Sunday, September 12, 2010

Award-winning author Kathryn Lasky talks about Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

Warner Bros Pictures brings another best-selling children book in the big screen and it will be directed by Zack Snyder the same director of 300 and Watchmen. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is based from the novel created by Kathryn Lasky entitled Guardians of Ga’Hoole. The film will be shown in both 3D and regular format in all cinemas nationwide beginning September 24.

The 3-D animation movie features the voice of Jim Sturgess (Soren), Geoffrey Rush (Ezylryb), Emily Barclay (Gylfie), Jay Laga'aia (Twilight), Helen Mirren (Nyra), David Wenham (Digger), Ryan Kwanten (Kludd) and Emilie de Ravin (Eglantine) where it follows the journey of Soren in search for the Guardians who will save them from the dark plan of pure ones headed by Nyra.

Here is the interview of the New York Times best-selling author, Kathryn Lasky about her Ga’Hoole series of books and the movie:

Question: How long did it take to write the first Guardians of Ga'Hoole book?
Kathryn Lasky: The first book took the longest because I was trying to really set the main characters and the whole future course of the series. So that was about four months of writing and editing.

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series?
Lasky: Well, my first idea was to do a non-fiction book about owls. My husband Christopher Knight, a former national Geographic photographer, and I had done several non-fiction books together illustrated with his photos. But Chris said that it would be awfully hard doing a non-fiction book what with owls shy, rare to the point of endangered and that the best pictures would be at night. So lighting would be difficult. It was his idea that I try a fantasy book. In the beginning I thought I would just do one book. But when I sent the proposal into Scholastic, Jean Feiwel, the editor in chief, called me up and said "This is not just one book. It's six". I was kind of shocked. I thought how on earth do I stretch this out to six? But now I am just starting book 13. So I guess I sort of figured it out.

Q: Did you hope, on some level, that your use of owls would enlighten readers to respect nature more?
Lasky: Maybe on some level. But I rarely write with a moral objective in mind. To me the most important thing is to tell a good story. If I can do that I think that enlightenment, respect of nature, etc. follows.

Q: How did you research the books? Did you consult with owl experts?
Lasky: I early on discovered the Owl Pages and it was enormously helpful. But I did a lot of research in libraries. I talked to some people at the Audubon Society. I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts and there are wonderful libraries there. So I used the Harvard libraries as well as the public ones.

Q: What is your favorite Guardians of Ga'Hoole book?
Lasky: That's like asking what your favorite child is. But I have to a admit that I enjoyed especially writing the legends trilogy, books 9, 10 and 11 - The First Collier, The Coming of Hoole and To Be a King where I delved back into the ancient history of the owl kingdoms.

Q: If you were an owl, what kind would you be? Or what owls are you most like?
Lasky: I don't know which of the owl characters I am most like but I have a special fondness for Barn owls and Spotted owls.

Q: Which Guardians of Ga'Hoole character are you most like?
Lasky: As is said I don't know which one I am most like. I think they all have elements of my own personality, except for Twilight. Twilight is absolutely modeled on Muhammed Ali who has always been right up there as one of my all-time favorite heroes.

Q: Which books will be included in the Legend of the Guardians movie?
Lasky: The first movie, or what we hope will be the first of many, will include books 1 through 3. The movie is going to be CGI and they used a lot of the owls from the Harry Potter movies. It is the same movie company Warner Brothers and the same producer.

Catch Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole will be available in both 3D and regular format in all cinemas beginning September 24. The film is distributed by Warner Bros Pictures.

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