If you’ve noted my “Wisconsin Stills” page, you know that my love for Holmes and his London goes back into childhood. Little did I know Hans Zimmer had also settled into a corner of my music-world at that time through his involvement with Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Muppet Treasure Island. Now his Sherlock Holmes score is integral in my writing for children.
When it comes to writing about trolls, I wanted to relay a sense of their industriousness and superior attitude. They are particularly proud of their city hidden away from the rest of the world, but a hidden city is no fun to live in when you are a child. My narrator is the pet human for a girl troll who insists on finding adventure in the least likely places. That is, I wanted the character to insist on adventures, but I had no clue how to get the girls into trouble. Originally I played the first half of the track “My Mind Rebels at Stagnation” over and over as I described the girls’ walk to their mutual schools. What better way to sneak in descriptions of the bustling city and the trolls’ day to day life? How…normal.
I felt like the boy in To Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street. Should the girls imagine an adventure? How would the readers know what is fact in this universe and what isn’t? Way too confusing so early in the story. Then I finally allowed the second half of “My Mind Rebels” to play out. The tone shifts completely here from the rhythmic gear-like sounds of strings to brass swelling with menace. I finally pictured a bully showdown. Too normal. A bully showdown involving a dare. Better. A bully showdown involving a dare with the monster guarding a magical troll bridge. Take that, Mulberry Street!