Sunday, May 29, 2011


I was inspired to write The Guarden by accident. When my daughter Naomi was a kid, I loved to tuck her into bed and tell her a bedtime story. In fact, Hiromi (my wife) would yell up after 30 minutes that I should leave her alone and let her fall asleep, but Naomi begged me to tell more.

The stories were alswasy ad hoc one-evening narratives, with a happy ending. But at some point, she wanted the story to last longer than one night. She asked for a longer tale. I think it was four years ago when Naomi was 9 years old that she asked for a new story "about what the future will really be like." That was a fun challenge! But she said it shouldn't about spaceships and aliens unless I thought that was realistic. Which I didn't. So what would it REALLY be like?

Well. I've always thought the most insightful fiction was BRAVE NEW WORLD, so that was an inspiration. And I also believe the best young adult story of all time is WIZARD OF OZ, which has wonderful mini-stories contained inside, what you might think of as cliffhangers. Even though my memory of Oz is a happy, colorful story (movie), it is actually driven by some really scary settings. Remember that both Oz and the Witch are terrifying figures to young Dorothy. I think a final inspiration was Neil Gaiman. It was about that time that Naomi and I read CORALINE, which we loved.

So I took those threads and wove them into a story about a girl and her friends. I tried to imagine what motivates girls ( a desire for freedom?) and how the future of technology might unfold. I have to admit, that is a future I find plausible and daunting.

Even then, I didn't mean for it to be a novel. It was just a bedtime story that got out of hand.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet book man, really enjoyed it. Wish I had some kids so I could read it to 'em :) I gave it a review at my place. You've got Tyler Cowen to thank for the tip-off, by the way.