Picture This: A Visit With Lisa Jensen

Today’s post by author Lisa Jensen

It’s no secret that I loved ALIAS HOOK by Lisa Jensen. (You can read my review here) So I was thrilled when she agreed to share the visual inspiration behind her re-telling of the classic story of Peter Pan. And I’m even more thrilled that we’re able to give away two copies of ALIAS HOOK today thanks to the generous publishers at Thomas Dunne Books. See the entry form below.

Jeanne plaid A

What could this photo possibly have to do with Captain Hook? Yes, my novel, Alias Hook, is set in the Neverland, and views that magical children’s Paradise from the caustic perspective of James Hook, its prisoner. Much of the book concerns who James was before he became the villain of the Neverland, but the main story is about the possibility of breaking the curse that binds him there and earning his release. And I knew pretty early on there would have to be a woman involved.

In real life, this is my Aunt Jeannie, ca. 1943. When I was trying to imagine what sort of woman to send to the Neverland, I kept coming back to this image. Hook comes from early in the 18th Century (James M. Barrie tells us that he sailed with Blackbeard), but in my book, he’s been frozen in time—at age 43—for a couple of centuries. Time has continued to march on in the outside world, however. My heroine, Stella Parrish, has survived World War II, but she’s still reeling from her losses. Disgusted at the mess the grown-ups have made of the world, she longs to take refuge in a place of perfect childhood innocence—although that’s not exactly what she finds in the Neverland, a chaotic world run by little boys.

In addition to the strangeness of a grown woman tumbling into the Neverland at all (Peter Pan has very strict rules against grown-ups, especially “ladies”), imagine how odd a 20th Century woman like this would seem. What on earth would James Hook make of her?

I love Jeannie’s plaid jacket so much, I had to give it to Stella to wear in the Neverland. (Along with the trousers, which Hook finds completely baffling!) As you can see, Jeannie was quite the fashion plate in her day. And while this jacket might be a little out-of-date by 1950, when Stella comes to the Neverland, postwar Britain was a time of austerity and rationing, so Stella probably was not buying a lot of new clothes. Also, in Jeannie’s era, women used bobby pins to set their wet hair in pin curls for that bouncy look, which I also made part of Stella’s signature look.

When James and Stella meet, everything changes in the Neverland. In James Hook, she finds someone far more sympathetic and complex than the storybook villain. And with Stella’s help, he finally has a chance to rewrite his story.

* * *

AliasHook“Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy.”

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.

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About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

10 Responses to Picture This: A Visit With Lisa Jensen

  1. Gwyn July 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a great book!

  2. Paula Dolin July 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I would love to win this book! Peter Pan has always been one of my favorite stories.

  3. Carl July 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for the great story. Your aunt Jeannie looks like really interesting person. I think I would have enjoyed meeting her. I don’t know if I have a favorite character from the classic story. Both Peter and Hook are appealing in different ways. I do believe, however, that Stella is likely to be a favorite from Alias Hook. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  4. Kathy July 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    What a great way to transform a little children’s book into an adult fairy tale by introducing an adult woman. This new character can afford a transformation into a romance that releases Captain Hook from the curse he is under. I relish the fact that there is a way to make your Aunt Jeannie a part of the plot. It should be a great read and hope I can enjoy this fairy tale.

  5. Brooke July 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    this has been on my “to read” list for awhile…..this is enticing me to bump it up a few notches!!! Thank you for the reminder suggestion! ~Brooke

  6. Lisa Jensen July 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks, Ariel, for your continuing support of Alias Hook, and for this fabulous reading blog! And thanks to everyone entering this giveaway, and leaving such encouraging comments. My Aunt Jeannie would be very surprised to hear she had anything at all to do with Captain Hook, but I think she’d get a kick out of this story!

  7. Susan Gruener July 14, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Would love to see how Lisa writes her ‘twist’ to this classic. I love the imagination of writers!
    Thanks Lisa!
    Thanks She Reads!

  8. Denise Duvall July 14, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Wendy is my favourite character. Thank you for the giveaway.

  9. Michelle July 15, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    As a child I always loved Wendy Darling. I carried a thimble in my pocket and dreamed of Neverland and mermaids. Thank you for the giveaway – this is going on my “to read” list!

  10. Margaret July 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    I would love to win a copy!
    I loved fairy tales as a child and I love when there is an adult version.
    I especially loved the dog in the original.

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