by A.L. Janney
Genre: MG/YA Adventure
Release Date: December 2017
‘This is a story about vigilantes and magic.
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Interview with A.L. Janney
Rae: Peter and the Crown, volume one of Phantom, is about a boy moving to New York City and finding destiny awaits.
Janney: Yes, well phrased.
Rae: There is an old prophecy and it’s about Peter, but he doesn’t know it yet. I think perhaps what I liked the most about the book is the Crown Hotel.
Janney: Good! The Crown is a magnificent and magical place, and I’m proud of it.
Rae: I want to live there. I love the map of the hotel.
Janney: Yeah the artist, Anne Pierson, is great, isn’t she.
Rae: Is the Crown based on anything?
Janney: The Plaza, in NYC. It’s in a similar location, with a similar feel, and similar appearance. The Plaza is a beautiful and storied place, and so is the Crown.
Rae: It’s so fun that Peter hardly ever has to venture outside.
Janney: I learned something from Jerry Seinfeld. I’ve learned a lot from him, actually. He says that people like returning to a place. One reason they watched his show is because they wanted to go back to the apartment with Jerry and George and the rest. It’s comfortable and familiar and we liked ‘living’ in it.
Rae: I feel that way about the Crown.
Janney: Good! You felt that way about Howarts too, I’m assuming.
Janney: Older readers felt that way about Cheers, and Friends, the television shows. We want to live in Narnia and Redwall, and in the Shire and Rivendell. Andy’s room, from Toy Story. We return to a place we love, and that’s why we kept buying Potter books, or at least one of the reasons. We want to go back to Hogwarts. Do you remember the final book? Harry spends the first half or more of Deathly Hallows outside of Hogwarts, on a rambling quest. I skimmed through. Hurry up and get me back inside the castle.
Rae: So the setting is just as important as the character.
Janney: Possibly. My favorite character in the Star Wars movies might be the Millennium Falcon. There’s a reason the movie trailers always show the cockpit—we love it. I grew up on board the Falcon, so to speak. The new movies keep taking me back there.
Rae: What makes the Crown Hotel so special?
Janney: First of all, Peter feels like it’s alive. As though it can communicate with him. It’s a self-contained world full of wonder and magic and surprises. It has villains, a princess, safety, danger, history, prophecy, all of it. I want readers to feel a warm glow when they find themselves inside the Crown. Take a deep breath. All is well. You’re home.
I write adventures.
Let me entertain you.