L.D. Lapinski chats imagining the Cloudwish Festival for World Book Day

L.D. Lapinski has written a brand-new Strangeworlds Travel Agency adventure to celebrate World Book Day.


L.D. Lapinski has written a brand-new Strangeworlds Travel Agency adventure to celebrate World Book Day. Like the 3 books in the series, Adventure in the Floating Mountains is very imaginative and creative. Today, we have the honour of chatting with L.D. Lapinski on the writing process behind this short story, and the inspiration behind the Cloudwish Festival.

Each Strangeworlds Travel Agency book is much longer compared to this World Book Day title. How did it affect the planning and writing process for this book?

Flick and Jonathan have visited dozens of worlds on their journey throughout the series, and had some huge adventures! Because Adventure in the Floating Mountains is so comparatively short, it meant that although there would need to be a problem at large for the characters to help fix, it couldn’t be as large as some of their previous encounters. The story still had to be exciting though, so I started with the concept of a fun day out, which became a festival. I planned what I wanted the festival to include, such as flight, food, a dragon! And then giving the festival a problem was the easy part – if only it was that easy for Flick and Jonathan to put things right…

Given there are already 3 books in the series, was it difficult to ensure new readers can connect with and understand the story?

The central concept of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency series is the fact that in the stories the characters travel to different worlds by stepping into magical suitcases. It’s a big idea but easy to explain! Making sure the characters came across how I wanted them to in the short amount of space I had was tricky, but luckily I feel like I know the two of them really well by now, and it’s a lot of fun to show how different Flick and Jonathan are, and how they’re instantly recognisable.

Flick and Jonathan can simply step into a suitcase and they will be transported to a different world. If you could step into any place right now, real or fictional, which would you choose?

It’s been a really busy few months, so I’d like to choose somewhere calm and relaxing, with plenty of beanbags or comfy chairs to sink into. And no morning alarms!

Strofadia and the Cloudwish Festival are both very creative. What’s the inspiration behind them and what’s on your moodboard when you pictured the Cloudwish Festival?

I think fantasy concepts are the most interesting when they take something ordinary in our world and turn it on its head. Like we see the mountains of our world as stoic rises fixed to the Earth, but in Strofadia they float! And where we have ground to walk on to get about, the people who live there have to fly around to get from place to place. I don’t use a moodboard as such when I’m thinking about a setting, but I knew I wanted the place to remind the reader of the sky, so there are lots of blues, whites, greys and silver in the colours of the people’s clothes, tents, and the dragon herself.

Which aspect of the Cloudwish Festival do you wish to try the most?

Definitely the chocolate-coated lightning! I think I’d risk my hair standing on end for a chance to try that explosive treat in real life!

And finally, this book carries a strong message about wishes and wants – How do you think children and adults differ in terms of the way they balance making wishes and making things happen?

I think everyone makes wishes, it’s just human nature to be wistful for an easy fix, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting good things to happen or having a big dream. All the children and young people I know are much braver and proactive than the adults, and they’re super determined! So I think if they want something, they’re more likely to take the steps to go out and make it happen.

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