I didn't read Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie until I was in 8th grade. I remember staying in one Saturday and reading and reading and reading and falling in love with Peter.
I remember thinking he was a brat at some moments and completely intriguing at others. But from that day on I carried a piece of him with me.
When I was visiting London at the age of twenty I stumbled upon the Peter Pan sculpture in Kensington Gardens. I know it's shameful that a true Peter Pan fan such as myself didn't think to track it down, I had to find it by accident. But there it was... and I remember just staring at it as though it had followed me there.
I was working on a completely different book when the idea for NEVERLAND showed up. I remember standing in my kids' bedroom, looking out the window at the other rooftops I could see, and there it was: my shiny new idea. It was horrible timing. I was on deadline and I had no time for Peter, let alone Meyer — who became my main male protagonist.
But NEVERLAND didn't wait. It followed me around, and haunted me until everywhere I went I found myself staring up at rooftops imagining Meyer nearby.
I spent a lot of time thinking about "what if" situations after I read Peter Pan. In April you will all get a chance to read my "what if" when NEVERLAND releases.
I hope you find it magical. And I hope Meyer follows you around rooftops the way he still follows me.