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10 April 2013 ·

Tough Questions from Alphabet Soup

I’ve just discovered something I didn’t know: that Nim’s Island was featured in the very first issue of Alphabet Soup! (I did know that Nim had some fans in the Alphabet Soup editor’s household, because I met one of them in a writing workshop in Perth a year or two ago.) So I am especially pleased to have done this interview, even though I really had to think about some of the questions!

Here’s the start of it:
 Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea are definitely in our pile of favourite books. (Nim’s Island was featured in our first ever issue of Alphabet Soup!) You probably know that Nim’s Island was made into a movie starring Abigail Breslin, and now the second Nim book has also been made into a movie called Return to Nim’s Island — and it’s out in Australian cinemas this school holidays. We asked the author Wendy Orr if we could talk to her about what it’s like to have your book made into a film. And here she is!

When did you first hear that Nim at Sea would be made into a movie, too?
Paula Mazur, the producer of the first Nim’s Island, wanted to do it as soon as she read the book when it was published in July 2007. However there were complications with the Hollywood studio and so three years ago she took it to an Australian company. They worked very hard to organise everything and in May 2012 we knew that it was going to be filmed. (Though I think everyone still had fingers crossed!) The filming started in August 2012.
There is a different Nim (Bindi Irwin) cast in this second movie. Were you allowed to choose the actors? Did it feel strange to see a different Nim?


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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Dragonfly Song, a novel in free verse and prose of an outcast girl who becomes a bull-leaper in Bronze Age Crete. Read full bio