Authors and Agents: Their Stories. RANSOM RIGGS

I thought it would be fun to re-post how some of my favorite authors obtained representation.

This week’s installment features Ransom Riggs, the author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City.


A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography.

According to Ransom Riggs, himself:

AFTER HIGH SCHOOL I WENT TO KENYON COLLEGE, a very pretty and quite old by American standards college in rural Ohio, where I studied literature and got a degree in English. Then I fulfilled a long-held dream and went to film school at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I’d been making films since the backyard-masterpiece days of my childhood, but at USC I learned how to make them bigger and better and shiny-looking. I graduated with what I thought was a pretty slick thesis film under my arm and went out into the world to conquer the film festival circuit and then Hollywood — or at least that was the plan, though it didn’t quite work out that way. I spent a few years writing scripts and taking meetings and getting not very far, trying any way I could to get noticed. All the while I was writing: for five years I had a gig as a daily blogger for, and I also wrote for their magazine, contributed to a few books they published through Harpercollins, and wrote for a couple of other publications here and there, as well.

ALL OF WHICH TURNED INTO AN OPPORTUNITY to do some work for a small publisher who knew my editors at mentalfloss. That was Quirk Books, who asked me if I was interested in writing a book about Sherlock Holmes for them. I jumped at the opportunity. That was The Sherlock Holmes Handbook. Next came Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, born out of my love for vintage photography and bizarro stories, and I never looked back.


Also of interest are his short films. Check out this FANTASTIC film of dilapidated, time capsule homes in Belgium!



Previous: Authors and Agents: Their Stories. PITTACUS LORE (A cautionary tale)


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