Dr. Snicket and Mr. Handler

Terrific interview with Mr. Handler (chair of this year’s National Book Award for Young People committee) here.  (And before you comment, I’ll give imaginary characters PhDs if I feel like it. And Lemony strikes me as one of those bookish erudite types perpetually getting one degree after another.)  Here’s a taste:

Writing a book is always a tightrope walk, and always feels strange — one must care about something so thoroughly, in an embryonic state, that one has made up to begin with. It was actually fairly easy to write the last volume of A Series of Unfortunate Events — it was the twelfth volume, in which the stage had to be cleared for The End, that proved difficult. The Penultimate Peril is more of an ending, with the recurrence of many characters from previous volumes, a few secrets revealed, and a finale of sorts. In The End I simply wanted to open up the story a bit, so that the lives of the characters would feel like lives, while the story would feel like a story, but the lives would move past the story, carrying their own questions. It’s always difficult to talk about books this way without sounding like an idiot.

I don’t think you sound like an idiot. I think that answer was a great success. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the lack of news suggests there won’t be a sequel to the film anytime soon.

Believe it or not a sequel does seem to be in the works. Paramount has had quite a few corporate shakeups, widely documented in articles I find too stupefying to finish, which has led to many a delay. Of course many, many plans in Hollywood come to naught, but I’m assured that another film will be made. Someday. Perhaps.

Whoa! I don’t even think about movies being based on your books very much, but in googling you, it comes up constantly. In your dream cast, who’s Flannery from The Basic Eight?

Oh, I’m lousy at casting. I pretty much got thrown out of the Snicket movie casting conversation by insisting on James Mason as Count Olaf, his death notwithstanding.

I also learned that Mr. Handler’s high school graduation speech is on youtube and nothing for him or Dr. Snicket to be ashamed of at all.

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