Frequently Asked Questions—Found
Note: My answers may contain some spoilers for the book—please don’t read this if you haven’t finished the book!
Why did you want to write a new series?
It was a combination of several different factors. Simon & Schuster really wanted me to write another series after I finished the last book in the Shadow Children series, Among the Free. And I knew from writing that series that I would enjoy doing another one. And then when I got the idea for Found it seemed like something that would work well as a series.
Why are there 36 babies on the plane? What’s the significance of that number?
I’ve been asked this question so many times, I really should have a good answer. Let’s see, 36 surely must have been seen as a mystical number in many ancient cultures, because it’s the product of the square of 2 and the square of 3, which are both prime numbers, and…
Okay, I can’t really carry that off. It actually just seemed reasonable to me that there would be thirty-six seats on a smallish plane, with twelve rows, and three seats in each row. And I thought 36 unidentified babies, all potentially crying, would cause total chaos in an airport that isn’t prepared with, say, 36 strollers or 36 bottles of formula. And I needed that chaos to make it seem feasible that very few people would notice an entire plane just vanishing into thin air.
What is Jonah’s other identity?
You don’t really think I’d give that one away, do you?
I will say that my idea for who Jonah was, originally, changed over the course of the time that I was writing Found. And it could potentially change again. You may have noticed that I don’t give a detailed description of Jonah’s physical features anywhere in Found. I actually did describe him in detail in earlier versions of the book, and then began making the descriptions more and more vague. (Which is odd, because usually writers want to go for more detail, not less.) But I did this on purpose, partly so no one could guess his identity too soon, and partly so I still have my options open in case I change my mind again.
But rest assured that, by the end of the series, his identity will be revealed.
What about Daniella McCarthy? Why wasn’t she at the adoption conference? Is she ever going to show up in any of the future books?
Daniella McCarthy wasn’t at the conference because of the complications in her family’s plans to move to Ohio. But she will definitely show up in a future book. I think she will prove to be an interesting character to write about.
How many books are there going to be in the Missing series?
Seven. The second and third books, Sent and Sabotaged, are already out. The fourth, Torn, is already written and will come out August 23, 2011. Beyond that, I have plans for three other books, tentatively to be called Caught, Kept and Revealed.
How much research did you do for this book?
Not as much as I’ve done for Sent, Sabotaged and Torn. For Found, I read a couple of non-fiction books and visited several websites dealing with the possibilities, complications, and scientific theories surrounding time travel. I also consulted with my younger brother who’s read more science fiction than I have. And otherwise, since no one’s actually succeeded in traveling through time for real (to my knowledge) I decided I could set up the time travel in my series however I wanted.