Did You Know? Some Tapestry Tidbits

THE RED WINTER is just around the corner and its story will bring Max’s adventures to a close. Being the nostalgic sort, I’ve been reflecting on the series and thought I’d share a few “insider” tidbits of which you may or may not have been aware:

  • Max McDaniels is named after the wild little protagonist from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are
  • Vyes were born from childhood nightmares of tall, wolfish creatures with squinting eyes. My three-year-old self even called them “vyes”
  • Mum and Bob are based on an elderly married couple that were cooks at my university
  • The Smee is named after “Mr. Smee” from Peter Pan. Their personalities have very little in common, but I love the sound of “smee” and thought it’s relatively humble/benign sound was the perfect foil to Toby’s grandiose persona
  • Old Tom’s clock and bells were inspired by Uris Library at Cornell University. I spent many a fond afternoon sleeping — er, studying — among its stacks
  • Max and David sailing off to the Sidh was inspired by the nursery rhyme “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod”
  • The creature in the farmhouse well was originally an architect named Robert Hague. You can read more about him here (his letter was ultimately cut from The Fiend and the Forge)
  • While many creatures in The Tapestry have a basis in myth or folklore, some of the originals include lymrills, moomenhovens, smees, vyes, cheshirewulfs, dreadnoughts, pinlegs, and others
  • The first drawing I ever did for The Tapestry was of Kettlemouth
  • Cooper and Mum both have much larger parts than I’d originally planned. I enjoyed them so much, I expanded their roles.
  • The editor on Fiend and the Forge insisted that I cover up the haglings’ bare bottoms in a drawing of them clinging to Mum. Somehow, he thought it was too scandalous (sigh).
  • The Tapestry was originally conceived as a trilogy but, like the forest in Max’s room, it grew and grew… 😉
  • I’ve known what the story’s final scene would be since I started writing the series (hint: it *might* involve the wolfhound from Max’s dreams)