As you might have heard, I grew up across the street from the place the real Alice in Wonderland, Alice Liddell, lived with her family. I’ve always been fascinated by Alice, both the real and the fictional versions, and so when Macmillan Children’s Books asked me if I’d like to be part of a brand-new anthology of short stories set in the world of Alice in Wonderland, I had to say yes.
I’m one of 11 amazing children’s authors who have written their version of Alice’s story from the point of view of one of the other characters in the book, and our anthology will publish on the 27th June this year (just in time for Alice Day on the 4th July!).
My short story is called Ina Out of Wonderland, and it’s all about Alice’s big sister Lorina Liddell. She’s not really part of Alice in Wonderland – she only appears at the beginning and end of the story – but she was part of the real Alice’s life, and she grew up in Christ Church College with her. There’s a picture of Alice, Lorina and their other sister Edith that I first saw a long time ago, and have been fascinated with ever since. It shows all three girls sitting together on a sofa. Edith and Alice are slumped on each side of Ina, while she sits up straight, glaring at the camera as though she’s arguing with the person behind it. The person behind the camera is, of course, Charles Dodgson, the real name of Lewis Carroll – so I started to wonder what their relationship was like, and why Ina isn’t really part of the Wonderland story we all know so well.
You can pre-order Return to Wonderland now, from Waterstones, Amazon, Blackwell’s or your local independent bookstore. Please do shop at an independent if you can – I can’t share links to all of the amazing indies I want to support, but you know which store is local to you!