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Gregory Maguire

Author Interviews: You ask the questions!

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Edited: Oct 8, 2009, 12:13pm Top

I have a last-minute interview with Gregory Maguire—author of Wicked, the upcoming Matchless: A Christmas Story (in this month's Early Reviewers if you want to request a copy), the upcoming The Next Queen of Heaven, and many others—coming up. Have a question for him? Post it here.

Oct 8, 2009, 11:40am Top

Touchstone his name?

Oct 8, 2009, 11:47am Top

What inspired him to become the "alternative historian" of fairy tales and which is his favourite reworking so far?

Oct 8, 2009, 12:09pm Top

>2 readafew: (I did, it wasn't working. Sigh.)

Oct 8, 2009, 3:46pm Top

Having read a good number of Gregory Maguire's books for various ages, I always wonder how difficult it is for him to switch gears between writing at the different reading levels. How do you do that successfully? Do you write successive books at a certain level and then switch for a while or can you really go from an adult fiction to a youth fiction and back again seamlessly? Is there any method for changing his focus and language?

(I really had problems wording these questions for some reason so I hope that I got my point across!)

Oct 8, 2009, 11:39pm Top

Are there any fairy tales/stories he would really like to rework but hasn't yet? Or, that he's tried but it hasn't quite worked out (for whatever reason)? Are the stories he chooses generally ones that have fascinated him for a long time (e.g., since childhood), or is he inspired in a more serendipitous way?

Edited: Nov 2, 2009, 12:29pm Top

A bit of an obvious one, but how does he feel about the alteration to the end of Wicked in the musical version?

(Also want to say how much I loved Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister)

Oct 9, 2009, 10:45am Top

When approaching the retelling of a fairy tale or other story, how does he decide who the new protagonist will be? Does he just pick the most maligned character from the original version? Does he go with the character whose story "calls" to him? Does he use some other method?

Also, Jasper Fforde is another writer who likes to take classic stories and turn them on their heads (albeit in an entirely different way). Has Mr. Maguire read any of Fforde's work?

Oct 9, 2009, 2:50pm Top

Indeed, #7, I too would be interested in how he feels about the various adaptations of his work - not only the Wicked musical, but also the TV movie Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Of course, the latter may be too obscure.

Oct 10, 2009, 10:14am Top

Ironically, I'm listening to Wicked, the musical, now. I've really enjoyed his reworking of the Oz stories, and was wondering if he plans to continue in that vein..

I was also wondering if he feels at all typecast as an author. And who his favorite authors are... is there a modern book that has sparked his imagination?

Oct 10, 2009, 5:28pm Top

Does he listen to music while writing? If so, what artists, genres, or albums does he find the most inspiring?

Oct 10, 2009, 7:07pm Top

Was just wondering- what did he think of the way Wicked the musical was done?
Also, did he intend the reader to infer a similar kind of ending to his book? I got the impression that while Elphaba was more cynical by the end of the book, things weren't all as they seemed. Or maybe that's false hope on my part? Would love to have that cleared up.

Edited: Oct 13, 2009, 1:06pm Top

I recently bought and read Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation by Gregory Maguire, and I can certainly see how Sendak's work has inspired Maguire's adult novels (I've not read his children's books), I wondered if any other authors had as profound an impact on his style. (Baum, Grimm, Anderson, Dickens, etc. have influenced him in obvious ways, I'm looking for less obvious inspriations.) If he had a studio like Sendak's, which is described in the first chapter of Making Mischief, who would we see hiding on his walls?

Oct 15, 2009, 9:31pm Top

Mr. Maguire said in a lecture that he played "Oz" as a child with his siblings and other kids. At what point did he decide to actually write a book about the Wicked Witch of the West? How long did it take him to write the book, from the time he first set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)? Was it the work of a lifetime's musing, or was it written organically, growing only as he wrote? As he wrote Wicked, did he already have in mind to write Son of a Witch etc. as sequels, or did he originally intend Wicked to be a stand-alone book?

Oct 16, 2009, 6:41am Top

...and in response to the previous question, which character did he usually play when they played "Oz"?!

Oct 25, 2009, 9:54am Top

What is his favorite book, so far?

Oct 27, 2009, 5:13pm Top

What made him decide to go with Concord Free Press for The Next Queen of Heaven? What types of charities does he tend to support?

Oct 27, 2009, 8:06pm Top

Where do you get the idea's for your stories?

Oct 29, 2009, 8:17am Top

How do you feel about the broadway production of Wicked? (How involved are you, if any, with it? Does it live up to your expectations?, etc.)

Oct 29, 2009, 1:56pm Top

Your books tend to be pretty dark, and just like in real life, there's not really neat, happy endings or resolutions. So do you ever get depressed while writing? Do you ever write some lighter pieces while working on a particularly gloomy part of a story to give yourself a break?

Oct 30, 2009, 2:41pm Top

I'm curious to know if he's planning any more of the Wicked Series books, and if so which character he's got an eye on next.

Edited: Nov 2, 2009, 9:53am Top

What is the source or inspiration for his creativity and imagination as expressed in his books? I marvel at the alternative interpretation of these age-old fairy tales and have thoroughly enjoyed the writing as well as the plot. I continue to be amazed by his books - and thoroughly enjoy them.

Nov 4, 2009, 6:31am Top

What drew him to the particular stories he's written?
What definitive moment made him realize that writing was going to be his career?
Has writing always come easily to him?
Is there something he wouldn't write into a story?
What was his craziest/funniest moment on tour?
What is his average amount of fan mail?

Nov 6, 2009, 8:17am Top

In Wicked, I was especially touched by the plight of the Animals who could talk. Do you, like me, have a special affinity for animals and deplore how humans treat them, or were you including talking animals because children's books so often have them as characters? In your opinion, do we have a prevalence of anthropomorphized animals in children's books, but not in adult ones?

Nov 23, 2009, 1:16pm Top

Hooray, the interview is out!


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