JLF 2016: I don’t like movie adaptations, says Cornelia Funke

  • Simar Bhasin, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Feb 04, 2016 20:23 IST
“Children are more real than grown-ups,” feels Cornelia Funke.

Celebrated children’s author, Cornelia Funke, known for her widely popular Inkheart series, started her career as a book illustrator but later decided to write her own stories. Here, Funke reveals her favourite authors growing up, her dislike for the movie adaptations of books, and more.

Which one of your own books struck an emotional chord with you?

It’s always the last one I wrote; it’s the one you are writing, the one you are preparing, the one that you just finished, which is the closest child until the next one is born. So, for me, as of now, it would be the sequel to Dragon Rider.

The Inkheart series was very special to me growing up. What inspired you to create characters who could literally bring words to life when they read things out loud?

I was a child who loved books. I lived in a little town which was very boring. Books were my world. They opened windows and doors to the world so to think that it all comes alive and you can go into books was something I think all book lovers imagine. I didn’t know how to get characters out. So, at some point, I thought, ‘Wow, I love how people read aloud,’ maybe that is how they come out and the words came alive. And then the books just came.

Inkheart was also later adapted into a movie which was not well received. What are your thoughts about books and movie adaptations?

To do it was a magical experience -- to be on the sets and to see your characters come together around you. That was unforgettable and I would do it again. But I did not like the movie because I learnt from it that a book is a flying carpet; you give it to the movies and they hand you a napkin and say, “This is the same thing, Cornelia!” But it’s not. That is why I didn’t allow MirrorWorld, my new series, to be made into a movie.

The Inkheart trilogy.

What made you write for children?

Children are more real than grown-ups. With an audience of a thousand children, you get very good questions. But when you have an audience full of grown-ups, you get a lot of questions where they just want to sound clever. So I prefer the company of children often. But now I see myself as a story teller for all ages.

Who are your favourite children’s authors, the ones that inspired you?

Astrid Lindgren! She was my hero! Michael Ende, who wrote ‘The Neverending Story’; Huckleberry Finn was a favourite, and of course, the Narnia books.

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