On Target with John Flanagan

April 10th, 2008 by Brian Leave a reply »

Frank Beddor was crazy and jumped up on our tables. Ally had less table-jumping but great insight into the writing process (dirty water out of the hose first). 

John Flanagan was a good way to end author visits for the school year. He told us about his work in TV but how he really wanted to be an author. I loved the fact that his big celebration was not a big house/car but that he could do his dream and still support his family. (That excitement was demonstrated by looking like a “loon” as he and his wife pulled up to stop lights (instead of the bland faces people normally present.))

He also talked about how he started Ranger’s Apprentice to hook his son on reading. His son’s favorite part was Halt catching Will in the tower. He never knew you could actually feel fear in a story. Flanagan then stuck the stories in a desk for 12 years until his daughter recommended to get them published as Book 1. It’s cool that now we’re talking script by Paul Haggis (who, for the first time in Academy Award history won back-to-back awards for the scripts for Crash and Million Dollar Baby). 

It’s even cooler that Paul Haggis took notice of Ranger’s Apprentice because the scriptwriter’s son loved the books. I am stoked because I still am boycotting the Stormbreaker movie because I’m such a fan of the Alex Rider series and usually young adult books-turned movies stink. (Did you see Eragon? Yeah, me neither.)

Flanagan had a great thing to say about all of the rejection letters (he gets so excited, he says sarcastically). You can’t guarantee success, but you can guarantee failure. He then shared Steven Bradbury’s story. (He also shared how kangaroos go from cutesy to old men kangaroos who lean on golf tees like they owe the place.) 


Flanagan popped the balloon. Students got copies of Book 5, Sorcerer of the North (which comes out in November).


He signed my book “aka Halt”. I’m excited.



  1. Ally says:

    Ah, man. Now I’M going to have to get a bow and arrow!


  2. Brian says:

    No worries. A forklift would suffice.

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