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Sunday
Jul032011

Overwhelmed and grateful

It's been an incredible few weeks since Miss Peregrine was published. It's difficult to overstate just how incredible. Suffice to say that I'm very good at keeping my expectations low in order to avoid serious disappointment. Before Miss Peregrine came out, I was just hoping that it would find an audience of any size -- that this strange little book full of odd black-and-white photographs and what seemed like risky plot twists would resonate with some readers, gain a little cult following, and maybe garner a few nice reviews. After all, my intrepid publisher, Quirk Books, didn't have gobs of money to throw at a splashy marketing campaign. They put together an eye-catching package for the book (as they always do), but the marketplace is crowded; the world is fuller than ever of books, movies, games; stories in every form imaginable, all loudly competing for attention. So as the book release approached, despite enthusiasm and encouragement from early reviewers and bloggers who'd read advance copies of Miss Peregrine, I tried to distract myself with other projects, assuming that my publication date would come and go without a whole lot of fuss.

Never in my life have I been happier to be wrong. A week before the book hit shelves, there was a heated auction that resulted in the film rights to Miss Peregrine being sold to 20th Century Fox.  Okay, I told myself. That was great, but don't get too excited. Just because they bought the rights to make a movie doesn't mean they're actually going to make one -- and it doesn't mean anyone's going to pay attention to the book. Movie rights sales happen all the time, to books no one's ever heard of. 

Which was true enough. But just as I was once again girding myself for disappointment, reviews started coming in. Good reviews. Entertainment Weekly, People, The Associated Press, CNN.com, The Christian Science Monitor, McClatchy's news service, Canada's National Post and The Los Angeles Times all had nice things to say. Not to mention the editors at Amazon.com, who named it the best YA book of June, and then one of the best YA books of 2011 (so far, it being only July). The cumulative effect of all this fuss about Miss Peregrine -- on me, psychologically -- has been a combination of delight, anxiety, and a kind of embarassment. (Are they really talking about my book? That thing I worked on alone in my spare bedroom for a year? God, that's weird.)

So we'd sold the film rights, and people were saying nice things. Still, I prepared myself to be disappointed. Just because some reveiwers like it doesn't mean anyone's actually going to buy it, I counseled myself. Don't get your hopes up. And then it hit the New York Times bestseller list, and the last of my defenses came tumbling down. There was no getting around it: I was -- am -- living the dream of countless struggling writers, who if they're anything like the struggling writer I was just a few months ago, hardly dare admit they dream of such things. 

I'll have more exciting developments to share soon. In the meantime, to all the book bloggers who took the time to write about Miss Peregrine, to all the enthusiastic readers who've enjoyed the book and reached out to me, to the photo collectors who welcomed me to their world and continue to help me find amazing images, and to the fantastic team at Quirk Books, I want to say thank you. I am humbled.

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Reader Comments (72)

Watching this unfold, even from the periphery (being the UPS store employee who sent those advance copies out when you didn't know what a massive success this was about to become)--that is the reason why I moved to L.A. You made something unique, and you tried to make it true, even when you weren't sure people would listen. But they did. That's the kind of art I want to make, and in a town where those values can run scarce, I'm glad to be able to say I've met someone who does just that.

You're right--your story is an inspiration to every writer slaving away in their room, wondering whether anyone would be interested in hearing what they've got to say. Thankfully, it looks like the answer is yes. The world is always waiting to hear a good story.

Congrats.

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Hickman

I just had to tell you how much I loved your book. It was excellent. I hope you will do another book that tells about Jacob's and his friends journey. It would be so nice to have a series of this book.

Ann

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterransom riggs

Oh My God! I loved your book so much!! I am so excited that it's going to be a movie! I read everything, I am the definition of a voracious reader. I'm constantly on the lookout for new authors, or not even necessarily new, but authors I've never read. I was beyond thrilled to come across your book. You have an amazing talent, such imagination and your storytelling ability is so unique. I hope you write more about these kids, what happens to them when they leave the island, do they ever go back, do they start aging, what does the world make of them, etc. etc. I can't wait to hear more. Thank you for sharing your awesome talent with the rest of us mere mortals!!

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

The book was fantastic. Great writing, believable characters, and damn scary. I am in the middle of posting a review on my blog right now. Congrats on the success - you deserve it.

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterK.M. Walton

The book was amazing!!! I don't know how else to describe it, but here goes--sweet, romantic, scary, whimsical, sad and hopeful. It was at the top of my summer reading list thanks to Entertainment Weekly's review, and it will be the book I read AGAIN before I go back to school in September (I'm a reading specialist at an elementary school). There will be students that I recommend this book to, and I cannot wait to talk with them about it. Thank you for writing such a special book! And I bought it for my Nook, and ended up buying a hardback copy so I could look at the pictures better! :)

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa King

This is such a fun book! I won it from Goodreads and reviewed it on my blog. All the good reviews are well-deserved. Have fun with it!

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I know it's a silly question, but when is the next book coming out? I just finished the Miss Peregrine book, and I'm afraid I'm already going through withdrawal. I'm sure whatever the answer will be, it will not be soon enough. :) Congrats on a job well done!

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

After I read a positive review in our local newspaper, I decided to download the eBook. Now that I'm hopelessly hooked, I will need to buy the hardcover and wait (impatiently) for the movie & book sequel & anything related to this fabulous jewel of literature. Thank you, thank you.

July 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVictor Barr

Thanks to the referral of one site to another and finally to yours, I have been introduced to what looks to be a fabulous book. I wonder if you might consider sending a copy for me to review on my book blog? There has been a little buzz here in Canada, but I'd like to change that, to increase it to higher decibels.

Please respond via email riverboat38@hotmail.com

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the book. I bought it based on a mention in Entertainment Weekly and then I saw the trailer, which I posted to my FB page. I'm intrigued by the children (especially the two ballerinas with the masks -- what's their story?) and the photographs were haunting. This was the first printed book I've bought in ages -- the paper, the binding, everything reminded me just how much I've missed the physicality of turning pages versus skimming on my iPad.

Cheers,
A fan in Kentucky

July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMandy Detwiler

Enjoy and celebrate! I am telling everyone I know to read this book. I gave it to my hubby...not knowing if he would enjoy it or not, being as he is more of a non-fiction reader...but he REALLY enjoyed it! It is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2011! :0)

July 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracy H

i read this book per EW's glowing review and just adored it! finished too quickly and am eager to hear if (and when) a sequel with follow. thank you for the quirky and entertaining story!

July 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercheryl

I just wanted to let you know, congrats on the book coming out. I saw the vid on youtube which is actually what caught my attention with this book. I am so envious of you being able to poke around in those old houses.

Payday... I am SO getting this book.

Good luck with the film developments. And congrats again.

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNecia Phoenix

Congratulations, Ransom!!!

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNate Lacktman

Thank you so much for this wonderful book! I am far from being a YA, but I am in love with this book. It definitely is my favorite of the year, and I read a LOT of books. I can't wait for your next adventure in writing. btw: I am a huge fan of Mental Floss as well.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindi Del Favero

I just want to say, coming from a 14 year old girl who's been obsessed with this type of thing since I was very little, this is probably one of the best written books for this genre (and it's become one of my favorites ever; saying something as for a 14 year old, I'm extremely literate if I don't claim humility in that respect). It kind of reminded me of "Shutter Island" mixed with some twisted Hitchcock film. Very cool, and not a book I'll soon forget (or ever forget, for that matter). Just wondering, have you intended to write a sequel? If so, I would be just as interested, probably more.

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKae

Hi,

I read Miss Peregrine's and I think it's safe to say, I am unexplicably inlove with this book. Words cannot describe how much I love it! But one question has been bothering me ever since I finished the book (a few days ago), will there be another? I'm seriously dying to know if there's going to be another! A prequel (with Emma and Abe), if you don't want to go further?

Anywho, thanks for reading and... yeah :)

July 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGiuliana

Haha, you might not have thought there was much hype, but I heard a ton. On my favorite book blog, the author was absolutely raving about it--before it came out, she made multiple posts about it, trailer and all, and then when she got it and left a glowing review, I decided I should get it, too. I got it and read it in a day. Absolutely fantastic. I love the characters, the plot, the writing--I love how different this is than most YA and the quirky, fresh voice. Great read(although I must say that reading about the hollows and wights and seeing those pictures at 4 in the morning was a tiny bit scarring).
I'm so glad it's doing well. I hope the movie follows through and turns out brilliantly.

July 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

please oh please say that there will be a sequel to Miss Peregrine. I loved it so very much and finished it so very quickly. I want to know more about this people and if they are ok (atleast in book world :) Thank you so much for such a great book.

July 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Just finished the book and have been recommending it all over the place. My 19 year old daughter is currently waiting in line for Harry Potter at Midnight but I know she is going to absolutely love this book. I'm rather tempted to take it over to her... I hope you have more tales for the peculiars lurking about in your imagination!

July 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

I really enjoyed your book. I look forward to reading more. I found the book just by searching pages on Barnes and Noble. I downloaded and read the sample and knew I had to read the whole book. Fantastic plot and characters.

July 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTina

OK....along with everyone else who is addicted to this book.....when is the next installment? I mean, you can't just leave Miss Peregrine as a bird with a broken wing ??!

Kudos to your success!!

July 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Masteller

I stumbled upon the book trailer somehow for Miss Peregrine, and I was immediately entranced. I then watched the making of it, and I wanted more than anything to get my hands on the book. Now that I have finished it, I can only say that I will anxiously wait for the sequel, which I am sure I will devour with as much zeal as this one.

Superb.

July 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmbra

Your book found me at just the right time. I am an artist/designer/photographer from MA. I have always had a fascination with old pictures, and what their stories might be. I'll sometimes collage them into my art or keep them hidden in boxes like treasures. I must say I haven't read a book in quite a long time, your novel is the first in year. It has been a joy. You have inspired me in my art and it has been a strange but pleasant escape from my own hectic life.

Thank you for my new treasure I hope you give me many more to come :)

Corey

July 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorey Ritch

Hello! I am a middle school teacher and just finished your incredible book. Congrats on your well-deserved success. I can't wait to lead a book group in the fall in my classroom. My learners are going to LOVE your book. One question...any chance of there being a sequel? I am dying to know what happens next.
Congrats again!
Hannegan

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHannegan Roseberry

Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.-Longines Hydroconquest V watches Swiss

July 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary Hoey

I was worried the book might have been overhyped, but now that I'm a little more than halfway through it, I can see the attention is deserved. You've done an excellent job with this. And the photographs really enhance the story. They're a lot of fun. Hopefully a film adaptation can do it some justice. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, congrats on livin' the dream. You've earned it. :)

August 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTony

I must say the book is simply amazing. I picked it up on a whim because the little girl on the front made it look so interesting. I got so sucked in that I read it in one sitting. Simply brilliant! You've left the ending open ended though, which I hope means there will be more to come. And as far as the movie rights go I can tell you while I was reading that I was thinking about this being really great as a movie so I really do hope they make it! Good luck with your future writings Mr. Riggs!

Kristi

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristi

Please start writing the squeal!!!! I cannot wait to find out what happens when they cross through time and whatever they encounter on the other side!!! You are a great writer!!!! I cannot wait until I can read these stories to my girls, when they actually have the age to remember it.

August 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterT. Smith

Just finished the book. It was so different from any book I've read in a long while. Being a photographer, it was a nice surprise to see all the old photos that went with the story. I too - dig through tin cans and boxes at yard sales looking for that "interesting photo." I loved this book, and I can't wait for the movie - and the next book. I'm looking forward to more adventures in the loop!

August 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterP Snyder

Miss Peregrine is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. I spotted it at a Wal Mart and it was the only one left on the shelf, two days ago and I am now already finished with it. You're an amazing writer and I am incredibly grateful for your works. This book will be a phenom.

August 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBree Bond

Ransom I LOVE your book Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, and can't WAIT for the sequel. When you were in Lancaster and met my friend Kathlene she was kind enough to have you sign a book plate for me. Thank you both SO MUCH! THRILLED to have it and she is such a wonder lady. Best of luck in all you do, movie/books, so happy to enjoy your talent :-)

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

What a wonderful book, a great blend of sarcasm, truth, disaffection and fantasy. SO beautifully written. Can't wait for the sequel.

August 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersuzy rust

I saw the cover for the first time 2 days ago in a Barnes & Noble while on vacation---and I couldn't believe I didn't know about your book. The cover alone drew me in. Then I saw that it came with pictures. And, since I've read Sebold, I was intrigued rather than skeptical. I haven't even read the entire novel yet, I'm on page 53---but I'm already recommending it to my book-loving friends, those that read everything and want more--because all the elements are in place and everything is working. Thank you for this gem. Congratulations! And I completely understand why your novel is a bestseller. Right on.

August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPB Rippey

I went to pick up my daughter at Walmart Monday and saw this book. After reading a few pages, I knew I had to buy it. I just finished it and really enjoyed it. I'll be 70 next month, so you have spanned the generations. Thanks..

September 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen Mick

Also, since you love old photos so much. Last year I saw an idea in a craft magazine of using photos as Christmas ornaments. I took a lot of our old photos to Walmart and put borders on them and hung them on our tree last year. We truly enjoyed it.

September 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen Mick

book signing near Kansas City, MO?

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I read about this book in a review in our local paper. Anything this, well, odd sounded just too good not to give a go.
LOVED IT and am thrilled there is a sequel and (hopefully) a movie that will make.
I think what most impressed me was that I didn't realize until the end that these were real photos that inspired a story. When my husband and I were dating (30 years ago) he would often make up stories about the people in the pictures of the photo frames (as in "your relative here.") in our local Hobby Lobby. I was charmed by him then (well, I married him, didn't I?) and was charmed again by the unique inspiration and expression of creative storytelling found in your book.
Continued success in your hunt for peculiar children and their photos.

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMariea

Thank you for 'Peduliar Children'. Wonderful book, wonderful writing. And super wonderful pictures. Keep writing! Sue

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue Michels

I am the manager for a bookstore in Maryland and I was on a project in South Carolina (helping another store) when I saw your book on a register. I'm a sucker for cover art so after reading the synopsis I called my own store to make sure that we had the book in stock. We've been selling them ever since. My interest sparked the interest of 3 other associates/managers in my store and we have all enjoyed the book throughly! We hope to see a movie come of it and if it is anything like the trailer I just watched for the book, you can be sure that I will have a front row seat to see it.

September 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBritney - PA

i just finished your book, miss p . . . omg it was wonderful. thank you!
and i was grateful to see immediately on looking you up: yes, there will
be a sequel. yes! yes!

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercarleen

I picked up this odd little book, or perhaps it picked me as it was the one lonely copy that had been placed on top of a stack of cookbooks. I looked for others, but none were found. I bought it as I just couldn't leave such an interesting, unique book all by itself. I had found another book much in the same way some 30 years ago and discovered my favorite author's first book..."Carrie" by Stephen King. Needless to say, I am still eagerly awaiting his next book as of today much as I am awaiting Ransom Riggs to pen the sequel to his refreshingly original and mesmerizing tale of "Ms. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children". I can only hope that i will still be reading his picstories for the next 30 years. I had thought that there was nothing new under the sun and am pleasantly surprised by Mr. Rigg's most excellent book. Please...write faster!!!!! Many thanks and three cheers from your newest constantreader.Write On!

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCinBear

Just finished Miss Peregrine, magical.

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarge from Magnolia

Let me be one of I am sure many that have begged for a sequel!! As a fantasy fan and a history teacher, rarely does a book combine both of my loves as well as this one does and as the plotline sets up to continue to do!! Bravo!

September 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Colburn

There is a home in Reidsville NC that would b perfect for the movie. It is the Chinqua Penn Plantation, The house was the home of the Penns in the early part of the 20th century and the decorations and the rooms are perfect for the home fround in the book. Check out their website, you will see what I mean.

September 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue

Interesting read!!! Your website is fantastic with informative content which i like to add to my favourites.
burberry sale

September 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterburberry sale

i read your book in one day and loved it! do you know any of the histories of the photographs?

October 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoanna waddoups

Just finished Miss Peregrime and look forward to finding out how the peculiars leap from loop to loop. Great imagination.

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Carr-Back

I am so happy you wrote your beautiful book. I love the peculiar children and will eagerly pass them on to my book club (luckily it is my turn to choose). Thanks!

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah G

I really loved your Miss Peregrine's novel and look forward to a sequel.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCP

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