The DMS was lucky enough to interview Matthew Cody, author of the middle grade novel Powerless. Lizzy recently reviewed this action packed story, and it was great to share our thoughts about it and hear yours! We are excited to learn a little bit more about the story behind the story. So, without further ado... take it away, Matthew!
What inspired you to write Powerless?
There’s a tried and true plot in middle grade fantasy in which a young hero discovers a terrible threat while at the same time discovering a secret heritage of power – family of wizards, demigods, etc.
While I love these stories myself, I wanted to turn the tables a bit and write a book about a young hero who wasn’t any of these things. There’s a line in the book referring to Daniel feeling as ordinary as bread, and that’s what I was going for. He feels powerless, but of course no one really is.
How long did it take you to write Powerless?
It took about a year, with all the re-writing involved. I’m a pretty fast writer, but I spend a lot of time on revisions, even before I’ve handed it over to my editor, because that’s where a story is made or broken. I firmly believe that.
What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?
I was one of those “reluctant readers” that librarians and teachers always talk about, so I didn’t really read much of what would today be considered middle-grade fiction. That being said, when I finally did start reading I loved The Hobbit by J. R. Tolkien. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie made a big impact on me as well, though not the one you might assume. Peter wrestling with his shadow terrified me, an idea that actually made it into the opening chapter of Super . . .
Where did you come up with the character Daniel?
While Daniel is a normal boy, he is remarkable in a few ways. He’s brave, loyal and one heck of a good detective, but he’s not perfect by any means. He’s jealous at times, and can feel sorry for himself a bit too much, but his good qualities outweigh the bad. I wanted a main character that the readers could both identify with and admire, and I think Daniel fits the bill.
If you could befriend a character from any of your books, who would you befriend? Why?
Rohan has a great outlook on the world, owing to the fact that he can literally see things we can’t. Plus, he’s a loyal friend with a great sense of humor. I think friends that can make you laugh are the best kind.
Where do you like to write? Do you listen to music while you are writing?
These days I write mostly at home, though I’ll get out to a coffee shop every now and again when I’m editing. I find it hard to do first draft stuff with distractions, and so I need to stay home where it’s quiet (although I am the father of a four year old, so quiet is all relative!)
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
I love Ireland. I love the history, everywhere you look – the crumbling castles, the ancient standing stones bordering stone-walled sheep’s meadows. I think it’s a very inspirational place to live.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
When I was a kid I used to have this reoccurring dream that I would wake up in the morning and fly out the window. Then I’d soar over all the bus stops and wave at the poor kids waiting to be taken to school. Then I’d shout “See ya, suckers!” That answer it?
Where can we purchase your books?
Just about anywhere. I’d start with your local, independent bookstore. If they don’t have them in stock, I’m sure they’d be happy to order them for you.
☞ You can meet Matthew Cody at R.J. Julia Bookstore in Madison, CT on November 15th!
✭ Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of Powerless! Open to US and International
Giveaway ends Sunday, November 25th!
Stop by Fairday's Blog! to find out what Matthew Cody had to say to our readers!