‘100 Cupboards' Writer Discusses Secret Doors and Hints at the End of the Series

Author N.D. Wilson says he and his sisters often searched for hidden doorways when they were kids.
Author N.D. Wilson says he and his sisters often searched for hidden doorways when they were kids. (By Mark Lemoreaux)
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Author N.D. Wilson has proved that with a big imagination he can create whole new worlds. His latest books focus on Henry York, a young boy who finds 100 magical cupboards in his room. (The first book in the series is called "100 Cupboards.") Each cupboard is a portal to another world, and there is good and evil lurking behind each. The second of the three books, "Dandelion Fire," was recently published, and the 30-year-old Wilson spoke with Amy Orndorff about secret doors, the superpower he wishes he had and some hints on the end of the series.

How old were you when you started writing?

Oh my, I think I actually really decided that I was going to write, that I wanted to write, when I was in the sixth grade.

What caused that decision?

Actually, I have described it to people as more of a discovery than a decision. A realization. I realized that I was going to be a writer, that I wanted to be a writer since sixth grade but I still didn't do very much writing. . . . By the time I reached graduate school, I settled down to attempt a . . . short children's fantasy novel, entitled "The Seventh Sneeze." The title was the best thing about it. And then after I wrote it, I thought it was terrible and tried to learn all my lessons and attempt at something else. That one was "100 Cupboards."

So are there influences in your life that wound up in the book?

I have told a lot of kids at a lot of schools about my obsession at a very early age with hidden doors, secret doors, magical doors. . . . The other thing that helped, I think, was just watching black-and-white "Zorro" TV shows, where this guy had secret doorways everywhere, and so my sisters and I really picked over our house and picked over our grandparents' house just searching for anything. Everywhere we went, we searched for hidden doors, secrets. We found nothing exciting.

Henry does go to so many different places and there are so many places mentioned, how did you keep them all straight when you were writing?

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