“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” became a best-selling book in 2012. A first novel by Ransom Riggs, the book has spawned two sequels and a film from 20th Century Fox with Tim Burton at the helm.
The film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children tells the story of a young boy, Jake, who discovers clues to a mysterious secret refuge in Wales where unusual children live together. A tale of self-discovery and growing up, the time-travel focused plot bobs and weaves but both book and film provide a roller-coaster ride of emotion and adventure. The Los Angeles Times has a rave review, calling it Burton’s best film since Sweeney Todd.
Turns out, the story behind the novel’s conception has a nice Southern California slant. Riggs, who had come to film school at USC from his native Florida, had always attended flea markets growing up (credit to his grandmother), and was perusing the bins at the Rose Bowl Flea Market when he came across a treasure trove belonging to vintage collector Leonard Lightfoot. His original plan was to make a picture book with the images, but an intrepid book editor convinced him to wrap the images together with a story. And, cleverly, to make it a Young Adult novel.
Tip for Angelenos: The Rose Bowl Flea Market is a tremendous adventure, and takes place in Pasadena on the second Sunday of every month.
Here is the NYTimes story about Riggs’ vintage photography obsession. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife, and fellow best-selling author, Tahereh Mafi. She writes the “Shatter Me” book series. They’re local lit celebs, and quite appealing – here’s a nice profile of their life together, in Santa Monic, from the Los Angeles Times.
Here is Ransom’s author page. And, here is Tahereh’s author page. Since it’s kind of interesting for two best-selling authors to be married to each other, we thought you’d enjoy seeing the wedding on the bride’s Tumblr page.