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Aprilynne Pike
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Aprilynne Pike   Aprilynne Pike is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Wings, the first of four books about a fifteen-year-old girl named Laurel who discovers she's a faerie and it's nothing like the storybooks say. Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight) noted that "Aprilynne Pike's Wings is a remarkable debut; the ingenuity of the mythology is matched only by the startling loveliness with which the story unfolds." The Walt Disney Company optioned the film rights to Wings, with Miley Cyrus attached to star as Laurel.

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This episode originally aired on 10/29/2009 with the following authors:
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.

Interview with Aprilynne Pike

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Matthew Peterson: Youíre listening to The Author Hour: Your Guide to Fantastic Fiction. Iím your host, Matthew Peterson. My next guest is Aprilynne Pike, debut author of the #1 New York Times Bestselling young adult novel, Wings. Welcome to the show, Aprilynne.

Aprilynne Pike: Thanks, Matt.

Matthew Peterson: Now I have to admit something to you, Aprilynne. You know how people often use mnemonics to remember people?

Aprilynne Pike: Uh huh.

Matthew Peterson: Well, I met you for the first time a few weeks ago.

Aprilynne Pike: Yes.

Matthew Peterson: We were doing a book signing at the WesterCon convention with James Owen.

Aprilynne Pike: Yes.

Matthew Peterson: On the last day of the convention, I lost my house to a fire.

Aprilynne Pike: Yes.

Matthew Peterson: So now every time I think of my house burning, the thought goes through my mind, ďWell, at least I met Aprilynne Pike.Ē [laughs]

Aprilynne Pike: Well, my house is burned down, but you know . . .

Matthew Peterson: At least I met Aprilynne. So, youíll forever be etched in my brain as, ďYeah, I remember . . . .

Aprilynne Pike: Along with the house fire that took all of your precious belongings, thatís all.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, Aprilynne Pike and James Owen.

Well, Youíve had some great success with your first book. It hit #1 in the New York Times bestsellerís list like in the second week?

Aprilynne Pike: Second week.

Matthew Peterson: You know, I gotta hand it to you, I donít think Twilight even did that.

Aprilynne Pike: It didnít actually. It was completely shocking to me. In fact itís the only time Iíve ever screamed on the phone.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, I can imagine. Gotta go change my underwear, this is too crazy.

Aprilynne Pike: It was funny because, I totally screamed, ďAre you kidding me?Ē And my husband runs in and he goes, ďWhat number are you?Ē And I hold up the number one, which he assumed meant, ďJust a second.Ē

Matthew Peterson: Oh.

Aprilynne Pike: And he goes, ďNo, come on, what number are you?Ē And I look at him and I just point my finger at him and he totally didnít quite get it at that point. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Well, thatís very impressive for a first book out!

Aprilynne Pike: I was quite impressed. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: And I know Stephanie Meyer did give you a really nice blurb. I wrote it down, Iím going to read it: "Aprilynne Pike's Wings is a remarkable debut; the ingenuity of the mythology is matched only by the startling loveliness with which the story unfolds."

Aprilynne Pike: Yep.

Matthew Peterson: So, yeah, thatís a pretty nice blurb there.

Aprilynne Pike: I was complemented.

Matthew Peterson: Well, Iím excited for you with that. So, tell us a little bit about Wings, for those who havenít read the book yet.

Aprilynne Pike: Alright, Wings is about a 15 year old girl named Laurel who discovers she is a faery. And itís nothing like the story books say. And she gets entangled in this ages long conflict between the faeries and the trolls over the gateway to the realm of Avalon.

Matthew Peterson: Of Avalon. Okay, so your main characterís 15 years old. So, this is definitely young adult.

Aprilynne Pike: Definitely young adult.

Matthew Peterson: Iíve heard some people say itís a little bit similar to Twilight, but less bloody.

Aprilynne Pike: Less bloody, yeah. Itís similar in kind of mood and tone.

Matthew Peterson: Uh huh.

Aprilynne Pike: But, you know, totally different subject, obviously, thereís no vampires in my book.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. So, faeries, then. Thatís the theme of this episode, weíre having Holly Black on this episode as well.

Aprilynne Pike: Yes, Holly Black is lovely and wonderful.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, so lots of different faery authors. Did you know what you were going to be writing beforehand? Did you know it would be taking off like this? Or did you have . . . ?

Aprilynne Pike: Well, you know, I think every author kind of hopes, but itís one of those things that you hope for even though you donít actually expect it to happen.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Yeah I can imagine. And this is going to be the first book in a series then?

Aprilynne Pike: Mm hmm. A series of four.

Matthew Peterson: Of four, okay. And what can we expect in the next books?

Aprilynne Pike: The things that Iím telling people about the next book is that, Laurel gets to actually go into Avalon. She gets summoned to the Academy of Avalon to learn how to be a fall faery. And so readers get to go into Avalon in the next book. And because theyíre there they get to see a little bit more of Tamini. We havenít seen a lot of him yet. And then on the human side, we get to see Laurel and David as a couple, which we really didnít get to see, there was a lot of romantic tension in the first book, but not technically a lot of romance. So, weíre going to get to see a little bit of that. And we get to see a lot more of Chelsea whoís one of my favorite characters to write, and sheís one of Laurelís good friends.

Matthew Peterson: So, what is Avalon exactly? Is that like a place where all the magical faeries live?

Aprilynne Pike: Itís where the faeries live. In my books, itís an actual place, out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the city that figures in traditional lore, but it kind of has my own twist on it. So, the connections that it has to the King Arthur legends are still there. Theyíre just a little different.

Matthew Peterson: And these faeries, do they have, like magical powers? You know the name of the book is Wings, so that kind of gives me maybe a clue that . . .

Aprilynne Pike: Well, itís kind of an ironic title because my faeries donít have wings.

Matthew Peterson: Okay, they donít. [laughs] When I first met you, you had wings.

Aprilynne Pike: I did.

Matthew Peterson: You were wearing wings. I was like . . . I was so dense, I was like, ďWings. Sheís wearing wings, well thatís cool, weíre at a convention, lots of readers . . . Oh! Your book is called Wings.Ē I was so dense, I didnít realize.

Aprilynne Pike: [laughs] Yeah, my faeries actually . . . the females grow blossoms on their backs once a year. But when my main character blossoms for the first time, when sheís 15, they look kind of like wings. And so she starts to think that maybe thatís what it is. And thatís kind of the central focus of this book. So, rather than call the book, Blossoms That Look Like Wings, you know, we figured that was a little long. We called it Wings. And itís kind of an ironic title because there arenít actually any wings in the book.

Matthew Peterson: Okay. And sheís there to . . . sheís going to be protecting the gates of Avalon. How does she do that? I mean, without revealing things of the story, does she have powers?

Aprilynne Pike: She does have powers, she doesnít even really know how to use them yet. She, itís kind of funny, sheís there to eventually protect the gate, not by guarding it, or fighting for it, because they have people that do that.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, because that would be a boring life. The book is, oh Iím at the gate again . . . [laughs] nothingís happening.

Aprilynne Pike: [laughs] Exactly. Sheís there to inherit the land from her parents, who own it.

Matthew Peterson: Okay.

Aprilynne Pike: And I think thatís about as much as I can reveal without spoiling too much, but sheís there to protect the land in terms of on paper.

Matthew Peterson: Okay. Now something really exciting happened to you, probably one of the most exciting things I could ever imagine. [laughs] You know what Iím going to say . . . Walt Disney bought the option for the film rights to Wings, with Miley Cyrus attached to star as Laurel.

Aprilynne Pike: Mm hmm.

Matthew Peterson: Now you were excited when you hit #1 on the New York Times.

Aprilynne Pike: Yes.

Matthew Peterson: What did you do when you found out that Walt Disney, with Miley Cyrus attached to it . . .

Aprilynne Pike: I walked onto the wrong plane.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] You walked on to the wrong plane?

Aprilynne Pike: I walked onto the wrong plane. It was a very long set of circumstances that led to me being able to do this. But I checked my mail as I was walking down the tarmac and my agent had emailed me and told me that she was expecting an offer from Disney the next day. And at the end of the tarmac you could either turn right and fly to San Francisco, or you could turn left and fly to Kalispell. And I turned left and I was in my seat and buckled in before I realized that I didnít want to go to Kalispell. I was trying to go to San Francisco. You know, I walked onto the wrong plane.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, man! Thatís funny! Now of course when any option is bought, a lot of times the movie is never made. But I have a feeling with this one, I mean, theyíve already named the main character, you know, we want Miley Cyrus to do this. And Miley Cyrus is under contract with Disney and so I think this one is probably going to happen.

Aprilynne Pike: Well, I certainly have high hopes.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Well, that is exciting. Do you think youíll do a cameo? Like Stephenie Meyer did a little cameo in Twilight. Do you think youíd be willing to do something like that?

Aprilynne Pike: Iíd be willing absolutely. Itís so far out that little tiny things like that, I just canít even really speculate right now. But it would definitely be fun to do something like that.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah, exciting. Well, Iíve been speaking with Aprilynne Pike, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wings. Thanks for being on the show, Aprilynne.

Aprilynne Pike: You are so welcome, thank you for having me.

Matthew Peterson: Alright, guys, thatís it for today. Make sure you check out for bonus questions that didnít make it onto the live show.

Next week Iíve got 5 of the biggest fantasy authors alive. Terry Brooks, Brandon Sanderson, Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weis, and R. A. Salvatore. Combined, these authors have sold well over 100 million books: enough for each household in the United States to own a copy! So tell your friends and family to tune in next week to The Author Hour: Your Guide to Fantastic Fiction. See you then.

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