Time will tell how I actually did wih the book. It was my intention to keep the main characters' identities secret for as long as possible. The movie news pretty much decided THAT!
However, when I began, I think I approached the subjects with sincerity and respect... The inclusion of the Inklings withing the mythology of the Imaginarium Geographica was not undertaken lightly, nor as a gimmick, nor for shock value.
It was because I saw them as the natural extension of all those inspirational creatives who came before - Verne, and Wells, and Bacon, and on and on - whom I intended to include in my stories. Beginning with the Inklings was fitting to me, because their influence (and in one case, lifetime) overlapped my own. They were real in a way Jules Verne could not be. They could affect me, and my readers, more profoundly for having walked where we walk - for having been men we knew a lot about.
Still, despite the impression given by many soundbites and the hype surrounding the film - I don't portray their journey to these lands as the SOURCE of their stories, nor the Geographica as a convienient crutch for their genius. Rather, I make it clear that the reason they were entrusted with its care, and given opportunities to go to amazing lands is BECAUSE they possessed the unique combination of common sense and the genius to create what others could not.
The commercial aspects of their inclusion in HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS is obvious - but that was secondary. My primary reason was a deep, profound, and abiding respect and affection for the works and worlds that they - and only they - could create.
James A. Owen
The Coppervale Studio