Ransom Riggs the author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children did not set out to write novels. In fact, the filmmaker and nonfiction author got his start in fiction through his hobby of collecting creepy photos with captions written on them.
Riggs shared these photos with his editor at Quirk Books, who had the idea that Riggs could build a novel from them.
Fine Books Magazine has the story: “Riggs ‘leapt on the idea,’ and began writing a story inspired by the vintage snapshots. ‘My collection was small then, and I knew I’d need many, many more photos to choose from while writing, so I started contacting and meeting with other collectors.’ With help from other photo collectors, Riggs assembled enough odd and intriguing—some say ‘creepy’—photos to illustrate the novel, which attracted rave reviews and critical acclaim upon publication in 2011.”
The project was a success. The book became a bestseller on the The New York Times and the story is even being adapted into a film by Tim Burton.