Author Interviews

Cornelia Funke Interview Transcript

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Our November Author of the Month , Cornelia Funke, author of the Ink World Trilogy joined Scholastic to answer some student questions.

GhostsofHogwarts (AKA Ghostie)  asks: What is your favourite book out of the Inkheart series?
My favourite is Inkdeath as everything comes together.

How did you come up with the idea for The Thief Lord?
I had the idea for The Thief Lord in Venice when I remembered that as a child I had always wanted to be a grown up and decided that I wanted to do a story about a boy who has the same wish. I set the story in Venice because I wanted my readers to visit the location where the story took place and realize how much magic can be found in the real world.

luv2write666 asks: What happens to Farid after Inkdeath?
Oh, I am very sure that Farid is ready to be on his own and to realize that he can very well live without Dustfinger (he doesn't have to stop loving him!) I know that Farid will be a very famous fire-eater in the Inkworld and maybe he'll even have an apprentice very soon. For sure he will fall in love with quite a few girls on his way.

Lizzie45 asks: Who is your favorite character you have created in the Ink trilogy?
In the Inkbooks I don't really have a favourite character as I love so many of them. If I had to choose I guess I would choose Dustfinger, but I love Elinor and Fenoglio as well and Mo of course and Farid and Meggie and Doria and the see? I love so many of them that I can't decide. Maybe Dustfinger is closest to my heart, but only maybe. If I ever return to the Inkworld I will be most interested to find out what happened to Doria and Meggie, to Meggie's brother ...and to Orpheus.I am really worried about what he is doing on the other side of the mountains.

H.p. bookworm asks: I was wondering if you were like Meggie when you were young. I love books too and I was wondering if your love for reading started at an early age.
Yes, it did. I was a bookeater and I still am. I was raised in a small town and the books were the promise that the world is a much bigger and more adventurous place.

Dreamcatcher14 asks: What is you favorite book?
My favourite book is The Once and Future King by T.H. White

What gives you inspiration for your characters?
They for sure all have elements of real people in them- Farid sometimes reminds me of my son, Meggie of myself or my daughter and Dustfinger of my husband, but in fact they are very much themselves  and have their very own life. I found Dustfinger's profession when I saw fireeaters on a medieval market in Germany.

Faridfan asks: What was it like to live in Germany?
Well, I was raised in a small town which I found to be much too small. I longed to have adventures and see the world but it took many years before that happened. When my children were born we lived at the edge of Hamburg, a rather big city, but we had horses and a dog and my children built huts in the woods behind our house as I had done as a child. It was a good time but then we suddenly felt that we would love to live in another country for a change - and we came to California and all loved it. We still do.

What is your favourite movie?
My favourite movie, there are many. The last one I really loved was Pan's Labyrinth.

Dustfingerfire asks: Out of all the books you've written, which do you like best?
Always the one, I am working on. So my last favourite is still Inkdeath, but as I am working on a new project there's already another one close to my heart.

Apollo127 asks: Do you feel that the movie version of The Thief Lord was an accurate portrayal of the book? I felt extremely sad for poor Scipio in the book, but the movie didn't exactly express how stuck he was.
You are right. I think The Thief Lord movie isn't bad - so far I was rather lucky with my adaptations- but I didn't like at all how they did Scipio's father. I found it much more heart breaking that he is just cold and not interested in his son.

Now that the final Ink World book is over, I'm desperate to know: what happens to Farid? Does he finally get his 'fairytale ending'?
As for Farid - of course he will become the most famous fire eater in the Inkworld! He'll become even more famous than Dustfinger, and he'll break a lot of girls' hearts and will be very happy.

Inkheart24 asks: Why did you decide not to let Maggie and Farid end up together?
Because I wanted Meggie to find someone who truly loves just her. Farid never did. He is not ready yet to stay at one place and to love just one person. He has as restless a heart as Dustfinger. That's why he loves him so much.

Inkbeliever asks: Why did Gwin have horns?
Gwin has horns because this makes Meggie realize in Inkheart that he is a creature from a book and not from our world.

Dustfinger asks: Will you ever write another Ink book, one about Resa and Mo's son? Will you ever write the original Inkheart . . . you know, Fenoglio's version?
I think I may one day return to the Inkworld to find out about Meggie's brother and Doria - and what Orpheus does on the other side of the mountains. I won't write the original Inkheart though. I think Fenoglio has quite a different style!

I heard something about a second Dragon Rider book . . . is it true that you're writing a sequel, and if you are, when will it be released? But, you know, no rush or anything . 
I already have a plotline but I am working on another book which will have a sequel, so the dragon is still sleeping - and waiting for his turn.

Will you ever write anything besides fantasy? Not that I want you to or anything, I LOVE fantasy, it's my favourite genre!!!!
I did write a series in Germany called The Wild Chicks which is realistic and even was turned into three movies so far, but I very much prefer to write fantasy!

Do you prefer writing in German or English?
German. In English I have to spend too much energy on the language and sometimes feel I can't say what I really want to express. In German I know which grammar rules I can bend and which not. In English I don't.

Margaret104 asks: Are you thinking of writing a fourth book?
I think there is still a lot to be told about Meggie and Doria and maybe one day I will. I LOVE Doria as a character.

BookWriter101 asks: When did you start writing?
I found out that I wanted to be a writer because I was a very bored illustrator. I didn't like the stories the publishers sent me and one day I sat down to write my own story to then be bale to do the illustrations I wanted to do. It took some more years until I realized that I loved writing much more than illustrating!

BeccaMonkey987 asks: What happened to Farid after Dustfinger died?? Even after he came back, Farid seemed... different. Lost. What was he going through?
I think Farid realized when Dustfinger was dead that he had to learn to be on his own and to grow up. And when Dustfinger returned Farid had himself become stronger and more independent so that in a  way he didn't need him that much anymore, although he still loved him (and always will). They were both very very important for one another. Farid taught Dustfinger how to love and Dustfinger taught Farid to believe in himself. They both will never lose that - and I know that Farid will become the most famous fire eater in the whole Inkworld and will be very happy. He has a gift for happiness.


Thanks, Cornelia, for being the November Author of the Month and answering some of our questions!

Teachers, your class can join the conversations with our future Authors of the Month.

Author of the Month Schedule



  • Subjects:
    Literature, Literature Appreciation, Writing, Movies
  • Skills:
    Plot, Character and Setting, Writing