Oct 14, 2014

Celebrating Peter: The Untold True Story being on 10,000 To-Read shelves!

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Peter

Chris Mechling's new historical novel, Peter, introduces readers to the amazing true story behind the fairy tale of Peter Pan. The book tells the adventures of the real boy who came to London and became a well-known figure more than a hundred years before James Barrie penned his classic.

Peter the Wild Boy lived in eighteenth century England, through the reigns of three kings (all named George), and achieved legendary status in his own lifetime. He was not only a popular figure, but also drew intense philosophical and scientific study, and was a subject of interest to literary figures such as Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. Peter retained a youthful appearance throughout his life, and had a joyful, intuitive spirit that was both challenging and infectious.

This imaginative dramatization of the life of Peter the Wild Boy captures the joy, innocence and fire of a bright, feral child living in the midst of the Age of Enlightenment. It is narrated by the girl who perhaps knew him best. The epic story of his life, spanning approximately seventy years, navigates a tumultuous and thoughtful period in English history, rich with characters.
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Peter is a magical, poignant tale full of humor, love, and courage in the face of life's difficulties. It will make you laugh, cry, dream and remember what it means to be young.The Untold True Story
​"I shall endeavor to tell you the true story of my friend Peter, because he cannot tell it to you himself. Afterward I hope you will love him and defend him as I have for the remainder of your days. Pass on to others a true account of the wild boy who would not grow up, who danced with kings and won the hearts of princesses. He defied logic and reason, lived and loved with an innocent heart, and found peace in the midst of a turbulent world.”​

Chris Mechling's new historical novel, Peter, introduces readers to the amazing true story behind the fairy tale of Peter Pan. The book tells the adventures of the real boy who came to London and became a well-known figure more than a hundred years before James Barrie penned his classic.

Peter the Wild Boy lived in eighteenth century England, through the reigns of three kings (all named George), and achieved legendary status in his own lifetime. He was not only a popular figure, but also drew intense philosophical and scientific study, and was a subject of interest to literary figures such as Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. Peter retained a youthful appearance throughout his life, and had a joyful, intuitive spirit that was both challenging and infectious.

This imaginative dramatization of the life of Peter the Wild Boy captures the joy, innocence and fire of a bright, feral child living in the midst of the Age of Enlightenment. It is narrated by the girl who perhaps knew him best. The epic story of his life, spanning approximately seventy years, navigates a tumultuous and thoughtful period in English history, rich with characters.

Peter is a magical, poignant tale full of humor, love, and courage in the face of life's difficulties. It will make you laugh, cry, dream and remember what it means to be young.

“All children grow up, all but one. His name is Peter and by now, all the civilized world has heard of him. He has captured the public imagination and become a legend, a subject for poets, philosophers and psychologists to write about, and for children to dream of. The children’s tales might be lacking in some details, but on the whole they are more accurate than most other accounts, for children will always understand Peter intuitively, as I did when I first met him.


Since publishing Peter: The Untold True Story, I have received messages from many readers about my book, and about Peter Pan. I enjoy receiving these, and have been happy to respond as much as I am able.

I recently received a moving message from a reader who shared how books like Peter Pan and Harry Potter had provided an escape for her at difficult times in her childhood. As a girl, she had imagined Neverland and Hogwarts as being real places. She also shared how in growing up, it became harder for her to find that same magic in books. She now finds solace in music. When she saw my book, Peter: The Untold True Story, it sparked her interest to think there had once been a real Boy Who Never Grew Up. Her message was well-written, and while everyone’s personal trials are different, I think her experience in childhood and in growing up is more universal than she may realize. What she wrote inspired me to write a lengthy response, and I would like to share some of that response here today.

* * *

Thank you for writing to me and sharing your personal experiences. It is always moving to receive a message like this from a reader- to know how a book can impact someone's life.

From one, unimaginative point of view, writing is empty, meaningless. "Peter Pan is just make-believe. There's no such thing as magic." And yet, across space and time, the written word allows us to know that things we cannot see or touch do exist, because if we can decipher the text, if we can read what another human being has written, and if that message tallies with things we have seen and felt ourselves, then there is some truth in it, even if it is hidden in fiction. What if Peter Pan was real, and this was your letter from Hogwarts?

You seem to have some writing ability- have you tried your own hand at writing? Not for school or work, but for yourself, and for the ones you love? Ray Bradbury suggested that fantasy and science fiction are not simply an escape; he compared writing fantasy and science fiction to the means by which Perseus confronted Medusa. We look at the monsters in our lives indirectly, through the mirror of our writing, and in this way we take aim and strike.

If you love music, and Peter Pan, and Harry Potter, then don't let the world convince you that it is all just make-believe. Believe. Create. Fill your life with the things you love, and seek the truth in them. Don't give up on your dreams. Dream bigger, and be willing to put in the effort to make your dreams come true.

Life is right here, in the middle of the dust and decay of the world. If you can't find anyone else like yourself, keep doing what you love anyway- flowers don't find each other until they rise out of the dust and bloom. And if you are the only flower to bloom in the midst of a desert- what a sight to behold!

There are some things that are worth believing in, no matter what.

* * *

The reader responded and confirmed, among other things, that indeed she did enjoy writing, and had dreamed of becoming an author, but the task seemed daunting for a number of reasons, including some practical concerns from family members about career stability, as well as the artistic challenges of creating a rich fantasy world, filling it with vibrant, vital characters, and finding the magic words to transport her readers into that world. She asked me if I could share some advice for someone starting out at novel-writing, understanding that there is not one specific method, and everyone has their own techniques.

I resolved immediately to write a further response to the reader, but also reflected that other readers might benefit from this. So I will be addressing my next response not only to her, but to any readers who may hold an abiding interest in writing.

In discussing the art of writing, I can only speak from my own experience. I hope that this will be helpful to you. Check back regularly, as I plan to follow up with several more installments on this theme.   

​FOLLOW CHRISTOPHER MECHLING

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