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Last Updated: Tuesday May 30 2006 12:32 GMT

Newsround interviews Lemony Snicket

Daniel Handler. Not Lemony Snicket
Author Daniel Handler often stands in for Lemony Snicket
The mysterious author Lemony Snicket has been taking a brief break from writing about the adventures and misfortunes of the poor Baudelaire orphans.

After following a number of complicated clues, Newsround managed to track him down to the Clink museum in London - don't try looking for him there now, he's already left - to find out some secrets about the final outing for the intrepid trio.

When can we expect book 13 to be in shops?

It is to be expected on Friday 13 October. The title is The End.

How long do they take to write?

Well, they take longer and longer, because they used to come out more frequently.

But I think the overall sense of despair is so taxing that it takes me longer. This one took almost a year.


Are you sad that they're coming to an end?

I'm sad, but also relieved for the general populace. It's as if a disease is running its course and you begin to see it fading.

The names of the characters are a little unusual, where do they come from?

I never thought of them as being unusual, but I guess they're sort of old-fashioned names. I have a fondness for those kind of names.

I prefer an Isadora to a Tiffany. I guess I should apologise to all the Tiffanys who might be reading this. It's not that I don't like them personally.

Although they may wish to consider renaming themselves.

The Clink museum, London
Posters were put up warning of Lemony Snicket's arrival

In the last couple of books the line between the good people and more treacherous ones seems to have become a bit blurred...

It's sad isn't it?

I think the Baudelaires are getting older, and one of the sad facts about getting older is that you've always thought of yourself and people you know as righteous and true and the people you dislike as evil.

The older you get the more muddy that water becomes.

What do you do with your commonplace books?

When I finish one it goes in a drawer. When the drawer is full I empty it into a box. When the box is full I put it in the basement and start another box.

Do you have lots?

Yes, far too many. I have the vague idea that when I'm older they'll be a lot of fun to look through. But there are too many of them.

I'd have to be quite old and have an enormous attention span to get through them all.

Do you like the fact that you're less likely to be recognised than some other authors?

I read an interview with your Ms Rowling, and she talked about all the difficulties she had, that she went to some cafe in a museum where she wrote for a while, and then the next day it was in the paper that's where she hung out, and she could never go back there.

I can sit in some of the most fantastic cafes in the world unnoticed.

The Clink museum, London
Even the queue for signed books carried a warning

Do you know if there are any more films on the way?

I think the people in charge of making the film have not decided.

One possibility may be that they are overwhelmed by guilt for how widely spread they have made the phenomenon, so that even illiterate people were all of a sudden terrified and depressed.

What's the plan for Lemony Snicket after book 13?

There's a chance some other matters may take up Mr Snicket's attention, that he may research and publish, but I'm always weary of making such promises.

There is a chance you or I could be arrested on a false premises and imprisoned in the Clink and then probably I wouldn't have another chance to write.

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