My Version Of Alice’s Adventures

DJ Stoneham Author Interview

Once Upon A Wonderland follows a young woman trying to find her love while encountering numerous challenges and life-threatening situations. What was the inspiration for the original and fascinating idea at the center of the book?

The first Wonderland story I wrote – Alice Falls Again – was a self-contained story, where Alice meets characters from the dark origins of popular nursery rhymes. However, when one reader said that the ending begged a sequel, a new story began to grow in my head, where Alice’s quest to discover herself and find love would be taken to the next level. The premise that saving Wonderland is tied to Alice saving herself is present in both stories, even if the second stand-alone story introduces characters from the sinister backstories of fairy tales. It would be disrespectful of me not to mention the overriding inspiration for my version of Alice’s adventures, namely Lewis Carroll’s masterpieces.

Your novel has some very interesting characters that have their character flaws but are still likable. How do you go about creating characters for your story?

On a very practical level, I first thought about their role in the main story – in the plot or sub-plots – as well as their motives, fears, likes/dislikes, habits and so on. At times, I felt like a profiler, building up a character profile from clues and bits of evidence. I even Googled and edited images that represented the characters’ physical appearance in order to bring them to life and sit beside me as I wrote. After that, the characters pretty much decided themselves what they did and said as I wrote the story. I knew that if I could keep them true to their characters, then they would reflect the fact that every one of us has strengths and weaknesses and, even in the case of a talking bear or poltergeist, be somewhat credible.

I felt that there were a lot of great twists and turns throughout the novel. Did you plan this before writing the novel, or did the twists develop organically writing?

In the first book – Alice Falls Again – writing was pretty much conscious stream of thought. However, with Once upon a Wonderland, I spent more time planning the plot, sub-themes and cadence, as well as character arcs. I’d say most of the twists and turns were either planned or a result of planning. But not all. For example, I was not aware of the major twists at the end of the story until I got there. I was as surprised as readers will hopefully be. There is a real risk in over-planning and something to be said for conscious stream writing, so I would never want to orchestrate everything beforehand. If I did, my characters would change things anyway.

I hope the series continues in other books. If so, where will the story take readers? 

Never say never but for now Alice is where she wants to be. I have two or three other writing projects that need my attention. On the other hand, life has a way of throwing you curveballs. Life is full of surprises and Alice knows that from experience. With so much curiosity and a strong will, some might say she even embraces upheaval in her life.

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Once upon a Wonderland
Can Alice uncover the truth to escape her twisted fantasy?

“Fee-fi-fo-fum!” boomed the ogre.
“Why do you keep quoting Shakespeare’s King Lear?” asked Alice. “And while we’re on the subject, why can you only smell the blood of Englishmen? Why not other nationalities? Or English women come to that?”

–A poltergeist in tattered leotards, a queen suffering from hypersomnia and a psychotic arsonist. These are not the Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella that Alice has come to know and love. Nevertheless, she needs to get them and other fairy tale characters out of Wonderland if she’s to mend Time and return home. And rescue Jack, the feathered boy she’s in love with.
Alice’s quest is not helped by accusations of treason from the local inhabitants, the advances of an arrogant Pied Piper and the fact that she is growing younger by the hour. And then there is the Queen of Hearts and her cohorts to contend with.

Peppered with surreal events, gritty wordplay and the sinister backstories to popular fairy tales, this sequel to Alice Falls Again is a must for younger and older adults alike.

Reviews for the prequel Alice Falls Again:
“A brilliant and amusing reinvention.” KIRKUS REVIEWS
“An ideal fantasy for Carroll fans.” blueink
“Fantastical wonders and head-over-heels adventures abound.” Foreword Clarion

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 23, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What a serendipitous read! I have a mixed-media art piece that is titled Once Upon a Wonderland which I painted about 8 or 9 years ago….I would love you to see it. Your plot and writing sound intriguing as Alice and all of Lewis Carroll’s characters are. heARTfully,

  1. Pingback: My Version Of Alice’s Adventures – GREENE PUBLISHING


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