Mr. Korman! I really like Ian and Cara as a couple. What made you decide to put them together?
One of my favorite parts to write in THE MEDUSA PLOT was how Ian Kabra, a former enemy, was turning into a beloved part of Amy and Dan’s inner circle. In FLASHPOINT, I just did the same thing with Cara. It’s a match made in heaven, right?
How do you guys write the 39 clues books? Do you all have meetings and flesh out a plot, or do you just do whatever when it's your turn?
The general story arc is plotted out in advance, so we have a sense of the territory we have to cover. For example, in FLASHPOINT, I always knew it would be my job to create the final confrontation between the Cahills and Pierce, but the details of that confrontation were up to me.
Okay, this isn't a question, but I just wanted to say that I really, really, really liked your idea of having Ian and Cara be together. It was great! :D And also, there were so many funny lines in this book! Question: Whose idea was it to have Amy and Dan step down from being the leaders of the Cahill Family?
Glad you enjoyed that! Most people don’t instantly think funny for 39 CLUES, but I’ve always found a lot of opportunities for humor with these great characters. To get your question, I think Jude Watson came up with the idea to have Amy and Dan take a break at the end. We’ve all written our books, but Jude and Rick Riordan have also had a lot to do with the general plotting of the series.
I know this has nothing to do with the book but How did you write the book without being disatisfied. I am writing this story for a contest but every time i write something I'm not satisfied. Please help.
Don’t panic! It’s probably a great sign that you’re always dissatisfied with your writing. It shows that you have high expectations for your stories. I feel the same way. That’s why writers don’t just write; they rewrite and revise, often and always, until that dissatisfaction is gone. I also recommend that you plan out your stories before you even start to write. When you know where you’re going, you’re far less likely to veer off course. Another benefit of planning: it saves you a ton of work in the end.
How did you get the idea for Ian finding the snake in his shoe?
I love Ian, but there’s still a lot of snooty rich kid in him. I was having so much fun ruining his super-expensive shoes in the Tonle Sap that I thought: Why not put the snake in one of them? After all the Cahills’ over-the-top efforts to find that rare snake, to have it turn up in Ian’s muddy loafer really appealed to me.
Just finished re-reading Flashpoint, it was EPIC! If you had to kill off one character- who would it be?
Awesome! Thanks so much. To be honest, I thought about having another of the Cahills die, but Pony’s death in COUNTDOWN was really devastating to me. That was such a perfect tragic low point for the UNSTOPPABLE series. And since Amy was basically on a death clock for all of FLASHPOINT, I didn’t think it would be right to pile on any more tragedy.
Mr. Korman, you are one of only two authors who have written books in all three of th3939 Clues series, so you know the characters very well. Not including Amy, (she's too obvious to pick) which three of them do you think have changed the most from the beginning to now?
Well, there’s Dan, of course, who really had to grow up and take over a leadership role. Beyond him, I’d go with Ian, Jonah, and Hamilton, who started as enemies and went on to form the very basis of the inner circle. But in spite of how much everyone’s changed, I have to say I love the ways in which those characters have stayed the same. Dan still has the potential to be hilariously immature (especially around Atticus); Ian’s snobbiness reemerges constantly; Jonah continues to obsess over things like having to share his private jet; and let’s face it, you can take Hamilton out of the Holt family, but you can’t take the Holt family out of Hamilton. That’s what’s so fantastic about these character– – they can grow, mature, and even transcend. But at the end of the day, they’re still themselves.