May 11, 2009 marked the official release of Phantom Island: Wind. YAY! I've been at both book signing events so far and let me just say, the amount of support for the book has been amazing. At school people are already coming up to me, gushing about the book and the characters. It has been thrilling watching all of the events we have been waiting for since November start to play out! I am in the process of re-reading the book and I am spotting things I didn't quite catch the first time. Now that everyone else is reading it, I can finally spill about my crush on Gabriel and how I think Caleb should get a clue and shut up. (That's my personal opinion. Caleb fans, please don't hurt me!) Anyways, I am about to give you the interview of the year. In fact, it's so intense that I am splitting it into two posts. (I don't want you to be overwhelmed by the awe-inspiring answers to the questions!) So leave your thoughts and comments and check back in a few days for the rest of the interview! As always, remember to check out www.krissidallas.com for pictures from book signings, new event information, and everything else!
Through The Portal With Krissi Dallas, part one. (Book questions)
What was the major inspiration for writing Phantom Island: Wind?
My work with teenagers first made me want to write a YA series - the show Lost comes into play on initial subject matter ideas - and the final inspiration for my main characters was definitely out of the very awesome, loyal, and close-knit relationship I have with my own two best friends, Melody and Sam.
What was the writing process like?
Soooo much fun! Every day was an adventure when I was writing Phantom. I would sometimes write in the dark well into the wee hours of the night. Then go to sleep, dream about it, wake up super early just to get back into it. Most of the morning was spent editing what I had written late. Then I had my personal quiet time, reading my Bible and praying. Then it was nap time until I got up again and wrote some more. When I was out and about during the day, I would just mull over where I was heading next, and I'd play my music loud until I felt empowered and inspired again!!
So most of the characters in the book are based on real-life people. Are there any characters that aren’t?
Oh, yes! I have yet to meet someone EXACTLY like Mr. Hottie-With-A-Naughty-Body Gabriel. (haha) He is a figment of my imagination even though I have known some people with his kind of intensity. Abrianna is also not based on anyone in particular I know ... in fact, most of the Island characters are not based on real life people, and I think that's because the Island is not like our world ... they have their own way of communicating and relating to each other. They even speak differently - more formally. (You'll notice that all I did was remove any contractions in their dialogue and it naturally formalized their voices.)
How did you come up with the idea to have the tribes correspond to the four elements?
The four elements have been a pop-culture interest for years and years. I started liking the idea of each element having to do with personality and I just kind of went from there. (My friends made fun of me at first, wondering if there would be any Captain Planet rings to go with the book..."When your powers combine... I am CAPTAIN PLANET!) LOL.
In the book, what movie was showing the night the kids transported?
Haven't thought this one through - something young and fun and family-friendly. If it were up to me, I'd pick a High School Musical movie. LOVE THEM!! :) Life should always be like that - where we bust out into song and dance whenever the moment strikes.
What store did Whitnee and Morgan shop at for their camp clothes?
Whitnee would definitely have shopped at AERO, for sure. LOL.
What starbucks drinks would each character have been drinking?
Great question - this actually comes out in the sequel... so I don't want to say exactly. But I will say in early manuscripts of Wind, Whitnee mentioned how she hates coffee (she's me, after all!), but loves tea. Morgan would like any kind of flavored coffee. And Caleb likes whatever he gets - as long as it's loaded up with sugar.
What position did Caleb play in football?
Wide receiver - I picture Caleb as a lean, fast runner.
What actor would you have play Gabriel?
AHHH! I haven't found him yet. I'm open to suggestions, though. I've had people mention anyone from Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) to Channing Tatum (Step Up) to some other random guy I can't think of. He should be somewhat Italian-looking, I think... I don't know. We'll leave that to casting directors if Phantom ever makes the big screen!
This whole experience of writing the book must be exciting, what is the best part so far?
The best part is finding out how much people love the book!! Seriously, I am so overwhelmed by the reponses I've been getting from teens to adults to grandparents. It's crazy nuts (to quote my friend, Jaclyn.) But I have to say - I love knowing that other people are falling in love with my characters, too. It's not just me who loves them and is rooting for them.
The deep, personal questions will be up in a few days. Until then, live long and prosper(: