When I heard that there was an opportunity to join a blog tour for a middle grade novel that is a retelling of the Pied Piper I jumped at the chance. Hello!!!! I am a retelling nut!!!! So I am very excited to welcome Matthew Cody to the blog to share 5 facts about himself and his book so we can get to know both the work and the man behind it all a little bit better. But, before we get to that, let's take a look at this beautiful cover!
Series: The Secrets of the Pied Piper #1
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
It is said that in the thirteenth century, in a village called Hamelin, a piper lured all of the children away with his magical flute, and none of them were ever seen again.
Today tough, pink-haired Max and her little brother, Carter, are stuck in modern-day Hamelin with their father . . . until they are also led away by the Piper to a place called the Summer Isle. There they meet the original stolen children, who haven’t aged a day and who have formed their own village, vigilantly guarded from the many nightmarish beings that roam the land.
No one knows why the Piper stole them, but Max and Carter’s appearance may be the key to returning the lost children of Hamelin—and to going home themselves. But to discover the secrets of the Piper, Max and Carter will have to set out on a mysterious quest down the dangerous Peddler’s Road.
Share your top ten fun facts that you think readers should know about you and your book!
Top Five Fun Facts About The Peddler’s Road:
5.) The interior map of the Summer Isle (my rough version, not the excellent one Craig Phillips did for the book) was based on an old map I’d created years ago for a role-playing game. Yes, I’m that kind of nerd.
4.) The lost children of Hamelin actually appeared in an early draft of a prior book of mine called The Dead Gentleman. That book is about time travel and other worlds, and one of the worlds the heroes visited was a land of eternal night, where the children of Hamelin dwelled. The chapter was cut early on, but the idea stuck with me . . .
3.) If you visit the real town of Hamelin, you can see a building known as the Rat Catcher’s House, and on it is an inscription dating back to 1602. Roughly translated, it reads, “In the year 1284 . . . 130 children were taken by a Pied Piper and led to a mountain, where they all disappeared.” Spooky, isn’t it?
2.) Originally, the mischievous little forest kobolds in the book were called “Inklings” after the famous group of fantasy writers, which included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. I changed it, though, to ground it more firmly in traditional Eastern European folklore, but I still like the homage.
1.) This story has been bouncing around my brain for many years, and I once wrote an unpublished short story for the Clarion Writers’ Workshop called “The Childcatcher,” which was a different kind of comedic riff on the Pied Piper tale. The first line was “Hamelin was a town overrun by children.” I thought it would be fun to swap the rats and the kids, even if rats are super creepy.
Top Five Fun Facts About Me:
5.) I really don’t like rats. Really.
4.) Have you seen that online video of the New York City rat making off with the pizza? See, that’s why I don’t like rats. That could’ve been your slice!
3.) Have you ever noticed that rats have, like, miniature people hands? So, so creepy!
2.) Did you know that rats can chew through aluminum? Concrete? Gah!
1.) What was that moving in the corner? Okay, excuse me while I go fetch my broom, trash can lid/shield, and steel-toed boots . . .
I totally echo your sentiments about rats, Matthew! Even as a New Yorker, I can't deal with them! Thank you so much for stopping by!
About the Author
Originally from the Midwest, Matthew Cody now lives in New York City with his wife and son. When not writing books or goofing off with his family, he teaches creative writing to kids of all ages.
Don't forget to head over to The Cover Contessa for tomorrow's post!