I would describe myself as pretty generic and ‘normal’, really, in any true sense. I am a mother to three children—one being just a baby—who grapples with the day-to-day callings of life; a more-than full-time job (Copy Editor, self-employed), Mummy duties and housework, whilst also trying to find the time to do the basics—dye my hair, shave my legs, kids’ homework—and juggle all of this with reaching for the stars and trying to achieve life goals.
How did you get into writing?
I actually don’t remember! I was very young; I remember writing poetry and short stories at perhaps 5 years old. What I do know is it’s always been in my veins, in my heart. I’ve always found more excitement and passion in penning ideas and creating characters and developing something from nothing than anything else in life. And books… Well, there’s nothing better than books—and to create your own is amazing.
I remember being sat on my bed when I was really really young, and reading through the publisher imprint page. Right then, I developed not only an interest but a fascination in the creation of books—from writing through to the actual printing—and decided, one day, I’d own my own publishing house. Big dreams from being very small!
What can you tell us about your daily routines that help you focus and your creative habits? So, for example how do you come up with some of your ideas and inspiration for your book?
My ideas hit me like a freight train out of nowhere; there is no routine or trigger, really. Some ideas come and then pass, but others root themselves deeply within mere moments. I can always feel which ideas are going to come to fruition; which I’ll run with. My heart pounds and this surge of excitement pulses through me. Those ideas are the ones that become books or are at least on their way to being.
One thing I should mention is that, so far, all of my books and book ideas have stemmed from some kind of relevant experience. Everything I’ve written has come from a place of knowing and has been developed from there. I have the utmost admiration for authors with imaginations that produce the likes of Hogwarts and 12 Districts and characters like Myron Bolitar because I’m probably lacking in that regard!
Is this book very personal for you? If so, how?
It is very personal. First and foremost, Alice in Wonderland has always been one of my favourite classic tales and is amongst my favourite Disney films.
I didn’t own it as a child but my grandparents did, so whenever I visited them, I wanted to watch it. I think that ‘wanting but not being able to have’ made me love it so much more! Being such a fan made me want to do a reworking of the story—a darker version.
This was many many years ago, before fairytales were being routinely recrafted. I knew I wanted to do an adult version, but I just wasn’t sure where the story would go or what the underlying theme would be…
And then I got my heart broken, and the man responsible became Red, King of Hearts. The story of ‘Alice: Queen of Hearts’ was built from that experience.
Alice: Queen of Hearts: An Alice in Wonderland Novel (Lost in Wonderland Book 1)
How did you come up with the book title?
It’s nothing overly imaginative, but I consciously opted for simple with this book. I wanted readers to know the story was, firstly, a re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland, but I also wanted them to question how Alice could ever become queen; how that could have been in the cards for her.
Plot and Synopsis
Can you describe what the book plot and give a detailed synopsis of the book, of course without any spoilers.
the past, Alice is drawn to colour and paint and the potential of a blank canvas. One Autumn day, Alice finds herself opening the door to a familiar stranger, and before long is tempted away and into a life of uncertainty. Drawn down into the rabbit hole, Alice disappears, leaving her family to question her whereabouts as she seeks to find Home in Wonderland—Home with Red, the King of Hearts.
As she ventures across the land, however, Alice soon comes to discover the malevolence and darkness waiting in the bends of paths and clearings of the forests. She is lost without her Lord Overseer, and soon spirals into desperation.
As the challenges continue to present themselves and the skies darken further still, Alice soon begins to question everything. Is any of what she is experiencing real? Can the life she has been building ever become reality? Or in Wonderland, is everything nonsense?
Is there any movie, book, or television series that you can somewhat liken your story to? So for example, some books you can say are like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, what mainstream and popular movie do you think your book somewhat “feels” like? Did you want this to be the case?
Aside from the obvious, I wouldn’t say there is another film or book that has inspired Alice: Queen of Hearts. I would say, however, that the feel of the book’s Wonderland is comparable to the feeling and murkiness of the Tulgy Wood scene in the Disney animated adaptation; there is so much loss and fear and despair. I feel that echoing throughout the book.
Themes or Messages
What themes and deeper meanings or messages can we expect to find in this book if any? Is there any deep meanings or philosophical questions being explored in the book?
The book is centred on love and trust, in essence. The ease with which we can lose ourselves when we fall blindly, without ever really knowing someone as much as we should before we give them our hearts, souls, lives… And how easy it is for people to wear masks, to sweeten their words, to present a different reality. Deception is a craft amongst some—and it turns everything they’ve ever said or done into nonsense.
Off the wall question, but would some of the issues being explored in the book relate to us here in the real world?
Absolutely. Magic and fantastical worlds aside, love and heartbreak and misplaced trust are something the vast majority of us experience.
What can you tell us about the setting that we will be seeing in this book?
Wonderland is ever-changing; colourful and clear one second, murky and threatening the next. It offers safety, at times, but then there is a balance through hysteria and an undertone of feverishness throughout. It’s unsettling at best.
What cultures or societies can we expect to see and can you tell us about how you came up with creating these societies? Was it difficult to get deep into how the societies function?
To imagine a world of crazy, loose, erratic characters was not overly difficult, but to outline their bizarre behaviours and depraved actions was not as simple! Such characters create a society built on unpredictability that calls for wariness; as someone familiar with nerves and a feeling of being unsettled, however, I found this quite easy to create.
Tell us about the history of the land or world or worlds that we will be exploring through out the book?
Time really has no place in the Kingdom of Hearts in Wonderland, and so attention to its history was considered unnecessary. It is, however, forever changing, which once again makes its history almost irrelevant.
What can you tell us about some of the main characters and villains in this book?
The characters are diverse, to say the least! Without giving much away, villains take on unexpected forms and are dark in the worst of ways. But then there are the good ones, and one of those in particular is still held close to my heart. You know when a character is so real to you it feels like you’re mourning when you’re complete with writing/reading about them; like you’ll miss them forever? One of them was like that for me.
How to buy
The book can be bought from Amazon here:
My daughter, Faye Paige, has been writing since she was a little girl, and published her first book at age eight. She has since written a series for young girls, The Charm Bracelet Girls. Now 15 years old, Faye is one of the most gifted writers I know; far more poetic in her writing than anyone else I know. She’s incredible.
Alice: Queen of Hearts-An Alice in Wonderland Novel