen.
If you could be dropped into any book as a character who would you be and why?
One would be Charlotte in 'Charlotte Sometimes' by Penelope Farmer because of its themes of identity and time travel and the mysterious ambiance of the prep school it takes place at, as well as Alison Poole in 'Story of My Life' by Jay McInerney because of her charm, humor, and hilarious misadventures in 1980's Manhattan which is sort of a Wonderland in itself.
Thanks to Alycia for visiting my blog. If you'd like to win a copy of THE FINAL ALICE, then tell me your favourite character from Alice in Wonderland. Don't forget to include your email address.
+2 post about this give-away on twitter or your blog & leave a link
Competition is only available to US/Canada. Ends 23rd April and the winner will be announced on this blog. Good luck everyone!