Book Talk: Cornelia Funke teams up for new children's series

Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:17am EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Children's author Cornelia Funke spent nearly 20 years writing alone so was apprehensive when a friend from the movie business suggested working together on a new series in a fairy tale world with a modern, dark twist.

But the German author, best known for "The Thief Lord" and her best-selling "Inkworld" trilogy, said working with producer Lionel Wigram -- who worked on the Harry Potter movies and "Sherlock Holmes" -- taught her a lot and was inspiring.

After three years of collaboration, "Reckless" is being released on September 14 with Funke and Wigram on tour to promote the book that follows two brothers as they head into an updated version of the fairy tale world created by the Brothers Grimm.

Funke, now living in Los Angeles, began her working life as a social worker dealing with children from deprived backgrounds but had her first book published in German in 1993.

She became known globally with her 2002 book "The Thief Lord" which she followed up with "Dragon Rider" and the "Inkworld" trilogy about a bookbinder who can bring characters from books into the real world. "The Thief Lord" and "Inkheart" are now movies.

Funke, 51, spoke to Reuters about her new series:

Q: How did this new series come about?

A: "With Lionel Wigram, who is a friend of mine and a movie producer who studied literature at Oxford. We had words over a script but while we were talking he came up with the idea of a fairy tale world growing up and becoming more modern and infiltrated by our modern world. I liked that concept so much that I started playing with it and came up with a new story. He wanted to be involved in some way and it was one of the most inspiring things I ever did."   Continued...